Justice Sector Training, Research, and Coordination Plus Program (JUSTRAC+)
The Justice Sector Training, Research, and Coordination Plus Program (JUSTRAC+) is implemented by the Rule of Law Collaborative at the University of South Carolina (ROLC) and the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI), with funding through a cooperative agreement with the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, U.S. Department of State. JUSTRAC+ is a key resource for rule of law practitioners engaged in justice sector programming. Under JUSTRAC+, ROLC and ABA ROLI will continue to offer a variety of activities and resources for a practitioner audience.
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The Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
The Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) works to keep Americans safe at home by countering international crime, illegal drugs, and instability abroad. INL helps countries deliver justice by strengthening their police, courts, and corrections systems. These efforts reduce the crime and illegal drugs reaching U.S. shores.
INL assists foreign governments to build effective justice sector institutions that counter transnational crime—everything from money laundering, cybercrime, and intellectual property theft to trafficking in goods, people, drugs, and wildlife. Through training, technical assistance, and mentoring, INL strengthens the criminal justice sector capacities of our partners and allies to manage transnational threats more effectively before they reach U.S. borders or impact U.S. interests. INL’s work promotes U.S. leadership by advancing a rules- and norms-based international order grounded in rule of law. INL leads U.S. government efforts to develop new, and implement existing, international standards on drug supply and drug demand reduction and against corruption and organized crime. INL draws from the widest range of U.S. expertise in implementation of criminal justice capacity-building programs.
Rule of Law Collaborative
Founded in 2010, the Rule of Law Collaborative (ROLC) at the University of South Carolina is committed to the development of rule of law as a discipline, the advancement of theoretical applications in the field, and the refinement of policies relating to rule of law development. In pursuit of those goals, ROLC regularly hosts academic conferences and symposia on current topics in rule of law; training courses designed to increase the knowledge and skills of rule of law practitioners in government, academia, the NGO community, and the private sector; talks by visiting experts; and other events. ROLC brings together over 60 faculty associates from the University of South Carolina and beyond, in a variety of disciplines, reflecting ROLC’s commitment to a broad, interdisciplinary understanding of rule of law. ROLC also provides support for research in rule of law and serves to bring insights in current topics in rule of law to the global community.
Joel H. Samuels
Joel H. Samuels is Professor of Law and Executive Director of the Rule of Law Collaborative (ROLC) at the University of South Carolina. In January 2021, he was appointed Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and prior to that, Interim Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies. His scholarship explores the challenges and opportunities presented by changing notions of sovereignty, and his written work addresses international boundary disputes, maritime piracy and cross-border litigation. He is a lead co-author of one of the premier casebooks on international law, Transnational Law (West Academic Press). He also lectures extensively on litigation matters involving foreign parties involved in cases in U.S. courts.
As Executive Director of ROLC, he oversees programming focused on rule of law development across the globe. In addition, he regularly lectures to U.S. Government officials from the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Department of Justice and the Department of Defense on rule of law development abroad.
He has also worked at the World Bank in both Washington (in the Office of the Vice President for Africa) and in Zimbabwe (at the African Capacity Building Foundation) focusing on capacity building in economic policy analysis and development management. During that time, he was a member of the World Bank team that drafted the Initiative for Capacity Building in Africa, a cornerstone document in the World Bank’s initial efforts in that arena. Before joining the World Bank, he worked extensively in Russia in the early 1990s on efforts to combat organized crime, and he was an observer of the Russian Constitutional Assembly in 1993. In addition, he has been a contributor to several Russian newspapers and magazines and a variety of African publications. During his time in private law practice at Covington & Burling, he was involved in the ad hoc arbitration of the Eritrea-Ethiopia boundary dispute and led the team that drafted a new Civil Service Code for Eritrea.
