Senior Managing Legal Officer
Open Society Justice Initiative
Maria manages the Legal Remedies for Torture project for the Open Society Foundations’ Justice Initiative. She focuses on litigation and advocacy on improving protection from torture in the countries of Central Asia as well as in Pakistan and Mexico. Previously, she was a researcher for Human Rights Watch, working on civil and political rights in Turkmenistan and the rights of migrant workers in Russia and Kazakhstan. She is the founder and former president of the Youth Human Rights Group, a prominent Kyrgyz NGO specializing in human rights monitoring and education. In 2005, she served as a member of Kyrgyzstan’s Constitutional Council, the body convened to work on constitutional amendments. In 2009, Maria was honored as one of the Young Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum.