Amanda Cats-Baril is International IDEA’s Senior Programme Officer and serves as a constitution-building adviser for the Asia Pacific region. In this capacity she supports constitution-building processes in Nepal, Myanmar and the Philippines, amongst other contexts, through the provision of technical assistance to governments, civil society organizations and International IDEA projects. Issues of focus in these processes include federalism, decentralization and autonomy arrangements; systems of government; and accountability institutions, rule of law and human rights.
She also contributes to the development, adaptation and application of knowledge products and tools at the global and regional level and the strengthening of regional platforms for knowledge-sharing and networking.
Cats-Baril is an international lawyer who specializes in constitutional law, human rights, post-conflict transitions and democratization. She focuses on the promotion and protection of minority, particularly indigenous peoples, rights and interests in the context of large scale development and government reform processes, with an emphasis on constitution-building.
Upon receiving her juris doctorate from NYU School of Law, Cats-Baril was awarded the Arthur Helton Fellowship for Global Human Rights to work with local civil society organizations in Nepal on strategic human rights advocacy. She has since conducted legal research and programme design around Asia for international organizations including UNDP, World Bank, The Asia Foundation and the International Working Group on Indigenous Affairs.
Prior to joining International IDEA, Cats-Baril served as a Democracy and Governance Specialist with USAID/Nepal, managing a portfolio of peace-building, conflict mitigation, and local governance projects, and advising the US government on constitutional issues, transitional justice, and conflict sensitivity. She has published on regional platforms, SAARC and the Regional Promotion of the Rule of Law and Constitutionalism in South Asia and on her work with indigenous communities in Nepal, Ensuring Inclusive Democracy for Nepal: Indigenous Peoples’ Case for ‘Direct Representation’ in Political Processes.