Vance Center Staff Expands

January 2021

Three lawyers joined the Vance Center, bringing the total to twelve staff, guided by the Vance Center Committee, supervised by the New York City Bar Fund board of directors, and supported administratively by the New York City Bar Association.  The new staff support the three pro bono representation programs: Environment; Human Rights and Access to Justice; and Good Governance.

Nathalya Desterro returned to the Vance Center as Program Advisor to the Environment Program after working as Fellow in that program from November 2019 until August 2020.   She has a double LL.M. in Comparative Legal Studies and in Environmental Law – Energy and Climate Change from Pace University, Elisabeth Haub School of Law. She also holds a Graduate degree in Environmental Management from Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro – UFRJ in Brazil. Her first law degree is from Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro – UFRJ in Brazil.  Before her U.S. studies, Desterro worked in Brazil as an environmental lawyer at a law firm and at the Attorney General’s Office at the State Environmental Agency of Rio de Janeiro. She is a native Portuguese speaker.

Carla Andrea Pierini joined the Vance Center as Staff Attorney for the Good Governance Program, supporting the Program’s pursuit of openness and honesty in government, civil society integriy, and independent journalism to hold officials and institutions accountable. She previously worked at two international law firms, focusing on developing compliance programs for corporations in Latin America and conducting internal investigations of whistleblower claims at multinational companies. Pierini received her JD degree cum laude from the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, with a joint master’s degree in Medical Humanities and Bioethics from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She is currently pursuing an LLM in International Human Rights & Humanitarian Law at the American University Washington College of Law. Ms. Pierini also received an Accelerated Master of Public Health from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts from University of Pennsylvania. She is a native Spanish speaker.

Romina Pia Canessa joined the Vance Center as Staff Attorney in the Human Rights and Access to Justice Program, assisting NGOs worldwide with projects related to violence against women, the protection of LGBT communities, prisoners’ rights, transitional justice, and accountability for atrocity crimes.  She previously worked for three years at Equality Now, conducting strategic litigation and legal advocacy focusing on issues of international human rights, including access to justice for victims of sexual violence and the impact of technology on the rights of women and girls, with a particular focus on Latin America.  She also worked at ADR Center SRL, an Italian NGO, implementing international legal development and reform projects for access to justice in Afghanistan, Serbia, and Kenya.  In addition, she worked at Asociacion Civil Transparencia in Lima, Peru.  She received a JD degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree in international politics from Georgetown University and is a native Spanish speaker.