Honored by the University of South Carolina School of Law student body in 2007 and 2016 as the Outstanding Faculty Member for teaching excellence, he received his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School, where he was a Clarence Darrow Scholar. While at Michigan, he also earned a master’s degree in Russian and East European Studies. He received his A.B., magna cum laude, in politics from Princeton University. At Princeton, he also received certificates in Russian Studies and European Cultural Studies and was awarded the Asher Hinds Prize in European Cultural Studies, the Montgomery Raiser Prize in Russian Studies, and the Caroline Picard Prize in Politics.
Deputy Executive Director
Steven Austermiller is the Deputy Executive Director for the Rule of Law Collaborative (ROLC), where he joined in June 2016. He has worked on rule of law programs throughout the world, advising officials in six countries on legal and judicial reform and managing various international development programs. He has served as trainer and expert advisor on programs involving commercial law, human rights, ethics, international law, institutional capacity building, professional skills, legal education, and other matters. He has trained government officials, civil society leaders, judges, lawyers, and academics. He published the first legal textbook on Alternative Dispute Resolution in Cambodia and later in Georgia and the first annotated criminal procedure code book in Cambodia. He has also published in law journals such as the Yale Journal of Human Rights and Development Law and the Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law.
Before joining ROLC, he was Director for Legal Education and Deputy Chief of Party on the USAID-PROLoG Program (Promoting the Rule of Law in Georgia). There, he helped reform Georgian legal education by establishing nine legal clinics (including the first mediation clinic), promoting interactive teaching methods, introducing legal competitions, reforming curriculum standards and establishing academic journals, as well as founding the National Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution and the National Center for Commercial Law. He also helped lead important judicial and legal reform efforts.
Before PROLoG, he served in a similar capacity on the USAID-PRAJ Program in Cambodia (Promoting Rights and Justice) as country representative for the American Bar Association. There, he focused on modernizing the judiciary and the legal education system. He established a number of firsts: the first model courtroom, the first academic law journal, the first legal clinic, the first legal ethics and ADR courses, and the first national law student competitions (mock trial and client counseling). He also helped the Royal Academy for Judicial Professions establish a continuing legal education program.
Before working in Cambodia, he managed various programs in other countries, including Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, and Oman. He helped establish a court-annexed mediation program in Bosnia. He trained lawyers and judges and helped establish legal clinics in several countries. He also ran a post-war inter-ethnic reconciliation program, established a FOIA center and trained professionals, including Iranian lawyers, on key advocacy skills.
Prior to his sixteen years of work in the field, he practiced commercial litigation for eight years at Pedersen & Houpt in Chicago, becoming a partner in 2000. He has a J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law, where he served as Coordinating Note & Comment Editor for the Journal of International Law and Business. He also has a B.A. in Political Science from Northwestern University. He is currently Vice-Chair of the International Client Counseling Competition.
Atif Choudhury is Program Officer with the Rule of Law Collaborative (ROLC), which he joined in February 2021. Before joining ROLC, he was a Senior Program Associate with the Carter Center’s China Program, where he managed programming and conducted research on U.S.-China relations and Africa-U.S.-China issues.
He has worked on projects involving rule of law development, international elections, post-conflict transitional justice, and maritime law. Most recently, he independently developed two proposals on Libya de-confliction and CVE in the Sahel, and he was invited to present his working paper on Gulf of Guinea piracy at a televised forum organized by CGTN Think Tank, as well as the 2020 Development Studies Association Ireland conference. In law school, he drafted an elections law briefing in Cambodia; a report on the Bangladeshi judiciary; and transitional justice reports in Sudan, South Sudan and Ethiopia. As a Tetratech DPK Global Development Fellow, he worked with the Timorese Ministry of Justice to draft a report on their community legal education initiatives, and worked with the Judicial Services Monitoring Programme to help draft the first state-of-legal aid report in Timor-Leste.
He is a blogger and writer whose works have been featured in The Diplomat, The Huffington Post, the Dhaka Tribune, The U.S.-China Perception Monitor, William and Mary Law School’s the Comparative Jurist, the Vanderbilt Political Review, and Advocates for International Development Student Blog. He holds an LL.M. in Public International Law from Queen Mary University of London, a J.D. from William and Mary Law School, and a B.A. in Political Science and Medicine, Health & Society from Vanderbilt University.
