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  • Team

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Sonia Poulin - CEO

Sonia joined JES in October 2017 and brings more than two decades of leadership experience leading increasingly complex operations within the legal sector.

She has enjoyed a successful career in the areas of law reform, legal information & research, legal education and technology. She held a number of progressively responsible positions in private law firms, academia and government in five different provinces and in both legal traditions. Prior to joining JES, Sonia was on the senior leadership team of Resolution and Court Administration Services of Alberta Justice and Solicitor General where she was responsible for the vision, leadership, direction and management of legal information, research and education services to the judiciary, prosecutors, practicing bar and the public in Alberta. Committed to access to justice and human rights, both in Canada and internationally, Sonia has contributed to numerous boards and committees in various capacities at regional, national and international levels. As a self-starter, she co-founded a public legal information and education organization, and has developed and led various international development projects and initiatives for the justice sector, most recently in Eastern Europe and Africa.

A multi-lingual, Sonia has a BA in Linguistics and French Studies (second language teaching concentration) (Concordia), a Master of Information Studies degree (McGill), a Master of Business Administration (Strathclyde) and is currently completing a Law degree (London).


Philip Jakob- International Program Director

As International Program Director, Philip leads the JES International Program team, overseeing the planning, development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of JES’ international projects. Prior to leading the entire international team, Philip managed the Guatemala Institutional Justice Strengthening (GIJS) Project in Guatemala. Before working with JES, Philip managed government modernization projects in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and Costa Rica. He has also led several program evaluations. Philip is an economist with over 15 years of experience in the implementation and evaluation of innovative projects across sectors. He holds two post-graduate degrees, one in International Development Economics from the University of San Francisco and the other in International Program Management with a particular focus on Latin America from Capilano University. He fluently speaks English, Spanish, and German.


Gabriela Ayala- Translator

Gabriela Ayala is the Interpreter and Translator for JES International Project. She has a BA in Linguistic Sciences with a specialization in Translation and Interpretation and has worked for several international organizations over the years. She has years of experience in translating complex legal and technological documents. Gabriela is fluent in English, Spanish, has a working proficiency in Portuguese and is currently learning Russian!


Marilú Pérez - Administrative and Finance Assistant

Marilú is the Administrative and Finance Assistant who provides finance and operations assistance and supports the Business Manager with general office administration. She is also responsible for logistical planning of events and trips by the Guatemala office staff. Marilú studied Business Administration and is currently enrolled in a Master Program in Human Resources.


Northern Triangle and Panama Team

Arturo Matute - Project Director, Northern Triangle and Panama

Arturo Matute oversees JES’s Northern Triangle and Panama projects. He has 14 years of experience managing international development projects in support of justice and security institutions in Central America. He has worked for the United Nations Development Programme, the Research Triangle Institute the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) among other institutions. He was also Guatemala Analyst for the International Crisis Group and Director of the Master’s program on development studies at the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala where he has taught since 2004. He holds an MA in Development and Anthropology from the London School of Economics and a post-graduate diploma in research of local economic development from FLACSO - Costa Rica.


Erick Toledo - Senior Project Officer, Northern Triangle Project

Erick joined JES in 2010 as Project Officer for Special Methods of Investigation. He is currently Senior Project Officer for JES' Strengthening Criminal Investigations and Evidence Sharing in the Northern Triangle project, implementing training programs for senior officials and technical-operational public servants at the national and international levels. He has coordinated and developed several international seminars and helped create protocols for inter-institutional action and operational units specializing in regional networks for information sharing. Erick previously worked for several years as homicide investigator and investigation coordinator at the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Guatemala implementing special methods of investigation in different operating units of that institution as well as with the police forces of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Panama.


Carlos Alberto Moran Agustín - Panama Country Representative & Project Coordinator

Carlos is the Panama Country Representative & Project Coordinator for JES' Strengthening Anti-Crime Capacity in Panama in the Context of the Transition to the Adversarial Legal System (SPA). Previous to joining JES, Carlos worked for 10 years for the Criminal Investigations Bureau in the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Guatemala. His experience in the justice sector has given Carlos has a keen understanding of the problems affecting the region, making him well equipped to work with our partner institutions in Panama.


