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Human Rights Fellow
To obtain a position in human rights that will enable me to continue to gain experience within the field.
Deirdre Anne O’Brien
21 Heron Road
Norwalk, Connecticut 06855
National University of Ireland, Irish Centre for Human Rights, Galway, Ireland
Masters in Law, International Human Rights, November 2006
Founder of the Alumni Association
City University of New York Law School, Flushing, New York, USA
Juris Doctor, May 2003
Irish Law Student Association, Post–Graduate Fellowship 2003
Joseph Doherty Fellowship 2002
Irish Law Student Association, President
Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, Marshall
Public Interest Law Association, Member
Fordham Law School, Ireland Summer Abroad Joint Program
Queen’s University, Belfast and University College Dublin Law School, Summer 2001
State University of New York at Albany, Albany, New York
Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, May 1997
University of North London, London, England
Semester Abroad, Fall 1996
The Advocates for Human Rights, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Midwest Coalition Fellow working as part of the Liberian Truth & Reconciliation Diaspora Project (TRC) team. Mirroring the TRC's work in Liberia, The Advocates for Human Rights is coordinating an effort to collect statements from Liberians living throughout the United States. This groundbreaking project is for the first time giving refugees the victims of human rights abuses a voice in the peace and reconciliation process. Interviewed Liberian refugees in the diaspora communities in Minnesota. Worked alongside pro bono attorneys to take Liberians statements about human rights abuses in Liberia from 1Number Hidden. Researched issue of the US involvement in the conflict for the final report to be submitted to the TRC. Assisted in organizing the TRC hearings including all accommodations for Liberian Commissioners and catering needs for the week. Coordinated and supervised over one hundred volunteers during the week long hearings. Worked individually with witnesses to help facilitate psycho-social and immigration consultations prior to giving their testimony.
International Center for Transitional Justice, New York, New York
October 2007-November 2007
Legal researcher asked to collaborate with a security reform specialist to draft a tool book for practitioners. The tool book highlights how truth commissions can contribute more effectively in the area of Security Sector Reform. Responsible for researching, writing and briefing on the various truth commissions (South Africa, Sierra Leone, Peru, Burundi, Afghanistan, Timor-Leste and Argentina) as they pertain to the reform of security institutions in transitional governments. Researched the impact of the Patten Report on police reform in Northern Ireland, as an alternative to a truth commission.
Project People Foundation, New York, New York
February 2007 – August 2007
Consultant hired to oversee the organizing of the fundraising concert series: Celebrating Life both in Delray Beach, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia. The concerts are dedicated to raising money for Project People Foundation (PPF) to expand its capacity to support skill development, employment and computer literacy programs in South Africa townships and expand community service and volunteer projects for youths and adult in the United States.
Barbara J. Nelson, Esq., Fairfield, Connecticut
September 2001- February 2003, October 2006 – February 2007
Worked alongside a sole practitioner in the running of the firm. Drafted contracts of sale and wills for respective clients. Acted as a liaison between clients and the sole practitioner. Organized all client files and maintained client database. Wrote motions for probate and foreclosure cases.
Human Rights First, New York, New York
September 2004-December 2004
Legal researcher in the International Justice Program. Drafted and edited published paper on the Code of Conduct of Counsel before the International Criminal Court presented at a panel discussion with the International Criminal Bar and Coalition for the International Criminal Court in New York and the Hague. Researched the role of the Iraqi Special Tribunal within the context of international law tribunals for senior counsel.
Alzheimer’s Association, Norwalk, Connecticut
June 2006- September 2004
Program Director for Fairfield County’s local office. Organized the local chapters annual Memory Walk, the national fundraiser for the association. Reached out to local community groups, local businesses and local government to achieve the most successful walk to date. Supervised over forty volunteers prior to and on the day of the event to ensure the effectiveness of the running of the event.
Committee on the Administration of Justice, Belfast, Northern Ireland
September 2003 – April 2004
Post-graduate fellowship at an international non-governmental organization committed to the implementation of human rights in Northern Ireland. Worked with the Legal Officer on casework including researching relevant case law. Acted as a representative of the organization in observing high profile cases in the Belfast High Court. Responsible for taking over old cases involving victims of the conflict and their family members. Interviewed victims and family members. Assessed their needs and advocated on their behalf to respective authorities. Wrote articles for the monthly newsletter.
