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Vivek Maru

VivekMarubio

Chief Executive Officer |

Vivek founded Namati in 2011 to build the movement for legal empowerment around the world.

He cut his teeth on law and empowerment in Sierra Leone.  From 2003 to 2007, Vivek co-founded and co-directed the Sierra Leonean organization Timap for Justice, which has been recognized by the International Crisis GroupTransparency 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.

Namati now works with Timap and other organizations in Sierra Leone to scale up paralegal services there.  While in Sierra Leone Vivek also supervised the human rights clinic at Fourah Bay College.

From 2007 to 2011, he served as senior counsel in the Justice Reform Group of the World Bank. His work focused on rule of law reform and governance, primarily in West Africa and South Asia.

Before moving to Sierra Leone Vivek worked at Human Rights Watch and clerked for Hon. Marsha Berzon on the Ninth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals.

In 1997-1998 he lived in a hut of dung and sticks in a village in Kutch, his native place, working on watershed management and girls’ education with two grassroots development organizations- Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangethan and Sahjeevan.

Vivek graduated from Harvard College, magna cum laude, and Yale Law School.  His publications include Between Law and Society: Paralegals and the Provision of Justice Services in Sierra Leone and Worldwide in the Yale Journal of International Law and Allies Unknown: Legal Empowerment and Social Accountability in the Harvard Journal of Health and Human Rights.

Vivek serves on the international advisory council of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, the advisory board of the evaluation firm ID Insight, and the governing board of the public entrepreneurship organization Res Publica. He was an affiliate expert with the UN Commission on Legal Empowerment , and is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In 2008, Vivek received the Pioneer Award from the North American South Asian Bar Association.

In the Media:

In this interview with Open Society Foundations, Vivek discusses how Namati began and what it’s aiming to do.

In this piece in the Boston Globe, Farah Stockman interviews Vivek and highlights Namati’s efforts to protect community rights over land and natural resources.  

In this video, Vivek speaks about Namati’s work at the Council on Foreign Relations.  He begins at 34:00 with the story of a former client, a street vendor in Freetown who was beaten unconscious by a drunk, off-duty police officer.

In this talk at the World Justice Forum, Vivek describes why he started Namati.  He begins at 42:40 with the story of Nubian community paralegals seeking citizenship rights in Kenya.

Follow Vivek on Twitter here.

Selected Publications:

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