Honduras Team

Gloria Avilés - Project Director, Justice for Victims of Sexual and Gender Based Violence

Gloria Avilés is a political scientist from Stockholm University who specializes in gender issues and development, and women´s rights. She has worked as bilateral associate expert at Women´s National Ministry as well as independent consultant for the United Nations (UN Women, UNICEF), regional bodies such as The Central American Integration System's (SICA) governmental institutions, as well as national and international NGOs such as Oxfam Quebec, CARE, Plan International, ActionAid, and Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT). Ms. Avilés has developed public and institutional policies and strategies, training materials (tool boxes, manuals, guides, posters, and pamphlets), and facilitated specialized training (certificate courses, webinars, and workshops). She participated in the establishment of the Gender Unit within the Honduras Judiciary, and coordinated the Inter-institutional Commission on Femicide and trained police, prosecutors, judges and key actors of civil society.


Alex Oseguera - Project Officer, Honduras

Alex is a systems engineer who has developed software and informatics tools, database administration and statistic data analysis with strengths focused on the areas of human rights, criminalistics and criminology, citizen security, mediation and conciliation of community conflicts, gender, youth and public policy evaluation through quantitative and qualitative methodologies. He has worked in partnership with several international cooperation agencies and government institutions in the implementation of local security programs, violence prevention, peace culture and democracy, supporting the strengthening of capacities of civil society and public officials. He holds a BA in Engineering and an MBA.


Gabriela Bú Villalta - Project Officer, Honduras

Gabriela is the Project Officer for JES' Justice for Victims of Gender-Based Violence in Honduras project. Prior to this project, she worked in capacity building of the justice sector for the Northern Triangle project. Before joining JES, Gabriela worked several years at the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Honduras in the Department of External Liaisons. As a Project Officer there, she coordinated the implementation of capacity strengthening projects funded by international organizations or partner countries. Gabriela has a BA in International Business.


Jesica Tábora - Procurement Officer, Accounting Assistant, Honduras

Jesica is Procurement Officer and Accounting Assistant for the Honduras office. Prior to working with JES, she was the general administrator of the Federation of Private Organizations for the Development of Honduras (FOPRIDEH). She has also collaborated in gender projects at the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) and with the energy sector at the Honduran National Energy Company (ENEE). As the administrative and logistical project officer, she plans, coordinates, programs, organizes, and monitors the administrative, financial, legal, and executive tasks of the office and its human resources management. Jesica holds a BA in Business Administration and an MA in Social and Economic Research Methodologies.


Guatemala Team, Institutional Justice Strengthening Project (CIJS)

Sebastian Robinson - Project Director, GIJS Guatemala

Sebastian Robinson oversees the implementation of the Guatemala Institutional Justice Strengthening (GIJS) Project in Guatemala. Prior to joining JES, he worked with JES as the governance specialist for the Digital Case Management and Performance Evaluation projects in Guatemala. Sebastian has consulted with many public, private, and non-profit organizations, specializing in technological solutions, governance strategies, and budgets for IT solutions. Most of these projects have been in Mexico and Central America.

Sebastien holds a BA in Systems and Industrial Engineering and an MSc in International Planning. He is fluent in Spanish and English.


Kessler Blanco- Project Officer, GIJS Guatemala

Kessler Blanco is the Project Coordinator for JES’ Guatemala Institutional Justice Strengthening (GIJS) Sweden project. Before joining the JES team, she worked for the Superintendence of Tax Administration (SAT) and at the National Institute of Forensic Sciences in Guatemala for more than eight years, occupying a variety of positions among which included: Head of International Cooperation, General Secretary and Secretary of the Board of Directors, which was made up of representatives from institutions from the justice sector and by the presidents of the professional associations of Lawyers and Notaries, Chemists and Pharmacists. Kessler is an Attorney and Notary Public and has a Masters Notary Law.