Antonia Demons joined the Rule of Law Collaborative (ROLC) as Administrative Assistant in April 2018. She comes to ROLC from the University Police Department at Texas A&M University-Central Texas, where she also served as Administrative Assistant.
In that role, she served as the Records Custodian for the Annual Campus Security Report to comply with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Police and Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act). She obtained extensive knowledge of the Clery Act and composed the annual report and statistical information with input from various sources such as local law enforcement agencies, Division of Student Affairs, University Risk Management, and other campus officials.
In addition to her work in Texas, she brings five years of experience from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where she was Administrative Coordinator and served as project manager for highly visible University publications, such as the University’s Operating and Capital Budget Requests and Authorized Budget, UA in Review, and Board of Regents materials. She also managed the operational budget for both the University of Alaska Statewide Budget office, as well as the University of Alaska Statewide Institutional Research Department. Additionally, she served as webmaster and independently designed, and maintained the departmental websites.
She holds a B.A. in Justice from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Kiel Downey is Research Director for the Rule of Law Collaborative (ROLC), where he joined in January 2015. He has a decade of experience working on rule of law and human rights issues across the public, non-profit, and higher education sectors. At ROLC, he has overseen the development and implementation of training programs on fundamental concepts in rule of law and justice sector reform for USG interagency, multilateral, and rule of law implementer audiences; faculty-led research projects on selected topics in rule of law; and online research and learning resources for rule of law practitioner audiences. In addition, he manages ROLC’s online presence and supervises ROLC’s graduate and undergraduate student workers.
Previously, he was in the Department of Political Science at the University of South Carolina, where he served as Director of the Master of Arts in International Studies program, Internship Director, and Adjunct Faculty, and where he taught courses on world politics, human rights, and U.S. foreign policy. He was also Senior Research Associate at the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, where he researched and reported on a variety of human rights and rule of law issues, including conditions for China’s religious communities, conditions for its workers, its criminal justice system, and rule of law in its commercial sector. In that capacity, he also provided related background memoranda and in-person briefings to Congressional and State Department staff. He has also worked as a Program Officer for the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, where he administered grants for projects that focused on rule of law, democracy, and human rights issues in a variety of countries and regions.
He is professionally proficient in Mandarin Chinese and conversant in Cantonese and Spanish, and he has translated academic and commercial materials from Chinese to English. He holds an M.A. from the Fletcher School, Tufts University, and a B.A. in International Relations and Linguistics from Stanford University.
Technical Director and JUSTRAC+ Team Lead
Greg Gisvold is Technical Director for the Rule of Law Collaborative (ROLC), where he joined in January 2018. He is a senior rule of law and security sector reform expert with two decades of experience in complex governance challenges, focusing on judicial and law enforcement, government service delivery, accountability mechanisms, and public engagement with policy. He has an extensive track record leading security and justice programs for major international development organizations and niche implementers, serving regularly as Chief of Party, Team Leader, and Country Director.
He has worked closely with USAID and the Department of State to develop new technical leadership tools. He led a team for the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) to create first-ever technical guidance and programming support systems for INL staff overseeing justice, police, and anticorruption reform initiatives. For USAID’s Security Sector Reform program, he led an effort to ‘widen the aperture’ on rule of law and security sector reform efforts related to piracy. Including other relevant disciplines, he was the principal architect and author of the Maritime Security Sector Reform Guide.
He was previously an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Minnesota, a Human Rights Officer for the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia, and a law clerk to the Honorable Sandra Gardebring of the Minnesota Supreme Court. He has published a number of articles and two books on post-conflict human rights, legal reform, and reconstructing justice institutions. He received a J.D. from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. from Amherst College.
