My First Days and the Amazing Women of the Criminal Justice Program

I was the first of the new summer interns to arrive at the 2-floor ICTJ office located in a high rise in the Financial District of NYC. Upon arriving at the office I met with the Human Resources Director for a brief orientation. I was then directed downstairs to meet with Jesica, a program associate for the Criminal Justice Program. For the next 40 mins Jesica gave me a brief overview of the work the Criminal Justice Program does and some of the projects I would work on throughout the summer as well as my experiences and interests. She then took me around the office and introduced me to all the staff members from the various departments and one of my supervisors. Unfortunately, many were traveling overseas for business that week but I would have the opportunity to meet them when they returned. One of the unique and amazing aspects of working at the ICTJ office is that the staff members are constantly traveling abroad for research, consultations, ect. and they relay their first hand knowledge of these countries and their situations to the interns and other staff members enabling us to conduct better, relevant research and produce extremely useful products/recommendations for training and consultations of foreign entities. After my morning orientation and meeting the staff members I was immediately put to work conducting research for a project that needed to completed by the end of the week. It was amazing to be put to work on such an important project on my first day as intern. From the beginning I knew that I would learn a lot from working at ICTJ and work on some extremely interesting projects and so far that has proven to be true.

My experience at ICTJ has been extemely rewarding thus far. I have the amazing opportunity to work with amazing experts in their respective fields. As an intern in the Criminal Justice Program I work with three dedicated, brillant and inspiring women, Jesica, Meritxell and Sophia, who, without interns, are responsible for all the operations of the program. My supervisors are Sophia and Meritxell and I have greatly enjoyed working with them these past few weeks. Sophia, who holds a law degree from the Universoty of Lisbon in Protugal, has an extensive background in international criminal law and post conflict justice, serving as project manager of UNDP's Access to Justice in Eastern DRC as well as serving as coordinator of the Sexual Violence Unit of REJUSCO, a multidonor program in the DRC. Sophia also served as a Legal Officer with the Serious Crimes Unit in UNMISET, East Timor and joined the Legal Advisory Section of the War Crimes Chamber in Sarajevo. Mertixell, who holds a law degree from Esade Law School in Barcelona, also has an extensive background in international criminal law and conflict prevention. Meritxell served as Appeals Counsel at the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC and as a Legal Officer at the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICTY. She also worked as  Project Officer at the OSCE HIgh Commissioner on National Minorities working in conflict prevention projects in the former Soviet Union. 

I am extremely grateful to work with women who have such a wealth of knowledge, experience and understanding of international criminal law and post conflict issues. I have already learned so much from working with them and am excited for what the rest of the summer hoas in store.