Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is the organization's governing body, elected at the Annual Assembly meeting. All members are responsible for gaining a basic understanding and initiating actions in support of IIJD's mission, goals and programs. This includes assisting in expanding IIJD's outreach and increasing its visibility and donor support. The Board of Directors manages the organization through an Executive Committee. With the responsibility that determines the Organization's objectives, strategic management: the control of administrative and financial policy and decisions regarding activities of the Corporation. The Board of Directors is also responsible for overseeing the general supervision of the business and affairs of the International Institute for Justice and Development (IIJD), Inc. IIJD’s Board of Directors acts on behalf of IIJD’s constituents, including service recipients, funders, supporters, volunteers, governments, and taxpayers. It has the primary responsibility for fulfilling the organization's mission.
IIJD’s Board of Directors is made up eleven members who establish committees, structures the organization and accomplish their functions through regular meetings. Practically, IIJD’s Board members meet, prepare, and engage in thoughtful dialogues, which generate useful ideas to help the organization financially grow.
- Benjamin Ngachoko, President.
- Justice E. Crawford, Esq
- Jonathan Fisher Butler
- Paulette M. Ngachoko, Esq.
- Jean Assobmo
- Carole Copeland Thomas
President and Chief Executive Officer, International Institute for Justice and Development, Inc.
Benjamin Ngachoko has spent most of his career in the non-profit sector developing and managing organizations and building the capacity of civil society in the area of democratic governance, justice system reform and development.
Mr. Ngachoko has been involved in the movement toward democracy, rule of law and pluralism in Africa for the past two decades. Persecuted under the dictatorial regime of Mr. Paul Biya in Cameroon and forced to exile, Mr. Ngachoko left his native Cameroon in May 1993. He lived in Burkina Faso (West Africa) for four years. During that time, he assisted government’s officers and various NGOs in the design of policies and programs, the creation of a regulatory framework for building citizen’s groups and the appropriate role of NGOs in increasing the capability of citizens to shape their government. He also extensively traveled through the West Africa region, contributing to building the capacity of civil society organizations in Mali, Ivory Cost, Senegal, Niger, and Burkina Faso, before immigrating in the United State in May of 1997.
In 2001, Mr. Ngachoko founded the International Institute for Justice and Development (IIJD) in order to continue his passion for seeing poor nations around the world experience renewed stability and prosperity. Mr. Ngachoko believes that poverty and underdevelopment must be addressed through a comprehensive approach combining institutional reforms, infrastructure development, and capacity building by working with local experts and community based organizations. With the IIJD, Mr. Ngachoko actively advocates tackling the root causes of poverty in Africa by addressing systemic weaknesses, reforming the institutions of governance, establishing independent and well functioning justice systems, building capacity and empowering communities. In 2002, in order to confront the underlying causes of poverty, development crisis and insecurity, Mr. Ngachoko developed a Justice System Reform Process for Africa and other developing Countries. In 2005, he created the Justice System Reform Toolkit being used now to assess the institutions of Justice System and to complete the IIJD’s Justice Index. In 2006, Mr. Ngachoko successfully organized the first International Conference on the State of Affairs of Africa in order to achieve a consensus on the roots causes of development crisis and persistent poverty, and how to effectively tackle these problems. For the past decades, Mr. Ngachoko has travelled around the world and meets with world public and elected officials to advocate for institutions and justice system reforms in Africa as way to systematically address the issues facing the continent.
In the past, Mr. Ngachoko has worked with the Group of Research and Education for Democracy and Social Progress (GERDES) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) to provide technical support for elections and to train election monitors. Furthermore, he has provided technical support, strategic advice, and assistance to the government in Guinea during the transition to democracy, to the government of Burkina Faso and NGO’s operating in Mali, Senegal, Niger, Togo, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Benin, and Ethiopia. Before establishing the IIJD, Mr. Ngachoko worked as a policy and financial analyst for Prudential Insurance and Boston Financial Data Service. Mr. Ngachoko has also provided assistance to many asylum seekers and refugees who have made their homes in the United States.
Mr. Ngachoko graduated from Boston University Law School, and Ouagadougou University law and Political Science faculty. His management background was reinforced by the MS in Organization Management program of the School of International Training (SIT) in Vermont, USA.
Mr. Ngachoko is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the IIJD. He is married with three children and currently resides in Chestnut Hill, MA with his family.
Justin E. Crawford, Esq.
