Cassandre C. Théano, Board Member
Cassandre C. Théano is an International Human Rights lawyer and advocate with over a decade focused on women's rights and statelessness. Currently, as the Human Rights Legal Consultant for MADRE, a women's rights organization, she designs and implements the legal strategy around cases challenging the United States' failure to protect victims of gender based violence in the asylum process. She is also a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and at Columbia Law. As the Associate Legal Officer for Equality and Inclusion at the Open Society Foundations (The Justice Initiative), she focused on citizenship and equality, leading the litigation and advocacy work related to the restoration of citizenship rights for Dominicans of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic, Black Mauritanians in Mauritania and various ethnic minorities in Côte d'Ivoire. She holds a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center, with a concentration on International Human Rights Law and a certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies. At Georgetown Law, she participated in the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic where she successfully advocated for women’s land and property rights in Kenya. She was also the Senior Articles Editor of the Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law. She earned her undergraduate degree in International Relations and French Literature and her Master’s degree in French Society, Politics and Culture from New York University.
She is fluent in French, Haitian Creole and Spanish.