Charity Ryerson Founder, Legal director
Charity Ryerson is a co-founder and Legal Director at Corporate Accountability Lab. Before CAL, Charity litigated complex international human rights cases under the Alien Tort Statute, Torture Victim Protection Act and state tort law. Her passion for clean supply chains was ignited by the student anti-sweatshop movement, which occupied much of her time while pursuing her Political Science B.A. from Loyola Chicago. In 2003, she served six months in federal prison for civil disobedience at the U.S. Army School of the Americas, where she worked in a prison factory for 12 cents per hour. She has extensive experience in labor and human rights monitoring, anti-union violence investigations, and support for labor organizing in Central and South America. She graduated cum laude from Georgetown Law and is a member of the D.C. and Illinois bars. She is fluent in Spanish, has two rambunctious children, and loves Chicago enough to tolerate the brutal winters.
KATHERINE MCDONNELL director of legal advocacy
Katherine McDonnell joined CAL in January 2019 as Director of Legal Advocacy after 5 years at Earthrights International (ERI), where she worked in various capacities across three offices. Katherine's work focused on facilitating community-led information gathering and engagement, using both legal and campaign advocacy strategies. She led ERI’s piloting of a Community-Driven Operational level Grievance Mechanism (CD-OGM) with villagers impacted by Myanmar’s first Special Economic Zone. Katherine also worked closely on the implementation of the Foreign Legal Assistance (FLA) strategy to support local lawyers in foreign jurisdictions seek discovery through U.S. courts for proceedings in their home countries. Katherine has worked supporting Alien Tort Statute litigation against multinational companies, and defending the human rights of people affected by IFI-funded projects. Katherine is a graduate of Santa Clara Law, and has an MA in Social Anthropology from the University of Manchester. Katherine is currently admitted to practice law in New York and Washington DC.
Avery kelly legal fellow
Avery Kelly joined CAL in September 2019 after graduating from Georgetown Law in May. During law school, Avery interned for CAL and several other human rights and environmental organizations, including Earthrights International, where she assisted with filing a case on behalf of Peruvian subsistence farmers against a US mining giant for alleged human rights abuse, and Our Children’s Trust, where she worked on the groundbreaking climate change lawsuit Juliana v. United States. At Georgetown, Avery participated in CALS (Georgetown’s immigration and asylum clinic), the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection’s Impact Litigation Practicum, and the Human Rights and Multinational Business Practicum. Before law school, Avery was a fellow at Mercy International Association: Global Action, where she advocated for human rights and environmental protection in United Nations negotiations, including co-leading a civil society campaign for the inclusion of the human right to water and sanitation in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Avery was born and raised in Alabama. She graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in International & Global Studies and minors in Spanish and Women’s and Gender Studies from Sewanee: The University of the South.
Allie Brudney legal fellow
Allie Brudney first joined CAL as a legal intern in the summer of 2018 and returned as a Justice Catalyst Legal Fellow in the fall of 2019. During law school Allie worked on both disarmament issues and business and human rights projects related to multi-stakeholder initiatives and alumina refining. Allie lived in Berlin for four years prior to attending law school. She spent a year as a Fulbright Research Scholar studying identity and immigration in contemporary Germany and earned a master’s degree in North American Studies from the Free University in Berlin. She graduated from Harvard Law School in 2019 and is thrilled to have returned to her hometown of Chicago.
JERICA ARENTS communications and development director
Jerica Arents teaches in the Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies program at DePaul University in Chicago, IL. She has worked in solidarity with the Afghan Peace Volunteers in Kabul, as well as survivors of torture in Chicago. Jerica also serves as an organizer with Witness Against Torture, a campaign to close the prison at Guantánamo and end U.S.-sponsored torture worldwide. She facilitates anti-oppression workshops and nonviolent direct action trainings.
Zobaida Khan completed her doctoral studies in law from McGill University, Canada. Her research interests are international trade law, sustainable development, and transnational labour law. Taking an inter-disciplinary approach, her doctoral thesis discussed the effects of separating social justice issues from market-based economic development policy. She has experiences in diverse areas of law. After completing her LL.B. from University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, she focused on corporate and international law during her LL.M. studies at University of Cambridge, UK. She received distinction for her LL.M. on international and comparative law from Uppsala University, Sweden.
Tladi Marumo is a Doctor of Juridical Science (JSD) Candidate in International Human Rights Law at the University of Notre Dame. He is a recipient of the U.S. Fulbright Scholarship and the South African National Research Foundation (NRF) Freestanding Doctoral Abroad Scholarship. He is also a Doctoral Affiliate of the University of Notre Dame’s Klau Center for Civil and Human Rights. Prior to joining the University of Notre Dame, Tladi obtained a BA in Political and International Studies, and Legal Theory; and an LLB from Rhodes University, South Africa. He subsequently earned a Postgraduate Certificate in Prospecting and Mining Law from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. He also holds an LLM in Constitutional Class Action Litigation from Rhodes University, where he also taught as an Andrew W. Mellon Lecturer in the Faculty of Law. In addition to his academic career, Tladi is a South African admitted attorney with extensive experience having practiced at international law firms, Webber Wentzel (in alliance with Linklaters), Hogan Lovells, and Norton Rose Fulbright, and as Legal Consultant to Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr. His expertise and academic interests span mining law; mine and occupational health and safety law; comparative constitutional law; transitional justice; mass tort and constitutional class action litigation; and international human rights litigation. Tladi is also a Director of the Good Law Foundation, South Africa, which promotes and advocates for the rule of law, human rights and democracy.