CHRISTINA ABRAHAM, ESQ.
Christina Abraham, Esq. has worked with and advised entities on organizational management and development, grants procurement, government affairs, public relations and international law since 2005. Most recently, Christina has advised humanitarian and human rights law organizations, building their capacities to procure grants and implement important projects in conflict areas. Her work has resulted in the procurement of tens of millions of dollars in project funds for organizations operating in the United States, Europe and the Middle East. In addition, Christina has represented and advocated on behalf of hundreds of people on immigration, employment and civil rights issues.
In 2015, Christina served as acting-Executive Director of Ihsan for Relief and Development, a humanitarian organization operating out of Turkey and providing humanitarian relief programs to areas in need in Syria. In three months, Christina’s work helped Ihsan become the first Syrian organization with “A” grade rated capacity with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Christina also helped form and support the Free Lawyers Association of Kafranbel, a human rights training and documenting group, as well as other media and civil society groups operating in Syria. From 2014 through 2015, Christina advised the Syrian Forum on programs development, grants procurement and governmental affairs.
From November 2011 until March 2014, Christina served as the International Research Fellow at the International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences (ISISC), based in Siracusa, Italy, led by Professor M. Cherif Bassiouni, International Law scholar and Nobel Peace Prize nominee. There, she co-edited the Siracusa Guidelines for International, Regional and National Fact-finding Bodies (co-edited with M. Cherif Bassiouni). She was also the Secretary of the Drafting Committee for the Siracusa Guidelines, and co-authored the article “An Assessment of Fact-finding Mechanisms and the Need for International Guidelines” (co-authored with M. Cherif Bassiouni). At ISISC, Christina assisted in the drafting of the publication Libya: From Repression to Revolution – A Record of Armed Conflict and International Law Violations. Christina also developed other rule of law, international criminal law and human rights programs at ISISC, including a training program for Egyptian judges and prosecutors, and the annual Specialization Course in International Criminal Law for Young Penalists.
Prior to her tenure at ISISC, Christina served as the Chief of Staff of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), where she led the BICI team in compiling, storing and evaluating information and evidence, conducted filed visits to demonstration sites, prisons and hospitals, conducted witness interviews, and drafted and edited sections of the BICI final report.
From 2005 until 2011, Christina served as the Civil Rights Director of the Chicago Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago). There, she led the Chicago chapter’s Civil Rights Department, forming and implementing a vision for the department, supervising the work of the attorneys and externs, and oversaw the progress of several projects within the department. Christina worked with the organization to make it the first Muslim civil rights organization litigating and defending the rights of Muslim Americans in court. She also developed a manual for operations for Civil Rights Departments made available to chapters of CAIR nationwide. Under her capacity as the Civil Rights Director, Christina was also a frequent spokesperson on news and talk shows, and spoke and wrote often on Muslim civil rights issues. Christina now serves as the Vice-President of the Board of Directors for CAIR-Chicago.
Globalization and an interest-based approach to the Responsibility to Protect: The case of Syria, presented at the high-level meeting of experts on “Global Issues and their Impact on the Future of Human Rights and International Criminal Justice” at the International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences, Siracusa, Italy (September 2014).
Siracusa Guidelines for International, Regional and National Fact-finding Bodies, co-editor with M. Cherif Bassiouni (Intersentia 2013).
“An Assessment of Fact-finding Mechanisms and the Need for International Guidelines.” Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, New York University School of Law (2013) (co-written with M. Cherif Bassiouni).
“Identification of Issues in Relation to UN Fact-finding Mechanisms.” Siracusa Guidelines, International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences (2013) (co-written M. Cherif Bassiouni).
“The Threat to Civil Liberties and Its Effect on Muslims in America.” DePaul Journal for Social Justice, Vol. 1 No. 1 (Fall 2007) (co-written with Heena Musabji, Esq.).
“The Formation of Assyrian Nationalism and Its Implications.” MA Thesis paper University of Chicago, 2004.
Fact-finding Best Practices. July 12, 2013. Leiden University, Grotius Center for International Legal Studies. The Hague, Netherlands.
International Criminal Law Symposium for Young Penalists. “The Future of International Criminal Law in the Era of Globalization,” May 2013. International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences. Siracusa, Italy.
“Disorientation.” September 11, 2010. Kent Law School.
“The War on Terror and the Rights of Muslims.” November 19, 2009. American Constitution Society.
“Lessons From History: Japanese Internment and the War on Terror.” March 3, 2009. Northwestern University College of Law.
“Engaging Communities and Sustaining North South Dialogue.” January 3-8, 2009, Philippines. Sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, US Department of State, in conjunction with Northern Illinois University and the International Visitor Program Philippines, Alumni Foundation, Inc.
“Agents of Change: Changing and Empowering our Communities.” Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers Seminar. June 12, 2008, Chicago. Sponsored by the Chicago Bar Foundation.
Selected Speaking Engagements