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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.

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Image by Patrick Fore

PEJ Administrative Team

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​​​​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. 

Akingbolahan Adeniran
Legal and Program Director

Mr. Adeniran has served as a State Attorney-General in Nigeria (Ogun State), as adviser to the Nigerian Vice-President as well as an investigator and attorney in two international institutions. He is specialized in the fields of criminal, human rights, corporate and development law. He is a Partner in Awodi & Co. (Legal Consultants), a virtual law firm operating out of Lagos State, Nigeria. He graduated with a first class honours degree in Law from the University of Lagos and holds an LL.M. from Harvard Law School. He is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association and sits on the Board of several organizations. He is an accredited mediator with the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (UK).

Laura Rubio Krohne  Communications and Projects Coordinator 

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 communications, case management, grant proposals, and reporting requirements.

Pascal Turlan 
Legal and Program Director: Ukraine 

Mr. Turlan is an international lawyer and international relations expert. He has served as an Adviser to the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court for 19 years, most recently as the Judicial Cooperation Adviser of the Office. He also served as a human rights adviser in the French Ministry of Justice and several international NGOs. He specializes in international criminal law, international cooperation and mutual legal assistance, complex negotiations, and external relations. He is registered as an independent international law consultant in the Netherlands. He graduated from the Europa College of Bruges (Belgium), Sciences Po Paris, and the Lyon 3 Law Faculty (France). He teaches international justice at Sciences Po Paris.

