Former State Department Official to Lead Inter-American Dialogue Peter D. Bell Rule of Law Program. Colombian Communications & Management Expert to Serve as Director of Development and External Relations. 

2 May 2017, Washington, DC — The Inter-American Dialogue is pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Camilleri as the Director of the Peter D. Bell Rule of Law Program and Denisse Yanovich as the Director of Development and External Relations.

Democratic governance has been a centerpiece of the Dialogue’s work since its founding, and is more crucial today than ever. Camilleri, who served in the Obama administration from 2012 to 2017, will build on and expand the program’s efforts to strengthen the rule of law. He will work closely with partners throughout the hemisphere to elevate policy discussions around democratic institutions, government accountability, citizen security, human rights, and corruption in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

Camilleri served as a member of the secretary of state’s Policy Planning staff and director for Andean affairs at the National Security Council. Prior to joining government, he was a human rights specialist at the Organization of American States, where he was senior legal adviser to the special rapporteur for freedom of expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Before that, he was senior staff attorney at the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), an impact litigation NGO. 

Yanovich, a development professional with vast experience working in the private and public sectors will direct the Dialogue’s continued mission-driven growth. Most recently she was a consultant with the Fratelli Group, working to deepen its relationships with embassies, and at the Wilson Center, creating a strategic fundraising campaign around its gala awards dinner. From 2012 to 2015 Yanovich served as director of communications and investor relations for Efromovich Silva Capital Partners. Prior to that, from 2007 to 2012 she was a counselor for culture, education, and communications at the Embassy of Colombia in Washington, DC. 

“I am enormously excited about these additions to our organization at this crucial moment,” said Dialogue President Michael Shifter. “Michael brings impressive expertise and a balanced perspective – as a lawyer and diplomat – to assure the success of the Dialogue’s Rule of Law Program. And Denisse has the energy, creativity, and entrepreneurial drive that is sure to set the Dialogue on firm footing to meet the challenges that lie ahead in these uncertain times. I am very enthusiastic about both appointments.” 

Camilleri holds a B.A. in history from the University of Notre Dame and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and co-founder of the Americas expert group at the Truman National Security Project, and he has been an adjunct professor of law and international affairs at the George Washington University, American University, and the University of Baltimore. 

Yanovich received her B.A. and M.A. in Economics from the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia, and an M.A. in Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, UK. She is an expert in investor relations, diplomacy, fundraising, macroeconomic and market research, communications, and public engagement. She was also a researcher with the Kreeger Museum in Washington and Fedesarollo, an economic think tank in Bogotá. 

Kevin Casas-Zamora, the first director of the Rule of Law Program and former vice president of Costa Rica, remains engaged with the Dialogue as non-resident senior fellow.