- CEO of Law Resource Exchange,
- Managing Attorney at Geraghty Suarez, LLP
- IIJD's Director
Justin E. Crawford is an entrepreneur responsible for the startup and management of several diverse organizations. Since starting Renaissance Shipping Agency, Inc. (www.RSAgency.net) in 2003, Justin has grown this corporation into a successful international shipping agency that currently handles containerized cargo marine operations throughout the US, Mexico, Central America, and some ports in South America, in addition to proving a number of consulting services on everything from hazardous materials compliance training to organizational efficiency. As the Managing Attorney at Geraghty Suarez, LLP., (www.GSmultimodal.com), he helped launch, and continues to run the office and strategic management functions of, a successful and respected maritime law firm specializing in multimodal defense work. As the CEO of Law Resource Exchange (www.LawResourceExchange.com), Justin manages a diverse team of designers, developers, and content creators throughout the country and on three different continents to help grow a web-based business designed to cater to the needs of law students around the country.
Justin’s interest in international justice issues began during his world travels while at the United States Merchant Marine Academy, a federal academy where he received his undergraduate education after being nominated to that institution by US Senator John McCain. He also spent 13 years as an officer in the US Naval Reserve before retiring in 2009, which provided numerous opportunities to get a global perspective on economic and justice issues.
In addition to a law degree, which he received from a Top 100 Law School after graduating Cum Laude, Justin brings to the IIJD Board of Directors a wide range of experience in the areas of business management and information technology solutions relevant to the operation and mission of IIJD.
Jonathan Fisher Butler
- Audit Manager, DiCicco, Gulman & Company LLP
- IIJD's Director and Treasurer
Jonathan is Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and holds the position of Audit Manager with the accounting Firm DICICCO, GULMAN & COMPANY LLP. Jonathan joined the IIJD Board of directors in 2009 and served as the International Institute for Justice and Development (IIJD) Treasurer.
Paulette Meyitang Ngachoko
- IIJD's Senior Executive, Chief Strategy Officer
Paulette Ngachoko has been a member of the Board of Directors of IIJD since its creation. She has provided technical assistance for the incorporation of the Organization and the design of programs. Along with her involvement with IIJD, she has worked as Compliance Risk Manager for Bank of America since November 2000. Prior to that Mrs. Ngachoko worked on different projects as Financial Analyst for Boston Financial Data Services, E*Trade and Prudential Insurance from 1997 to 1999.
Paulette Ngachoko came to the United States in 1997. While living in Burkina Faso from 1993, she finished her law studies and subsequently worked as an Attorney. In July 1995, through her affiliation with CAPIA, a Burkina Faso government organization to promote African integration, she participated with the country’s delegation to the world youth summit conference in Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast. Mrs. Ngachoko left her native Cameroon in 1993, after contributing to its people’s fight for freedom and democracy through the National Coordination of Cameroonian Students and FREEDOM-NOW, a National Organization of Women whose goal was to promote women's opinion and encourage their participation in political forums.
Paulette's educational background includes: an LL.M. in International Banking and Financial Law from Boston University in May 2000; a D.E.S.S. (post-graduate degree) in International Business Law, a Master's degree in Law from Ouagadougou University in Burkina Faso, and a Bachelor's degree in private law from Yaoundé University in Cameroon. Paulette Ngachoko speaks French fluently and has been member of the New York State Bar Association and the American Bar Association since 2001. She lives in Brookline with her family.
- Secretary and Clerk
Jean Assobmo, a Board member since 2003, has more than fifteen years experience managing non-profit organizations. Jean is IIJD’s clerk and board of Directors meetings’ organizer. He also oversees communication with IIJD’s partners in West Africa. A native of Cameroon, he has previously worked as a head of the Association for Health and Welfare of Children and Rural Women, as well as in the Ministry of Health in his native country. Jean also has many years of teaching experience in Cameroon. Beside his involvement with IIJD, Jean is a Medical Electronics Engineering Technician working at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH).
Carole Copeland Thomas
- The C. Thomas and Associates, Speaker, Author, Radio Host
- IIJD's Director
Carole Copeland Thomas is the voice of personal empowerment. She is a keynote speaker, empowerment expert, diversity professional, syndicated radio host, and leadership consultant in C. Thomas & Associates, a business she started in 1987. Ms. Thomas served as an adjunct faculty member for Bentley College for a decade, and has spoken throughout the United States, London, England, Canada, and Australia. Carole Copeland Thomas is a keynote speaker, convention facilitator, management consultant and seminar leader in C. Thomas & Associates, a firm she started in 1987. Carole is the host of Focus On Empowerment heard every Friday at noon on WBNW-1120 AM Radio in Boston (simulcasting on the web at http://www.moneymattersradio.net)