Asia & Pacific Regional Office (Bangkok)

Saman Zia-Zarifi – ICJ Regional Director, Asia & Pacific

Saman served as Amnesty International’s director for Asia and the Pacific from 2008 to 2012. He was at Human Rights Watch after 2000, where he was deputy director of the Asia division. He was Senior Research Fellow at Erasmus University Rotterdam from 1997 to 2000, where he co-edited Liability of Multinational Corporations under International Law (Kluwer 2000) as well as several other publications on the subject. Saman practiced as a corporate litigator in Los Angeles after graduating from Cornell Law School in 1993.  He was born and raised in Tehran, Iran, and received a BA from Cornell University in 1990 and an Ll.M. in Public International Law from New York University School of Law in 1997.

Jennifer Thambayah – Senior International Programme Manager, Asia & Pacific

Jennifer is a lawyer with a background in human rights and development. Her previous work experience includes stints at the The Asia Foundation, the International Division of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the International Rescue Committee and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. She studied law at the University of Colombo and international business law at Cornell University.

Kingsley Abbott – Senior International Legal Adviser, Southeast Asia

Prior to joining the ICJ, Kingsley was a Senior Legal Officer with the United Nations at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, where he advised Judges investigating international and domestic crimes allegedly committed by the Khmer Rouge. He also worked as a Trial Counsel with the Office of the Prosecutor at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in the Hague. Prior to working as an international criminal lawyer, he spent several years practicing as a criminal barrister in New Zealand acting for both the defence and prosecution. In 2001, he obtained a conjoint degree in law and philosophy from the University of Auckland and was admitted to the Bar in 2002.

Nawawan Petchwattana – Administration Officer, Asia & Pacific

Nawawan joined the ICJ as an Administration Officer in June 2012.  Her prior work experience includes working as an Administrative Associate at the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) and as a Secretary in the Consular Section of the Turkish Embassy in Thailand. Nawawan holds a  Bachelor of Arts degree from Ayuthaya Rajabhat University.

Emerlynne Gil – Senior International Legal Adviser, Southeast Asia

Prior to ICJ, Emerlynne headed the Human Rights Defenders Department of the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) where she led advocacy initiatives at the regional and international levels for the implementation of standards under the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. Emerlynne served as a court attorney under Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna at the Supreme Court of the Philippines and also as a lecturer at the University of the Philippines’ Department of English and Comparative Literature. She also worked as a corporate and labor litigation attorney at a law firm in Makati City, Philippines, immediately after receiving her law degree from the University of the Philippines College of Law in 2000. She received her LL.M. in International Human Rights Law from the University of Notre Dame Law School in South Bend, Indiana, in 2007 and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Comparative Literature from the University of the Philippines in 1996.

Hay Man Oo – Legal Researcher, ICJ Myanmar Office

Hay Man Oo obtained a degree in Bachlor of Arts in International Relations from Dagon University, Myanmar (2004) and graduated from the University of Essex, United Kingdom with MA in Theory and Practice of Human Rights (2013-2014) on the UK government Chevening Scholarship Programme. His research area is Business and human rights. He has worked as a contract lead-teacher in civil society development program of the British Council, Yangon and also worked with other leading local organizations such as Sandhi Management Institue and Shalom Foundation. He has also worked with International Foundation for Electoral System (IFES) and Oxfam G.B in the country. He is currently working as a part-time lecturer at Scholar Institute. He has chaired Human Rights Forum, Yangon (2012), has co-chaired Human Rights in Asia Forum, University of Essex in 2014 and participated in a number of local and international events/programmes on human rights.

Vani Sathisan, International Legal Adviser, ICJ Myanmar Office

Vani Sathisan is an ICJ International Legal Adviser for Myanmar. Prior to joining ICJ, Vani was an international lawyer representing victims of mass crimes at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. Vani is also an Advocate & Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore and a former commercial and criminal litigator, having assisted on contentious and advisory matters including cross-border commercial fraud and pro bono capital matters at the Court of Appeal. Her human rights and business research focused on human rights due diligence in the context of extractive industries and forced evictions for industrial development in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. Vani holds a postgraduate Law degree from the National University of Singapore, a BA in Political Science from Middlebury College as a Shelby Davis Scholar and was a United World College (UWC) scholar at the Adriatic UWC in Italy. After college, Vani explored political theatre for a year as a Thomas J Watson Fellow in Malaysia, India, South Africa, Australia, Argentina, Chile and Canada.

Daniel Aguirre, International Legal Adviser, ICJ Myanmar Office

Daniel Aguirre is an ICJ International Legal Adviser based in Myanmar. He is international lawyer with expertise in business and human rights and experience working on human rights issues in Asia. Daniel has worked with a number of regional human rights NGOs and published international legal research. He wrote a monograph on investment law, development and human rights and has other publications on business and human rights and transitional justice issues. He has lectured on international law at universities in Italy, Canada, China, Thailand, and the UK. Daniel’s qualifications include a BA from the University of Waterloo, an LL.M in International Human Rights Law and a Ph.D in International Law from the Irish Centre for Human Rights, National University of Ireland.

Zar Li Aye, National Legal Adviser, ICJ Myanmar Office

Zar Li Aye is Higher grade pleader since in 2012. She got LL.B from East Yangon University, Myanmar in 2009 and M.A (Master of Business Law) from Yangon University, Myanmar in 2015. She has been practicing Law in Court, especially as Criminal defense Lawyer since in 2012, Pro Bono and Legal Aid Lawyer as well. Zar Li Aye Joined ICJ as Myanmar National Legal Adviser in February 2016. She worked a lot human rights issue with different organization as a Legal Consultant at Amnesty International, AJAR, Frontline Defender, and Justice Base. She conducted the training about the Womens’ Rights and Laws to different Women Organisation, LGBT Rights Network and many other more.