Deputy Executive Director
Karen Hall is Deputy Executive Director with the Rule of Law Collaborative (ROLC). Previously she was an Associate Professor and Director of the LL.M. program in Democratic Governance and Rule of Law at the Ohio Northern University Pettit College of Law. Prior to joining ONU, She served for ten years with the U.S. Department of State in its Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. While there, she directed the development and management of State Department assistance to the criminal justice system in Afghanistan as part of the overall U.S. foreign assistance initiative. She has also developed programs dealing with institutional reform, access to justice, protection of women’s rights, and legal education. She spent 2006-2008 living at the Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan directly managing the State Department’s criminal justice and corrections programs. In recognition of her work, Professor Hall has earned multiple Meritorious and Superior Honor Awards from the State Department.
Her teaching interests include International Rule of Law Reform, International Law, Comparative Criminal Law, Rule of Law Program Design and Management, Student Externship Courses and Introduction to the American Legal System. Her current research involves examining the consequences of the appropriations and administrative processes of the U.S. government in relation to rule of law reform worldwide.
She received her J.D. from Harvard Law School, her M.A. in Security Studies from Georgetown School of Foreign Service, and her B.A. in Russian from Brigham Young University, where she graduated magna cum laude.
Abby Natividad is Program Officer with the Rule of Law Collaborative (ROLC), which she joined in November 2020. Before joining ROLC, she was a Research Specialist for Justice + Security in Transitions, where she focused on drug flows, forced migration, organized crime, resource-driven conflict, and security sector reform. She helped develop atrocity prevention training materials for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and has worked with the World Bank on issues involving alternative dispute resolution. She also has experience as an immigration and civil litigation attorney and clerked for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit of Virginia.
In law school, she was a Graduate Research Fellow for the Center for Comparative Legal Studies and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding (CLSPCP). Her work on post-conflict legislation and constitution drafting was used by groups such as the Ukrainian Constitutional Commission and the U.S. Agency for International Development. Through the CLSPCP, she resided in Pristina, Kosovo, where she assisted the Democracy for Development Institute. She was also a Research Assistant for the U.S. Institute of Peace, where she co-authored a memorandum on freedom of information as an anticorruption tool for the International Network to Promote the Rule of Law.
She received a J.D. from William & Mary Law School and a B.S. and B.A. from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where she graduated summa cum laude.
Tsuneko Terry is Finance Director at the Rule of Law Collaborative (ROLC), which she joined in July 2018. Prior to joining ROLC, she served as Business Manager at the Institute for Families in Society, within the University of South Carolina College of Social Work, for almost six years. She was responsible for proposal submissions for funding at the state and federal levels, as well as monitoring these accounts once funded. She has over 23 years of experience in state service, including 17 years at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Department of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science. She is an active member of the Administrative Employees Club, serving as a club officer for several years and currently club President, 2018-2019.
She holds a B.S. in Business Administration, Accounting, from the University of South Carolina.
Carol Young is Administrative Coordinator at the Rule of Law Collaborative (ROLC), which she joined in August 2016.
She came to ROLC from the University of South Carolina School of Law, where she served as a Faculty Scholarship Assistant. Her work included researching, editing and formatting casebooks and law review articles, and managing law review article submissions for faculty.
She brings nine years of experience serving the University of South Carolina, including five years at the Children’s Law Center where she managed over 70 training programs annually for child-serving professionals, including attorneys, judges, law enforcement and educators. She also edited Children’s Law Center publications and managed the digital content of the website, including online training.
She majored in Hospitality Management at Columbus State College, Columbus, Ohio. Her international experiences center around women’s leadership development. She has volunteered in Honduras, El Salvador, Zambia, Tanzania and DR Congo.
American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative
For 30 years and in more than 100 countries, the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) has advanced justice, economic opportunity and human dignity through the rule of law. Founded in 1989 as the Central and Eastern European Law Initiative (CEELI), when the American Bar Association (ABA) sent thousands of pro-bono American attorneys to assist transitioning democracies as they developed legal, political, and legislative institutions. ABA ROLI is an initiative of the ABA, the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.
