Katrin Kuhlmann, President and Founder​


Katrin Kuhlmann is President and Founder of the New Markets Lab and an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University Law Center. She is also a Fellow with the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) at the Aspen Institute, through which she chairs the ANDE Legal Working Group, and a Senior Advisor at the Corporate Council on Africa. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Harvard Law and International Development Society and was a 2012-13 Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow at Harvard Law School. She also serves on the boards of the Washington International Trade Association and the Malaika Foundation.




Katrin Kuhlmann, President and Founder​

Katrin Kuhlmann is the President and Founder of the New Markets Lab, a non-profit law and development center.  She is also a  Visiting Professor at Georgetown University Law Center, and she serves as a Senior Associate with the Global Food Security Project of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). She has over twenty years of experience in trade and development, comparative economic law (agricultural value chains and inputs, standards and non-tariff measures, services, energy, and trade corridors), international and regional trade policy, and economic legal and regulatory reform. She is published widely and frequently speaks on these topics, and she has testified before Congress on several occasions.

Professor Kuhlmann serves on the Advisory Boards of the Law and International Development Society (LIDS) at Harvard and Georgetown Law Schools and the Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  She is also a member of the Bretton Woods Committee, the Trade Policy Forum, and the Trade, Finance, and Development Experts Group of the E15 Initiative led by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development and the World Economic Forum.  She is also a board member for Listening for America, the Washington International Trade Association, and the Malaika Foundation. 

Kuhlmann has been a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, a Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow at Harvard Law School and, a Senior Advisor at the Corporate Council on Africa.  Earlier in her career, she was a trade negotiator at USTR and practiced international law at Skadden Arps and Dewey Ballantine. Before founding the New Markets Lab, she held leadership positions in several non-profit organizations and think tanks, including as a Senior Fellow and Director at the Aspen Institute and a Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund.  She holds degrees from Harvard Law School and Creighton University and was the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship to study international economics.

To get in contact with Katrin Kuhlmann, email mail@newmarketslab.org

Lauren Monahan, Director of Partnerships

Lauren is the Director of Partnerships at the New Markets Lab, based in Washington, DC. In this role, she draws from her prior business development and management experience within the international development sector. Prior to NML, Lauren led global business development activities for a research firm focused on providing data and analysis to decision-makers within the humanitarian aid and development sectors. Living and working in Egypt, Somaliland, Kenya, and Mozambique, Lauren facilitated partnerships with key actors in the sector, including UN agencies, private sector contractors, and international NGOs. Lauren holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Boston College.

Maria Florencia Abregu, Senior Legal Fellow

Maria Florencia is a Senior Legal Fellow at the New Markets Lab, based in New York. She currently focuses on issues related to harmonization of regional regulations linked to trade, agriculture and development in Southern Africa. Her interests include trade facilitation, digital trade and e-commerce, development, dispute settlement and trade remedies. Her prior experience includes working as a legal advisor to the Undersecretary of Foreign Trade of Argentina, where she focused on the Argentine import and export regimes, compliance with WTO legislation, trade remedies cases, and trade in services. She also worked as a legal intern at the Appellate Body Secretariat of the World Trade Organization, where she focused on dispute settlement matters.

Maria Florencia is fluent in Spanish, English and French. She obtained her LL.M. in International Legal Studies and WTO Certificate from Georgetown University Law Center, where she graduated with distinction. While at Georgetown, she worked at the TradeLab clinic in a project focused on digital trade. She also holds a law degree from the University of Buenos Aires. She is a fellow of the Institute of International Economic Law at Georgetown University, and is admitted to the Buenos Aires Bar.

