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Vivek H. Maru

Vivek H. Maru is founder and CEO of Namati, an NGO that is focused on grassroots legal advocacy in communities around the world. Vivek founded Namati in 2011, and with its partners has built cadres of grassroots legal advocates – also known as “community paralegals”– in ten countries. The advocates have worked with more than 40,000 people to protect community lands, enforce environmental laws, and secure basic rights to healthcare and citizenship. In 2003, Vivek co-founded, and until 2007, co-directed, the Sierra Leonean organization Timap for Justice, which has been recognized by the International Crisis Group, Transparency International, and President Jimmy Carter as a pioneering model for delivering justice services in the context of a weak state and a plural legal system. From 2007 to 2011, Vivek served as senior counsel in the Justice Reform Group of the World Bank, where his work was focused on rule of law reform and governance, primarily in West Africa and South Asia. Vivek serves on the board of trustees of Avaaz, the international advisory council of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, the advisory board of the evaluation firm ID Insight, and the board of the International Senior Lawyers Project. He was an affiliate expert with the UN Commission on Legal Empowerment, and is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Vivek graduated from Harvard College, magna cum laude, and Yale Law School. He writes regularly in academic journals and in the press. He also directs the Legal Empowerment Leadership Course at Central European University.