Midtown Assistance Center, Atlanta, Georgia
August 1999- August 2000
Program Coordinator for a non-profit, inter-faith organization whose mission is to provide emergency assistance including providing rental, utility and food assistance to the working poor of downtown and midtown Atlanta to prevent homelessness and hunger during periods of crisis. Responsible for daily intake of all clients including interviewing them to assess their needs. Trained and supervised thirty volunteers. Assisted in grant writing to secure funding for the
Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays & Handler, LLP. New York, New York
June 1997- June 1998
Legal Assistant on the Pfizer Heart Valve Litigation Team. Worked on a team consisting of
attorneys and legal assistants on the document production for an overseas trial. Assisted in development of a database to store documents from a large class action settlement. Responsible for helping attorneys and senior paralegals prepare all required documents during the discovery process for respective trials. Cite checked briefs for attorneys
Alumni Association, National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway, New York, New York
Volunteered as a New Member to assist US chairperson in the running of the Inaugural Gala. Fundraiser for alumni both American and Irish to donate money to the university. Responsible for recruiting fellow alumni to become involved and join the New Members Group.
Irish American Unity Conference, Washington D.C.
May 2004-October 2004
Aided the Committee Chair in planning of the Irish American Unity Conference (IAUC) annual convention held in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Initiated contact with local community groups, politicians, human rights organizations, and academics to encourage participation in the conference that focused on the local community groups efforts to promote peace, social justice and economic stability post-implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. Organized the venue and speakers for the conference.
International Women’s Human Rights Clinic, Flushing, New York
August 2002 – May 2003
Researched and wrote memorandum on issues relating to conspiracy and expert testimony for plaintiff’s oral argument in United District Court, District of Columbia on the motion for summary judgment in the international human rights case Doe v. Haddam. Collaborated with colleagues on examining potential justices’ experience on gender perspective for the International Criminal Court Elections on behalf of the Women’s Caucus for Gender Justice.
Pat Finucane Centre, Derry, Northern Ireland
Reviewed all files on cases dealing with civilian death by lethal force by the British Security Forces. Worked with family liaison caseworker to identify gaps in those cases. Interviewed victims’ families members who were killed by security forces and the British army during the conflict. Assisted them in their individual cases against the State for violations of the European Convention on Human Rights. Wrote correspondence to the Director of Public Prosecutions, on behalf of families’ vis-à-vis Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Atlanta, Georgia
July 1999- July 2000
Jesuit Volunteer Corps is a year long commitment to a Christian program dedicated to working and living among the poor and marginalized by living simply and in community with other Jesuit Volunteers examining causes of social justice. As a Jesuit Volunteer, lived out the four values throughout year of simplicity, spirituality, community and social justice while living on small stipend. Attended and participated in spiritual retreats with other members of the JVC South. Spoke at local churches and community groups in Atlanta on behalf of the JVC to inform the community about the program.
Haitian Health Foundation, Jeremie, Haiti
Haitian Health Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to improve the health and well being of the poor, sick, and the infirm of the greater Jeremie area with a focus on women and children. Volunteered as part of a medical mission. Worked with local health care agents, doctors, dentists and nurses to provide care to the local population through the clinics set up in rural villages. Visited orphanages in Jeremie and assisted in feeding of babies.
PAPERS AND PUBLICATIONS
L.L.M. Thesis Extraterritorial Jurisdiction and Human Rights Treaties, National University
Ireland, Irish Centre for Human Rights, (August 2006).
Northern Ireland: Should there be a Truth Commission? (April 2006).
From Castlereagh to Guantanamo Bay: Emergency Legislation in Northern Ireland and the United
States, (April 2006).
Extraterritorial Jurisdiction and the European Court of Human Rights: A Comprehensive Analysis
Ensuring Ethical Representation: Comments on Draft Code of Professional Conduct for Counsel before the International Criminal Court. Human Rights First, (November 2004).
Update on Neil Latimer, Committee on the Administration of Justice, Just News, (February 2004).
The Continuing Story of Inquests and Article 2 of the European Convention, Committee on the Administration of Justice, Just News, (October 2003).
New Member Group, Alumni Association NUI Galway 2007- present.
Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, 2001-present.
The Brehon Law Society, 2Number Hidden.
Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority, New Member Educator, 1Number Hidden.
Lived in Belfast, Derry, Galway and London. Studied in Belfast, Dublin, Galway and London.
Traveled to Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, England, France, Germany, Grand Cayman
Islands, Greece, Haiti, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, Scotland, Spain
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