Tara Francis, Senior Legal Fellow

Tara Francis is a Senior Legal Fellow at New Markets Lab based in Washington, DC. She is an Indian trained lawyer specialized in international trade, banking, and finance law. She is a recent graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, where she earned both her LL.M. in International Business and Economic Law and a certificate in World Trade Organization. At Georgetown, she worked at TradeLab Clinic where she engaged in advising a tech start-up set up a social cryptocurrency platform. She was also part of the Law and International Development Society Projects where she worked for Justice Ventures Internationals on an impact investing project. Currently, she works part-time as a Teaching Assistant to Joost Pauwelyn at Georgetown Law and for the TradeLab Clinic to be conducted in the Spring semester. Prior to coming to Georgetown, she worked at a banking and finance law firm in India. She was part of the negotiation and advisory team in the law firm.

International Legal Specialists 

Adron Naggayi Nalinya, International Legal Specialist


Adron is a Non-Resident International Legal Specialist with the New Markets Lab based in Uganda. Her prior legal experience includes intellectual property, environment, energy, human rights, and health. Her work at NML is focused on a number of aspects of international law and development, including agricultural law and regulation, land tenure, financial services, and legal issues impacting emerging businesses. She is a Ugandan lawyer who holds a Master's in Law (LLM) degree from Harvard Law School and a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda.

Chikondi Mandala, International Legal Specialist

Chikondi is a career judicial officer with over five years of experience at the Malawi judiciary. While at New Markets Lab, she has been involved in projects on land tenure, the African Continental Free Trade Area, gender, trade, and sustainable development. She has spent most of her career focused on women's access to justice with the Women Judges Association of Malawi; advancing rights of incarcerated persons with the Centre for Human Rights, Education Advice and Assistance; and land tenure and environmental protection with the Environmental Affairs Department. She is interested in the advancement of women and economic development through trade and entrepreneurship. She holds a Master of Laws (LLM) from Harvard Law School as a Fulbright Scholar and a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) with Honors from the University of Malawi and is admitted to the Malawi Bar. 

Mengyi Wang, International Legal Specialist

Mengyi is a Non-Resident International Legal Specialist for the New Markets Lab. Her work focuses on food safety, intellectual property, and economic integration in the Middle East. She holds a B.S. in Chemistry and Philosophy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a JD from Harvard Law School. After law school, she worked as a patent litigator in Silicon Valley and at the Legal Affairs Division of the World Trade Organization. She is currently the TradeLab Coordinator & Clinical Instructor at Georgetown University - School of Foreign Service in Qatar.

Karen Bosman, International Legal Specialist

Karen is a Non-Resident International Legal Specialist and consultant based in Southern Africa and Europe for the New Markets Lab. Her research focus includes regional market harmonization and trade facilitation in sub-Saharan Africa, with particular attention to agriculture and entrepreneurship. She is especially interested in linkages between international legal frameworks, regulatory systems, and economic development. Her previous experience includes providing legislative and regulatory advice on trade, finance, and agriculture matters in South Africa, as well as commercial legal practice in Cape Town. Karen holds a Master in International Business and Economic Law and a Certificate in WTO Studies from Georgetown University, and from Stellenbosch University in South Africa she holds a Bachelor of Law and a BA in Political Science, Philosophy and Economics. She was a fellow at the Institute of International Economic Law at Georgetown University and is an admitted attorney in South Africa.

Elsie Hayford, International Legal Specialist 

Elsie Hayford is Non-Resident International Legal Specialist with the New Markets Lab and is lawyer with varied experience in contract negotiation, policy and legislative drafting and analysis, business development and project management. She has a keen interest in matters of international trade and agriculture law and regulation and participated in Legislative Analysis & Coding of Health, Environmental, Agricultural, International Trade and Veterinary Laws from various developing countries in furtherance of the Global Health Security Agenda. In her research, she has also assessed the impacts of genetically modified foods in African markets on development. Elsie holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from the University of Liverpool, an Executive Certificate in NGO Management from the Africa Centre for Capacity Building, Ghana and a Master of Laws (LLM) in Global Health Law from Georgetown University. 