María Eugenia Carrera - Project Officer, GIJS Guatemala

María Eugenia is a Project Officer for the GIJS project. A Sociologist with international post-graduate studies in human rights, María Eugenia has worked for over 13 years in the non-profit sector and has been an advisor to the Attorney General’s Office of Guatemala in the use of diverse investigation means for cases of grave human rights violations. She has also worked as a consultant to promote human rights in the private sector to improve access to justice for vulnerable populations.


Erick Pineda - Project Officer, GIJS Guatemala

Erick is a Project Officer for the GIJS project in Guatemala. Erick is a lawyer and notary with over 10 years of experience in justice sector institutions, with specialized knowledge of applied forensic sciences for criminal investigations. He also has extensive knowledge of procurement and contracting processes within the public sector in Guatemala.


Felipe Juarez - Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, GIJS Guatemala

Felipe is a Psychologist with diverse experience in projects related to human rights, transitional justice and victim services in Guatemala. Since 2017, he has worked as a Project Officer in JES. Currently, Felipe leads monitoring and evaluation for the GIJS project, supporting the collection and analysis of data, the presentation of results and the generation of information on the performance of project activities.


Pablo Mazariegos - Project Coordinator, GIJS Guatemala

Pablo is a Coordinator for the GIJS project, responsible for the execution of technological platform components within the Attorney General’s office. He is an Industrial Engineer, with an international certification in quality control as a Kaizzen™ Manager. Pablo has over 12 years of work experience with specialized focus in continuous improvement process engineering across sectors, including Guatemala’s National Institute for Forensic Sciences (INACIF), the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI).


Guatemala Team, Building a Technological Platform to Support Victim Services

Charlotte Haynes - Project Director, Technological Platforms, Guatemala

Charlotte is the project director for the Building a Technological Platform to Support Victim Services project in Guatemala. She has been living and working in Guatemala since 2015 as part of her doctoral research on teaching difficult histories. Through her previous work with the organization Instituto Internacional de Aprendizaje para la Reconciliación Social (IIARS), which offers teacher professional development programs, she developed programs for educators and youth in Guatemala on issues related to violence, justice, and human rights. She has also developed educational programs in South Sudan and Equatorial Guinea. Charlotte’s background in program design, monitoring and evaluation, and human rights education are invaluable for the Tech Platform program.

Charlotte received a BA in International Relations from Brown University and holds graduate degrees from Stanford University and Teachers College, Columbia University in Education and International Education Development. She is currently gaining a PhD from Teachers College, Columbia University in Social Studies Education.


Carlos Chex - Project Officer, Technological Platforms, Guatemala

Carlos Chex is Mayan Kaqchikel, from San Juan Comalapa village, Chimaltenango, Guatemala. Prior to his role with JES, he was a legal and social science specialist in Protection to Human Rights Systems for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in Washington DC.

Carlos has participated as Indigenous deputy on several international forums, such as the United Nations (UN) and the Organization of American States (OAE). He has been Counselor in different Indigenous organizations in Guatemala and an independent consultant in international agencies: PNUD and the Independent Evaluation Office of New York; HELVETAS Switzerland; German Development Bank (KFW); the World Intellectual Property Organization (OMPI) in Geneva; and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OACNUDH) in Guatemala.

He also worked as Counselor and Officer of Programs in the Royal Norwegian Consulate in Guatemala (2012-2016). Additionally, he was Counselor of these governmental institutions: Guatemalan Indigenous Development Fund (FODIGUA 2011); Presidential Commission against Discrimination and Racism to Indigenous Peoples (COSIDRA 2016); and, the Ombudsman for Indigenous Women (DEMI 2019).


Azucena Cajas- Project Coordinator, Technological Platforms, Guatemala

Azucena has been a part of the JES team since 2012. In her capacity as an Auxiliary Project Officer, she provided assistance to the Northern Triangle project in the areas of administration, logistics, translation, interpretation, finance, graphic design, and monitoring and reporting. In 2017, she became the Project Coordinator for the Technological Platforms project, incorporating her experience across the organization and providing insight to the rural communications requirements. Azucena has a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing and Advertising, and considerable experience in communications for non-profit and municipal organizations. She is also a lecturer at the Mesoamerican University of Quetzaltenango where she teaches courses in advertising and communications.