Meet the Team

Christie Edwards

Photo of Christie Edwards,  Director of International Humanitarian Law at the American Red Cross

Christie Edwards has worked globally on international human rights, international humanitarian law, international development policy, and gender issues for over 15 years. As the Director of International Humanitarian Law at the American Red Cross, Christie leads the organization’s legal education, public, and youth outreach efforts on IHL, directly reaching over 50,000 people per year with a social reach of 18 million. She also serves as the Co-Chair of the American Society of International Law Women in International Law Interest Group (WILIG) and directs the Women's Mentoring Program for over 200 participants worldwide.

She received her J.D. from Thomas Jefferson School of Law, specializing in international human rights law. While in San Diego, she worked at a torture treatment clinic for political refugees, served as pro bono counsel for asylum seekers, and taught an international human rights course at TJSL as an Adjunct Professor and Pro Bono Fellow. Christie then completed her LL.M. degree at AU’s Washington College of Law, specializing in international human rights and gender.

In 2010, she received a Helton Fellowship from the American Society of International Law, which allowed her to work in Casablanca, Morocco, with local NGOs on an advocacy campaign for greater legal rights for single mothers. She has published law review articles on the cultural context of sex trafficking in China, the use of gender budget analysis to achieve educational parity for women and girls, and legal advocacy strategies for women's rights in Morocco. She also speaks regularly for local and international conferences on international human rights and humanitarian law issues.

Joe Gibson

Photo of Joe Gibson, Program Officer for the International Humanitarian Law team

Joe Gibson is a Program Officer for the International Humanitarian Law team. He began his Red Cross journey as a volunteer in 2007, coordinating blood drives and responding to disaster sites. While earning his B.A. in International Affairs at The George Washington University, he concluded a three-year term as the Chair of the American Red Cross National Youth Council, having served on the Council for a total of four years. This past year, in his role as Project Lead, Joe conceived of and ran the Global Refugee Simulation and Conference, the world’s largest refugee simulation and digital conference. In his spare time, Joe perfects the art of pancake breakfasts for friends and colleagues.

Lia Lindsey

Lia Lindsey

Lia Lindsey is a Legal Advisor on international humanitarian law for the American Red Cross. Prior to joining the IHL team Lia advocated for humane federal policies on criminal justice, immigration, prison privatization, and solitary confinement with the American Friends Service Committee. She has coordinated international justice campaigns with Amnesty International USA and assisted pro se workers seeking redress for employment discrimination through the Fair Employment Project. Lia received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is an attorney licensed to practice in the District of Columbia, New York and Massachusetts.

Stephanie Rebolo

Stephanie Rebolo

Stephanie Rebolo is a Legal Fellow for the International Humanitarian Law team. While in law school, she interned at Human Rights Watch in New York, doing legal research for the U.S. Program’s National Security team, and at UNHCR in D.C. with the U.S. Protection Unit. Last year, she was a student-attorney in the International Human Rights Law Clinic, where she represented asylum seekers. Originally from Los Angeles, she received her J.D. from the American University Washington College of Law, and her B.A. in International Studies from University of California, San Diego. Her interests include: international humanitarian law, refugee law, and human rights.

Federico Barillas Schwank

Federico Barillas

Federico Barillas Schwank is a Legal Advisor for International Humanitarian Law at the American Red Cross. Previously, Federico worked at International Center for Not-for-Profit Law and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. He has assisted civil society groups seeking legal reform and represented indigenous peoples and victims of abuse before the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights and in U.S. asylum procedures. Before moving to Washington D.C., Federico worked representing low-income migrant workers at the Southern Poverty Law Center and led the outreach program at the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama. He holds law degrees in the United States (J.D.) and Guatemala (LL.B.), and is licensed to practice in New York.

Yenisleidy Simon

IHL Team Member

Yenisleidy Simon is a Youth Education Program officer for the International Humanitarian Law team. She was born and raised in Cuba, moving to the United States in 2008. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Smith College, and is highly interested in international relations and development, human rights, women’s empowerment, and education. Her professional experience includes working with the Wurtele Center for Work & Life, the American Red Cross, and Nathan Associates Inc. She is the Founder of the Seven Sisters Latina Conference, and is both a Salzburg Global Seminar Alumna and a Humanity in Action Fellow. In her free time, she enjoys writing, dancing and visiting gelato shops.

Merve Stolzman

Merve Stolzman

Merve Stolzman is a Legal Fellow for the International Humanitarian Law team. Previously, she worked as a Research Associate for the Public International Law & Policy Group. During law school, she was a Dean’s Fellow for the War Crimes Research Office, where she worked on international criminal law and humanitarian law-related issues, and a Law Clerk at International Rights Advocates, where she worked on Alien Torts Statute cases. Originally from Ankara, Turkey, she received her J.D. from the American University Washington College of Law, her MSc in Human Rights from the London School of Economics, and her B.A. in International Relations from Richmond, the American International University in London. Her interests include: international humanitarian law, the use of force, international cultural heritage law, international criminal law, and human rights.

Chelsea Zimmerman

IHL Team Member

Chelsea Kay Zimmerman is currently a Program Advisor for the International Humanitarian Law team. She recently served as a Legal Fellow with the IHL team at the American Red Cross. She participated in the 2014 Jean-Pictet IHL Competition in Portugal and in the inaugural Clara Barton IHL Competition. She is a graduate of American University Washington College of Law and a member of the New York Bar. Chelsea received a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies from Heidelberg University in Ohio. She received her M.A. in International Studies from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver where she focused on international law, international politics, human rights, and religion.

Karen Melara

Karen Melara is the new Program Officer for the IHL team. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Management from the University of South Florida. Her experience includes working with social enterprises, start-ups, and multi-national corporations. Karen is a learner of life, advocate for social change, and is highly interested in women’s empowerment, international development and human rights.