Mario Osorio Hernandez, International Legal Specialist

Mario is a Non-Resident International Legal Specialist with the New Markets Lab and is currently pursuing an SJD at Georgetown University Law Center. He has been involved in the design of economic policy both domestically, in his home country of Colombia, and internationally, as a delegate at the OECD, UN, WTO and other fora. His previous experience includes negotiating international treaties and teaching international economic law as an adjunct professor. Mario received his AB in Economics and a Bachelor of Laws from Universidad de los Andes in Colombia and earned his LLM as a Fulbright Scholar from Georgetown University. While at Georgetown, Mario has been a Salzburg Cutler Fellow and a Fellow at the Institute of International Economic Law. He is also currently the Inaugural Fellow at Georgetown Law’s Center for the Advancement of the Rule of Law in the Americas (CAROLA). 

Carolina Jatene, International Legal Specialist

Carolina is a Non-Resident International Legal Specialist for the New Markets Lab with a particular interest in issues of development. Having obtained early legal experience working in corporate law firms, she worked as an attorney at the Inter-American Development Bank, and most recently, a member of the core team conducting legal research for the World Bank Women, Business and the Law project. Aside from her contributions to New Markets Lab, she acts as an electoral observer in international missions for the Organization of the American States and is president of the International Relations committee for the Brazilian Institute of International Business Relations Development (IBREI). She is fluent in English and Portuguese and proficient in French and Spanish, and she holds a law degree from Fundação Getúlio Vargas (SP/Brazil), and an LLM in International Legal Studies from Georgetown University.

Vikram Naik, International Legal Specialist

Vikram is a Non-Resident International Legal Specialist with the New Markets Lab. His previous experience includes providing legal consultancy to varied clients including governments, industry associations and large corporations on all aspects of international trade and investment, customs, and dispute resolution, with a focus on trade remedies, market access issues, and non-tariff barriers. Vikram holds a Masters in International Business and Economic Law and a Certificate in WTO Studies from Georgetown University, and is an admitted attorney in India. While at Georgetown, he was awarded the Thomas Bradbury Chetwood, S.J. Plaque for his  academic distinction and was a fellow at the Institute of International Economic Law at Georgetown University. He has also been an adjunct professor teaching intellectual property in India. 

Olamide Omolaja, International Legal Specialist

Olamide is a Non-Resident International Legal Specialist and consultant based in West Africa for the New Markets Lab. He previously worked as a Public Policy Advisor at the International law firm Dentons and was an associate at two of Nigeria’s leading commercial law firms. Olamide’s work experience includes advising a state government in Nigeria on its partnership with an international energy company for the construction and development of an independent power plant. He has conducted extensive legal research and issued opinions on diverse areas of law including Land and Property Law, Corporate Law and Finance, Labor and Employment Law and Diplomatic Immunity and Privileges. Olamide holds an LLB from Lagos State University and an LLM in Financial Services from Chicago-Kent College of Law.

Funbi Salami, International Legal Specialist

Funbi is a Non-Resident International Legal Specialist and consultant based in West Africa for the New Markets Lab. Her research experience includes a review of international anti-corruption regulations and principles of business and human rights to assess their impact on foreign investments in emerging markets. Previously, she has worked with commercial law firms in Lagos, Nigeria providing legal, tax, and investment advisory services across different industries. She has been involved in business start-ups, due diligence reviews, corporate restructuring, and private equity funds' advisory services. Funbi holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria and a Masters degree in International Business and Economic Law from Georgetown University Law Center.

Legal Fellows

Akinyi Lisa Agutu, Legal Fellow


Akinyi Lisa Agutu is a Legal Fellow at New Markets Lab based in Washington, D.C. She is a Kenyan trained lawyer specialized in International trade, business and arbitration law. She obtained her Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) from Strathmore University in Nairobi, Kenya after which she pursued her Master of Laws (LL.M) at the Georgetown University Law Center in International Business and Economic Law with a certificate in International Trade Law and World Trade Organization studies. While at Georgetown, she was a research assistant to Professor Katrin Kuhlmann, a Visiting Professor of Law and the President and Founder of New Markets Lab. Akinyi took part in a project as part of the Trade Lab clinic where her team advised a Non-Governmental Organization on a wide array of trade and sustainable development issues. In addition, she was a Fellow at the Institute of International Economic Law and was the Founder of the Georgetown International Trade Law Society. Prior to her LL.M at Georgetown, she worked at a law firm in Nairobi, Kenya where she focused on Intellectual Property, Commercial, and Family Law.

