About Us

PEJ, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was founded in 2016 by Cynthia Tai, a former prosecutor in the U.S., and at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. With an increase in mass atrocities worldwide, PEJ believes now more than ever that there is an overwhelming need to empower local populations seeking justice. By partnering with local organizations, we train local lawyers and investigators to have the skills necessary to collect and preserve evidence in a manner that meets international legal standards.


PEJ applies a novel, victim-centered approach to addressing mass atrocities. We only engage in cases where requested to do so by the survivors, their families, or local community members and where we have the appropriate expertise. Before engaging in any case, we evaluate the situation to identify the best possible chance of success. We believe that professional, impartial, and prompt investigation contributes to holding perpetrators of atrocities accountable, reducing risks for survivors and witnesses, ending cycles of violence, creating more accountability mechanisms, deterring future perpetrators from committing atrocities, and giving victims a sense of justice.

 

Together, PEJ’s staff and Board have decades of experience in international legal matters. Working in partnership with local organizations, we bring evidence of atrocities to the forefront in legal arenas.

lady-justice-geed82e64f_1920.jpg
Image by Patrick Fore

PEJ Administrative Team

CT.png

​​​​Cynthia Tai, Esq. – Executive Director

Ms. Tai has over two decades of experience in international and domestic litigation. She served as a trial lawyer for the International Criminal Court, Office of the Prosecutor, 2007-2013. At the ICC, she was a principal member of the case of Jean-Pierre Bemba (CAR) and lead counsel on the case of William Ruto (Kenya). She was a pivotal member of the investigation strategies of both cases and conducted dozens of interviews. As a domestic prosecutor, she conducted numerous jury trials (violent crime, cold case homicides, and sexual assaults), over 500 bench trials, and thousands of contested evidentiary hearings. Ms. Tai has also served as trial counsel in civil litigation cases domestically. 

Melissa Harry – Operations Manager 

Ms. Harry has worked in the non-profit sector for 15 years. Before joining PEJ, she was the Operations Supervisor for the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) in South Africa, where she was responsible for the oversight of Human Resources, Finances, and Operations. Ms. Harry's areas of responsibility include management of all budgets, proposals, and human resources. 

Arison Mahureva – Finance Manager 

Mr. Mahureva is a development finance practitioner with 13 years of experience. He has worked as a senior-level financial and administrative manager. He has experience in accounting and operations management of multimillion, multi-partner, donor-funded contracts, cooperative agreements, and grants.  Arison brings expert skills in organizational financial management, donor financial reporting and grant compliance, capacity building of local organizations in financial and contract management, operations, donor policy, procedural and reporting requirements, and significant financial analysis and risk assessment expertise. In his previous roles, he oversaw financial and sub-recipients management of multi-year, Gender-Based Violence prevention and Sexual HIV/AIDS Prevention project in Africa, including financial oversight of sub-grants located all over Africa.

Laura Rubio Krohne – Executive Assistant & Communications Officer 

Ms. Rubio is a Colombian lawyer with experience handling administrative and organizational tasks. Ms. Rubio has four years of experience managing and coordinating legal research groups and projects and handling administrative tasks related to the work of NGOs and public offices. She has worked in public management, justice administration, criminal law, and criminal policy. Proficient in managing large information flows, Ms. Rubio assists the PEJ team in its administrative functions, including grant proposals and reporting requirements.