Dialogue Leader: Stephanie Ortoleva
Stephanie Ortoleva is the Senior Human Rights, Disability Rights and Women’s Rights Attorney Advisor with the leading international human rights law firm BlueLaw International. Until recently, Stephanie served as the Disability Coordinator at the U.S. Department of State and as the Executive Director of the Department of State’s and USAID’s Advisory Committee on Persons with Disabilities and as a Department expert on global women’s issues, focusing on women’s role in peace-building and post-conflict resolution and gender equality in employment and education. She provides exceptional subject matter expertise since she is not only a woman with a disability herself who is a renowned advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities and women, but also has extensive experience in multilateral diplomacy, including the United Nations system. She participated in all of the negotiations of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, serving on the United States governmental delegation. Ms. Ortoleva is an Adjunct Professor at American University and is an Associate of the American University Center for Global Peace. Additionally, she has a distinguished career as an attorney in civil rights litigation and policy development in government agencies and public interest organizations in the United States. Her work in enforcing laws prohibiting discrimination on the bases of disability, sex, age, race or national origin, sexual orientation and marital status has focused on employment, housing, public accommodations, education, and transportation.