Olena Botshteyn, Legal Fellow

Olena Botshteyn is a Legal Fellow at New Markets Lab, based in Washington, DC. Olena is a recent graduate of New York University School of Law (NYU Law), where she earned her LL.M. in International Legal Studies. During her LL.M. she participated in a Mediation Clinic, working as a mediator at New York City Small Claims Court in Brooklyn and the Bronx and at the Institute for Mediation and Conflict Resolution. She was also a blogger for Life at NYU Law Blog. At NYU, Olena focused her studies on environmental law, international trade, investment arbitration, energy law, and human rights. Before going to NYU, Olena interned in the Sustainable Energy department of the UN Economic Commission for Europe in Geneva, Switzerland. She also worked as a junior associate in the corporate law practice at Everlegal law firm in Kyiv, Ukraine. Olena is fluent in Ukrainian, Russian and English languages. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Law from Karazin Kharkiv National University (Ukraine).

Yasmin Hayre, Legal Fellow

Yasmin Hayre is a Legal Fellow at New Markets Lab and a rising second year JD candidate at Suffolk University Law School concentrating on business, financial law, and corporation law. Before starting at Suffolk Law, Yasmin graduated from Bowdoin College, with a Bachelor’s degree in biology and education. She joined the AmeriCorps after obtaining her BA to teach in New York, then moved to Boston, Massachusetts to become a paralegal, assisting in all phases of litigation concerning medical malpractice. As a Legal Fellow at NML, Yasmin is contributing to NML's trade and sustainable development project, researching topics including circular economy and gender. 

Marty Kibiswa, Legal Fellow

Marty Kibiswa is a rising third year JD candidate at the Georgetown University Law Center. As a Legal Fellow working on NML's trade and sustainable development project, his research is focused on trade facilitation and anti-corruption. Before New Markets Lab, Marty served as a student advocate for the International Economic Law clinic at Georgetown Law where he advised a beneficiary on WTO reform, sustainable development, and peace. His areas of interests include international trade, arbitration and business. Prior to Georgetown, Marty attended the University of Florida where he received a bachelor’s degree in International Studies with a concentration in African Economic Development. He continued on to earn a Master of International Business before enrolling in law school. At Georgetown, he serves as a student ambassador and is a fellow at the Institute of International Economic Law. He is a native of the DR Congo and is fluent in French, Swahili and Lingala.

Shwetha Krishna Kumar, Legal Fellow

Shwetha Krishna Kumar is a recent graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center, where she earned her LL.M. in International Legal Studies. Her studies focused on international trade, international arbitration and dispute resolution, and investment treaty/ICSID arbitration. She earned her undergraduate law degree in India and spent time working in the Kingdom of Bahrain. She has previously worked on issues of labor, domestic and transnational arbitration (within the GCC), and Islamic finance. Her primary interest is on the intersection of international dispute settlements and trade, and is researching other areas to gain a better understanding of the core complexities.

Ata Nalbantoglu, Legal Fellow

Ata Nalbantoglu is a rising second-year JD candidate at Harvard Law School. At HLS, he focuses on international development, systemic justice, and comparative legal institutions. He obtained a bachelor’s degree from Washington University in St. Louis and completed the General Course program at the London School of Economics. At WashU and LSE, Ata focused on political theory and international legal systems. Before coming to law school, he worked at APCO Worldwide and the Education Reform Initiative, where he focused on new market entry advising and access to education issues. At New Markets Lab, he is contributing to the ongoing trade and sustainable development project by co-authoring a chapter on the “Circular Economy” that will feature in a book being published later this year. 

