Mary has been intrigued with travel and international law for as long as she can remember. As a teenager, she visited a newly post-Soviet St. Petersburg, Russia, and became enchanted with the culture, language, and people of the region. She attended Harvard University as an undergraduate majoring in modern European history, then spent a year in Poland teaching English and studying the history of WWII. She later received a MA in Russian Studies from the European University at St. Petersburg, and afterwards joined the U.S. Peace Corps in Ukraine in order to further improve her Russian language skills and to give something back to a region that has given her so much. Mary was stationed in Melitopol, a small industrial city in southern Ukraine near the Sea of Azov, where she made some of the best friends of her life and learned to really appreciate both the joys and the hardships that come with life in the former USSR. While a student at William & Mary, Mary interned with the Advocates for Human Rights, working on draft legislation on domestic violence for post-Soviet countries, and the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative in Baku, Azerbaijan, which works for improve judicial accountability and to promote civic and legal education for Azeri citizens and lawyers. Mary's blog about her time in Baku can be viewed here.
Mary graduated from William & Mary in 2011 and is currently a Postgraduate Fellow working at the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ). ICTJ works to improve legal, political, and social transitions following conflicts or serious atrocities through policy advising, assisting government and non-profit organizations, and providing research on the causes and impacts of violent conflict on a society and its legal system. Mary is interning at the Cape Town office, which focuses on African regional issues, including post-conflict Truth & Reconciliation Commissions and other legal mechanisms to address the harms caused by war, government persecution, and discrimination.