Jeanette Tocol is ABA ROLI’s Senior M&E Officer, and is currently the Program Director for JusTRAC+ Project 2. She has more than 16 years of experience in providing technical assistance for the judicial and human rights sector in program monitoring and evaluation, justice institutions performance monitoring and management, court business process reengineering, institutional capacity assessment, and reform program formulation. She has conducted numerous justice sector oriented studies including institutional assessments for police/ law enforcement, court systems (higher court, lower courts and Shari’a courts), prosecutors, human rights institutions, and regional government institutions as a consultant for various donors including the Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank, UNDP, UNHABITAT, USAID, CIDA, and the European Commission prior to working in ABA ROLI. As ABA ROLI’s lead evaluator, she currently oversees and undertakes most of ABA ROLI’s internal evaluations with funding from USAID and the State Department. Some of Ms. Tocol’s most recent works focus on identifying outcomes and impacts, what works and does not work, and understanding contexts, conditions, and needs for rule of law programming, covering programs in Egypt, Bahrain, Morocco, Central African Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Mexico, and the Western Balkan Region (covering 6-7 countries therein).
Aside from program reviews and evaluations, Ms. Tocol specialized in business process reengineering and office system re-design using participatory approaches. Some of her work in providing process technical review and design for justice sector institutions include assistance to UNDP in drafting their National Execution Manual (then after was called National Implementation Manual), assistance to the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines for their human rights action centers as well as their human rights education and research systems, the Department of Justice of the Philippines in designing their performance management systems for prosecutors offices, assistance to pilot lower courts in the Philippines on court management information systems and court legal fees systems, and assistance for pilot courts in the Central African Republic on court case and evidence management, among others.
Ms. Tocol has overseen and coordinated multi-disciplinary teams including, among others, research, monitoring and evaluation teams for the USAID –ABA ROLI JUSTICE Program in the Philippines; justice and human rights experts teams for the European Commission access to justice program that led to training more than 5,000 local stakeholders including prosecutors, judges, ADR providers, social workers, and local government officials on a right-oriented approach to justice in 5 of the poorest provinces in the Philippines; institutional capacity building, and Shari’ a law experts for a UNDP Shari ’a Justice reform program; and information, technology, and management information systems teams, business process assessment experts, along with a court/legal team in programs for court procedural changes and institutional capacity building funded by ADB, UNDP and World Bank. Ms. Tocol also served lead secretariat for the first working group discussion for an ASEAN human rights mechanism in 2002.
For over 20 years, Mary Greer, Senior Criminal Law Advisor, has provided substantive program direction, support and expertise to the ABA Rule of Law Initiative’s (ABA ROLI’s) criminal justice programs around the world.
She assists with the design and implementation of technical assistance programs for prosecutors, judges, defense advocates, law enforcement officials and representatives of government ministries, addressing such global issues as corruption, human trafficking, sexual and gender based violence, and financial and organized crimes, as well as procedural novelties such as plea bargaining and alternative sentencing. She conducts research in comparative models and best practices in domestic and international criminal law, including the design and implementation a number of criminal justice assessments to discern compliance with international standards and due process mandates, including ABA ROLI’s Prosecutorial Reform Index (assessor in Serbia and Moldova) and the Detention Procedures Assessment Tool (assessor in Armenia, Serbia); assisted in the design of the Legal Profession Reform Index (LPRI) (assessor in Sri Lanka); conducted an assessment addressing the capacity needs of the staff of the African Union Commission; conducted a Rule of Law Assessment in Timor-Leste (led a six member assessment team); was co-assessor for a Judicial Baseline Assessment in Libya(a four member assessment team); conducted an “Integrity in Criminal Justice” Assessment in Morocco (led a 5 member assessment team); and conducted an Institutional Needs Assessment for the Prosecutor General of Egypt.