Catherine Nowaczyk, Legal Fellow


Catherine Nowaczyk is a rising second-year JD candidate at Georgetown University Law Center, concentrating on business and corporate law. As a Legal Fellow working on NML’s ongoing trade and sustainable development project, her research is focused on digital trade and micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). Prior to Georgetown, Catherine attended St. Norbert College, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science. Through St. Norbert College’s Center for Business and Economic Analysis, Catherine worked as an economic analyst, serving on a project to bring a self-sustaining aquaponics system to a refugee camp in Ritsona, Greece. At Georgetown, she is a Student Ambassador and a volunteer for the Borromeo Pro Bono Project. Her areas of interest include intellectual property and business.


Mushfiqur Rahman, Legal Fellow

Mushfiqur Rahman is a Legal Fellow at New Markets Lab based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He will be contributing to the ongoing trade and sustainable development project at NML, examining the nexus between international trade law and sustainable development from the perspective of small and medium enterprises. Mushfiqur graduated from Georgetown University Law Center with an LL.M. in International Business and Economic Law and a Certificate in International Arbitration and Dispute Resolution. His academic work centered around international economic law and international investment law. Mushfiqur also holds a double degree in Law and Business Administration (Finance) from the National University of Singapore, and has been a keen advocate for the rights of Bangladeshi migrant workers in Singapore during his undergraduate years.

Lilian Zhao, Legal Fellow

Lilian is a rising second-year JD candidate at Harvard Law School. She holds a B.A. in Mathematics and Computer Science from Vassar College. Before starting law school, she worked as a software engineer at Amazon. Her academic interest includes technology law and international law. At Harvard Law School, she is an editor for the Journal of Law and Technology and a board member of the Harvard Asia Law Society. She has interned in a law firm focusing on IP litigation.

Summer Fellows

Louis Akra, Summer Intern

Louis Akra is a rising senior at Florida Atlantic University, where he is currently studying International Business and Trade. Upon graduation, Louis plans to attend law school to further explore his interests which include trade policy and corporate law. His interests in these fields are motivated by a desire to leverage law and regulation to empower populations. Louis is fluent in Spanish and has traveled to 14 countries. This summer he will be assisting the New Markets Lab team in providing both research and administrative support.

Eunsun Cho, Summer Fellow


Eunsun is currently a Master’s student at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. Her academic focus is Trade and Investment Relations in East Asia, with particular attention to industrial and financial policies. Prior to graduate school, Eunsun worked at the Council on Foreign Relations, where she assisted with research on strategies for international cooperation on trade and finance. She also worked at Paul, Weiss in New York City as a member of the firm’s Private Funds Group. She holds a bachelor's degree from Georgetown University. 

Advisors & Experts

Ana María Garcés Escobar, Associate Counsel

Ana is an Associate Counsel at the New Markets Lab, based in New York. She currently focuses on digital trade and technology issues and intellectual property and has assisted with projects on impact investing and seed and fertilizer regulation. Previously, Ana served as an advisor to the Colombian government in international trade matters. She was part of the legal team defending Colombia in trade disputes both at the WTO and under several FTAs. Her responsibilities included drafting Colombia’s submissions and assisting with evidence gathering and analysis, as well as providing the government with legal advice regarding international trade matters, including legal assessments of trade measures to be adopted by Colombia and other countries.  In her role as Junior Counsel with the Advisory Centre on WTO Law in Geneva, Switzerland, Ana assisted several developing countries on dispute settlement and capacity building on the WTO Agreement. She earned her LLM as a Harlan Fiske Scholar at Columbia University in New York. She also holds Economics, Law, and Business Law degrees from the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá Colombia. Ana is a member of the New York Bar.

Fred Kasalirwe, Economist

Fred Kasalirwe is an economist with over seven years’ experience in social and economic development research and economic policy analysis.  Mr. Kasalirwe is currently an Assistant Lecturer of Economics and Researcher at the Makerere University School of Economics where he conducts research and undergraduate training in environmental agricultural and development economics. In addition, Mr. Kasalirwe is also an Associate Research Fellow at the Department of Social Work and Social Administration at Makerere University and a Research Fellow at the Policy Analysis and Development Research Institute (PADRI) in Kampala. Mr. Kasalirwe graduated with honours with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Development Economics from Makerere University and holds a Masters’ degree in Economics from the University of Dar es Salaam. 