  • Kay Sides
    Ms. Sides is a fashion innovator fueled by her passion of fashion, art, and philanthropy. Over the last 30 years, she has fueled her passion through HATCh Showroom, a progressive and multi-dimensional environment that includes contemporary jewelry, fine jewelry, footwear, and large commercial projects based in Los Angeles, NYC, and Dallas. Branding and innovation is Ms. Sides’ forté. Through HATCh, she has had the great privilege of launching, building, and managing brands like James Perse, Rick Owens, Katayone Adeli, Victoria Beckham, Giles and Brother, Kelly Wearstler, Lacoste, Alexander McQueen MCQ, Yohji Yamamoto – Coming Soon, Aviator Nation, Madeworn, Woolrich, JRB, PRPS, to name a few. Similarly, Ms. Sides’ passion for a better and safer world has included significant contributions to clean water development around the world, in addition to funding annual events to lift the spirits of children diagnosed with life-threatening diseases. Her steadfast belief in equal rights for all, including access to safe water, food, and accountability anchors her commitment to PEJ.
  • Ravic Huso
    Retired Ambassador Huso served most recently as the U.S. Ambassador to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, directing all aspects of the U.S.-Lao bilateral relations. Prior to his service in Laos, he was the Foreign Policy Advisor to the Commander, U.S. Pacific Command, and Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand. Ambassador Huso’s previous assignments were to the U.S. Embassies in Burkina Faso, Burundi, Malaysia, and Niger. He also served as the State Department’s Deputy Director and then Director for Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam Affairs.
  • Gregory Jackson
    Mr. Jackson has extensive experience as an international advisor on human rights, the military, and security sector reform. He worked in South Sudan advising the South Sudan Ministry of Defense, and in Iraq advising the Iraqi High Tribunal prosecuting former Baathist Regime members for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Mr. Jackson has fifteen years of experience as a military attorney and as a foreign advisor in Africa, the Middle East, and in places as culturally different as South Korea and Burkina Faso. Mr. Jackson also served as the Hawaii Director for the Office of Veterans Services during the Abercrombie Administration. He currently works as a judge advocate for the Hawaii Army National Guard and as a civilian at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay.
  • Linda L. Walton
    As an advisory board member, Ms. Walton provides the board with legal support and advice. She is an experienced prosecutor having spent over twenty-four years (1990-2014) at the Hawaii County Prosecutor’s Office. Her trial experience includes various areas of criminal law including homicide, child abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, and drug cases. She also volunteered to arbitrate matters in the Hawaii arbitration program from 2000-2010. Prior to these positions, Ms. Walton worked for the Alaska Attorney General litigating civil, eminent domain, and construction contract matters, and prosecuting sexual assault cases. She also represented the Department of Environmental Conservation and Natural Resources on gasoline pipeline proposals in Alaska. In 1980, she gained further policy experience and drafted legislation for the United States Trust Territory of Palau, now the country of Belau. She worked at Rice, Hoppner and Hedland as a civil litigator and criminal defense attorney in remote Alaskan villages.
  • Aymen Korika
    Mr. Korika was born in war-torn Nuba (aka South Kordofan State, Sudan) and relocated to the United States in 1999 as a Sudanese refugee to escape the persecution and warfare. He has studied in Sudan, Egypt, and the US. After moving to the US, Mr. Korika participated in a Maine statewide organization leadership training as part of a refugee initiative before studying Advanced Leadership and Politics at Husson College and Engineering at University of Southern Maine. In 2006 he started his first business with investment properties and his second business in 2019. He supports his family in the US and back home. Mr. Korika’s active advocacy for the people of Nuba and Sudan and his personal knowledge of the region make him a valuable advisor for PEJ.
  • Joyce Seelen
    Ms. Seelen brings over 30 years of legal experience to the advisory board. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Minnesota and a Juris Doctor from the Denver School of Law. She began her career as a Colorado Public Defender in 1980 and has focused her career on defending the indigent and protecting the abused against institutions including the Catholic Church. In 2003 she moved to the Big Island of Hawaii and became a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the County of Hawaii. Her contributions to defending human rights have included defending children who were victims of pedophiles connected to religious institutions and representing children who were the victims of negligence by medical and psychological professionals.
  • Silvain Sana
    Mr. Sana is a magistrate from Burkina Faso who has extensive experience in domestic and international criminal investigations. He first served as a juge d’instruction in his country before joining the International Criminal Court in 2007, where he is currently an investigation team leader in the Office of the Prosecutor. He has been working and leading investigation in various cases at the ICC. M. Sana is very passionate about international law and justice. He is a contributor to the Commentary of the Rome Statute article by article (Cour pénale internationale, 2ème Edition, Pedone, Nov 2019). He is also involved in capacity building on criminal law, criminal investigation and prosecution by providing training to lawyers, prosecutors and investigators of various African countries.
  • Kay Sides
    Ms. Sides is a fashion innovator fueled by her passion of fashion, art, and philanthropy. Over the last 30 years, she has fueled her passion through HATCh Showroom, a progressive and multi-dimensional environment that includes contemporary jewelry, fine jewelry, footwear, and large commercial projects based in Los Angeles, NYC, and Dallas. Branding and innovation is Ms. Sides’ forté. Through HATCh, she has had the great privilege of launching, building, and managing brands like James Perse, Rick Owens, Katayone Adeli, Victoria Beckham, Giles and Brother, Kelly Wearstler, Lacoste, Alexander McQueen MCQ, Yohji Yamamoto – Coming Soon, Aviator Nation, Madeworn, Woolrich, JRB, PRPS, to name a few. Similarly, Ms. Sides’ passion for a better and safer world has included significant contributions to clean water development around the world, in addition to funding annual events to lift the spirits of children diagnosed with life-threatening diseases. Her steadfast belief in equal rights for all, including access to safe water, food, and accountability anchors her commitment to PEJ.
  • Ravic Huso
    Retired Ambassador Huso served most recently as the U.S. Ambassador to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, directing all aspects of the U.S.-Lao bilateral relations. Prior to his service in Laos, he was the Foreign Policy Advisor to the Commander, U.S. Pacific Command, and Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand. Ambassador Huso’s previous assignments were to the U.S. Embassies in Burkina Faso, Burundi, Malaysia, and Niger. He also served as the State Department’s Deputy Director and then Director for Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam Affairs.
  • Gregory Jackson
    Mr. Jackson has extensive experience as an international advisor on human rights, the military, and security sector reform. He worked in South Sudan advising the South Sudan Ministry of Defense, and in Iraq advising the Iraqi High Tribunal prosecuting former Baathist Regime members for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Mr. Jackson has fifteen years of experience as a military attorney and as a foreign advisor in Africa, the Middle East, and in places as culturally different as South Korea and Burkina Faso. Mr. Jackson also served as the Hawaii Director for the Office of Veterans Services during the Abercrombie Administration. He currently works as a judge advocate for the Hawaii Army National Guard and as a civilian at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay.
  • Linda L. Walton
    As an advisory board member, Ms. Walton provides the board with legal support and advice. She is an experienced prosecutor having spent over twenty-four years (1990-2014) at the Hawaii County Prosecutor’s Office. Her trial experience includes various areas of criminal law including homicide, child abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, and drug cases. She also volunteered to arbitrate matters in the Hawaii arbitration program from 2000-2010. Prior to these positions, Ms. Walton worked for the Alaska Attorney General litigating civil, eminent domain, and construction contract matters, and prosecuting sexual assault cases. She also represented the Department of Environmental Conservation and Natural Resources on gasoline pipeline proposals in Alaska. In 1980, she gained further policy experience and drafted legislation for the United States Trust Territory of Palau, now the country of Belau. She worked at Rice, Hoppner and Hedland as a civil litigator and criminal defense attorney in remote Alaskan villages.
  • Aymen Korika
    Mr. Korika was born in war-torn Nuba (aka South Kordofan State, Sudan) and relocated to the United States in 1999 as a Sudanese refugee to escape the persecution and warfare. He has studied in Sudan, Egypt, and the US. After moving to the US, Mr. Korika participated in a Maine statewide organization leadership training as part of a refugee initiative before studying Advanced Leadership and Politics at Husson College and Engineering at University of Southern Maine. In 2006 he started his first business with investment properties and his second business in 2019. He supports his family in the US and back home. Mr. Korika’s active advocacy for the people of Nuba and Sudan and his personal knowledge of the region make him a valuable advisor for PEJ.
  • Joyce Seelen
    Ms. Seelen brings over 30 years of legal experience to the advisory board. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Minnesota and a Juris Doctor from the Denver School of Law. She began her career as a Colorado Public Defender in 1980 and has focused her career on defending the indigent and protecting the abused against institutions including the Catholic Church. In 2003 she moved to the Big Island of Hawaii and became a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the County of Hawaii. Her contributions to defending human rights have included defending children who were victims of pedophiles connected to religious institutions and representing children who were the victims of negligence by medical and psychological professionals.
  • Silvain Sana
    Mr. Sana is a magistrate from Burkina Faso who has extensive experience in domestic and international criminal investigations. He first served as a juge d’instruction in his country before joining the International Criminal Court in 2007, where he is currently an investigation team leader in the Office of the Prosecutor. He has been working and leading investigation in various cases at the ICC. M. Sana is very passionate about international law and justice. He is a contributor to the Commentary of the Rome Statute article by article (Cour pénale internationale, 2ème Edition, Pedone, Nov 2019). He is also involved in capacity building on criminal law, criminal investigation and prosecution by providing training to lawyers, prosecutors and investigators of various African countries.
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