Greer also designs and implements curriculum and trainings, including: adult communication/learning in Egypt, Ecuador; trial advocacy skills as a National Institute of Trial Advocacy “NITA” certified trainer in Bosnia, Pakistan, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, and Egypt; effective investigative techniques and anti-money laundering in Egypt; restorative justice and alternatives in criminal justice processes in Bahrain; and has designed training manuals/resources for a variety of justice actors in topics including homicide, crime scene investigation, domestic violence, and professional ethics. Additionally, Greer has given presentations on criminal justice/rule of law issues at the request of the International Institute of Justice, the International Association of Prosecutors, the Council of Europe, the International Bar Association, the OECD, the UNODC, the United States Foreign Service Institute, the FBI Academy, the United States Departments of Justice/State and numerous law schools.
She was an Adjunct Professor at the University of Virginia School of Law/Human Rights Clinic from 2003-2006, supervising students researching issues on international criminal justice for such clients as Human Rights Watch, the Sierra Leone Special Court, and the War Crimes Chamber for Bosnia-Herzegovina. She first served as ABA ROLI’s criminal law liaison in Bosnia from 1998–2000. She was then posted at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) with the Coalition for International Justice before rejoining the ABA ROLI in March 2002. Greer practiced law for 15 years at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri, including five years as public defender and eight years as the elected prosecutor, before being posted in Sarajevo. Greer has a B.A. in political science from Benedictine College in Atchison, KS, and a J.D. from St. Louis University.
David Dettman is the Outreach and Communications Director for the American Bar Association (ABA) Global Programs, comprised of the Rule of Law Initiative and Center for Human Rights. He brings more than twenty years of communications, political campaign and Democracy, Human Rights and Governance experience in the U.S. and abroad. Prior to joining the ABA, Dettman was the director of communications and external relations for Democracy International (DI) based in Washington, D.C., after having been chief of party for DI’s Democratic Participation and Reform in Bangladesh, a five-year political parties program funded jointly by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development.
Dettman has managed and staffed U.S. Democratic Party presidential, congressional and local campaigns working in field organizing, communications and campaign management. In the 1990s, he managed two congressional campaigns and worked on former President Bill Clinton’s re-election campaign in 1996. In 1997, he joined the non-partisan political and public affairs technology firm Aristotle International, Inc. in Washington, D.C., where he consulted on dozens of campaigns for U.S. presidents, the House of Representatives and the Senate. Dettman also worked with member offices in the U.S. Congress, political action committees, and associations including the 2000-02 NAACP Voter Empowerment Project.
From 2003-07, Dettman worked for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, as resident country director in Ukraine (2003-06) and on the Middle East and North Africa team as the regional political advisor for the Levant (2006-07) with responsibilities for political party assistance in Egypt, West-Bank/Gaza, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan based in Jerusalem. While in Ukraine, he assisted projects in Moldova, Georgia, Belarus, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and West Bank/Gaza. In 2004, The New Yorker magazine and George Packer’s book “The Assassin’s Gate: America in Iraq” featured Dettman’s work in Iraq. In 2005, the government of Ukraine awarded Dettman a Heroic Order medal for his work supporting the development of democracy there. In 2007, his work in the months leading up to the Ukrainian Orange Revolution was chronicled in the book “The New Cold War,” by Mark MacKinnon.
In 2008, Dettman joined Progressive Majority as Ohio state director, where he recruited, trained and helped elect progressive Democrats. He was a part of the Ohio Democratic Party/Obama for America coordinated campaign that helped power-shift the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio State Board of Education. In 2010, Dettman managed a Democratic campaign for the U.S. Senate in Ohio, which was chronicled in the book “Cupcakes and Courage,” by Jennifer Brunner. After the campaign, he was a political appointee in state government as the special assistant to the secretary of state/policy director where he helped manage projects including the implementation of bi-lingual ballots, increased voter education and advocacy for reforms of the U.S. banking and financial system. A native of Cleveland, Dettman grew up in a union household (IUPAT) where he learned that the power of organizing can overcome even the most entrenched obstacles. As a fan of Cleveland sports teams, he learned the importance of allowing hope to triumph over experience.