Fikremarkos Merso Birhanu, Senior Counsel

Fikremarkos is a Senior Counsel at the New Markets Lab. His areas of interest include WTO law, legal and regulatory reform, trade and development, intellectual property, trade capacity building, WTO accession and compliance, trade policy reform, and regional trade integration. Previously, Mr. Birhanu worked as an Associate Professor of Law at the Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia where he also served as the Dean of the Law School from 2006-2009. He was a regular visiting professor at the University of Martin-Luther in Germany, a visiting scholar at YalLaw School, and a scholar-in-residence at Northwestern Law School. Mr. Birhanu has been a member of the National Technical Committee for Ethiopia’s WTO accession, and he participated in the accession negotiations both at the multilateral and bilateral levels. He has advised governments, international organizations, and the private sector on WTO and regional trade integration, legal and regulatory reform, business regulatory compliance, intellectual property, and competition policy and law. He is a member of the Trade and Innovation Experts Group of the E15 Initiative and a member of the Advisory Board on Competition and Law at Loyola University. Mr. Birhanu holds degrees from Harvard Law School, Osaka University, Pretoria University, and Addis Ababa University, and he is published widely.

Susan Sechler, Senior Advisor 

Susan is a Senior Advisor to the New Markets Lab. She has over 40 years of experience working on issues related to agriculture, food security, and international development.  She has served as Managing Director of TransFarm Africa and a Senior Advisor for the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Prior to working with the Hewlett Foundation, Susan was a Senior Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Aspen Institute.  Susan has also held posts in government, including as the leader of the Clinton/Gore Transition Team for Agriculture in 1992 and as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economics, Policy Analysis and Budget at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Susan serves on the boards of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, the Island Press and the University of Maryland’s Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA). Susan’s articles and interviews have been published in many newspapers and journals, including the New York Times, The Washington Post, Issues of Science and Technology, and others.

Dr. Eugene Terry, Senior Technical Advisor

Eugene is a Senior Technical Advisor to TransFarm Africa/New Markets Lab. He has held leadership positions in international institutions including that of the first Director General of the West Africa Rice Development Association (WARDA-now the Africa Rice Center (ARC), Land and Crops Advisor in the Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD) Department of The World Bank, and Founding Director of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF), Nairobi, Kenya.

Eugene is currently a Trustee on the boards of several organizations/institutions, which include the World Vegetable Centre (The Asian Vegetable Research Centre (AVRDC) Taiwan), the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Development (SFSA), and he chairs the Advisory Board of the West African Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), University of Ghana, Accra. Eugene was awarded the 2010 Presidential (Republic of Mali President) Award for Outstanding Contributions to Rice Research and Development in Africa, and the Medal Officier de L’Ordre, Du Merit, Ivoirien, Cote d’ Ivoire, 1993.

Eugene was born in Sierra Leone, and holds a BSc in agriculture, an MSc in plant pathology from McGill University, Montreal, Canada, and a PhD in plant pathology from the University of Illinois, Urban-Champaign, Illinois, USA.


Serge Pustelnik, Strategic Advisor

Serge is a Strategic Advisor to New Markets Lab and a graduate of Harvard Law School. He brings significant experience in the financial services sector and expertise in technology to NML and works with NML to design technological solutions to help approach and evaluate the challenges, improvements, and potential risks of regulatory regimes and advises on approaches to build capacity in markets with underdeveloped financial services industries. Serge is the Co-Founder and President of the Harvard Tax Law and Financial Regulation Students Association. He is also the Founder and Managing Partner of Algo Design, LP which is a technology development and consultancy firm that works with global clients.

© 2019 by New Markets Lab.

All rights reserved.

200 Massachusetts Ave. NW

Suite 700

Washington, D.C. 20001


  • Facebook Clean
  • Twitter Clean
  • LinkedIn Clean