International Development Law Organization

Our People

IDLO is comprised of international legal and development professionals. We combine dedication with expertise in a variety of legal systems to promote access to justice and improve the lives of the most vulnerable.

International Advisory Council

IDLO’s International Advisory Council, established in 2006, brings together a select group of distinguished leaders and experts from around the world who share in our vision of creating a culture of justice. The Council plays a key role in providing high level advice and support to the Director-General in her leadership of the organization. 

The International Advisory Council was comprised of the following esteemed individuals:

  • Abdel-Latif Al-Hamad: Chairman and CEO, Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development
  • Abdou Diouf: Former President of the Republic of Senegal
  • Willy Mutunga: Former Chief Justice of Kenya
  • Thomas Pickering: Former United States Ambassador and Under Secretary of State
  • Mary Robinson: Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Albie Sachs: Former Justice, Constitutional Court of South Africa
  • Muhammad Yunus: Nobel Peace Laureate, Chairman of Yunus Centre and Founder of Grameen Bank


We are grateful to William H. Gates Sr.: Co-Chair, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, for his service on the International Advisory Council for many years.


Irene Khan is Director-General of the International Development Law Organization (IDLO). The first woman to hold this office, she was elected by Member Parties on November 17, 2011 and took up her position formally on January 1, 2012.

An international thought leader on human rights, gender and social justice issues, Irene Khan was Secretary General of Amnesty International from 2001 - 2009. Prior to that, she worked for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees for 21 years at headquarters and in various field operations. She was Visiting Professor at the State University of New York Law School (Buffalo) in 2011.

Ms. Khan sits on the boards of several international human rights and development organizations. She is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and prestigious awards, including the City of Sydney Peace Prize in 2006 for her work to end violence against women and girls. Her book, The Unheard Truth: Poverty and Human Rights, has been translated into seven languages.

Born in Bangladesh, Irene Khan studied law at the University of Manchester and Harvard Law School.

Senior Management

  • David Buchholz: General Counsel
  • Erwin van der Borght: Director of Programs
  • Haroun Atallah: Director of Finance and Support Services
  • Ilaria Bottigliero: Director of Research and Learning
  • Miguel Figuerola: Director of Human Resources and Office Support Services
  • Patrizio Civili: ​Permanent Observer to the United Nations
  • Raul Cordenillo: Director, Strategic Communications
  • Ted Hill: Head, Branch Office Netherlands and Senior Legal Adviser (Program Development)