Global Human Trafficking: Role of the Private Sector – Sept 28

  • Global Human Trafficking: Role of the Private Sector
    September 28, 2017
    12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

According to the International Labor Organization, there are approximately 21 million victims of human trafficking in the world (the majority of whom are women and girls), and trafficking generates $150 billion per year in profits. The widespread issue has raised significant moral, global development, security, and corporate supply chain accountability concerns; countries, companies, international bodies, and civil society organizations alike have undertaken efforts to raise awareness of or to combat the issue. Approximately one month after taking office, President Trump stated that he is prepared to expend the “full force and weight” of the U.S. Government to help address the problem. Also, the United Nations 2030 agenda identifies the eradication of human trafficking as a sustainable development goal. This program will focus on the ways the private sector can play an important role in combatting the issue.


12:00-12:15:      Introductions

12:15-1:15:         Panelist Remarks and Moderated Discussion

1:15-2:00:          Audience Discussion and Questions and Answers
Beverages and dessert will be served. Attendees are invited to bring their own lunch.

Preregistration recommended due to limited space



Ambassador Mark Lagon
Chief Policy Officer, Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Ambassador Mark P. Lagon is the Chief Policy Officer of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and also Distinguished Senior Scholar in the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He is a leading authority and practitioner on human trafficking and migration, having served as U.S. Ambassador-At-Large and Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at the Department of State; as Executive Director and CEO of Polaris, a leading U.S. nonprofit on human trafficking operating the main hotline for the U.S. Government; and as founding member of the board of the Global Business Coalition Against Human Trafficking (, now housed at Business for Social Responsibility.

Much of Ambassador Lagon’s work has focused on human rights, global health, humanitarian affairs, and multilateral institutions in also previously serving as President of Freedom House; Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, and Global Politics and Security Chair for the Master of Science in Foreign Service Program at Georgetown; Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs as well as Member of the Policy Planning Staff at the Department of State; Senior Professional Staff Member at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; and co-editor of the book Human Dignity and the Future of Global Institutions (2014).

Martina Vandenberg

Founder and President of the Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center

Martina E. Vandenberg is the founder and president of The Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center (HT Pro Bono). Vandenberg established HT Pro Bono in 2012 with generous support from the Open Society Foundations (OSF) Fellowship Program.

Prior to becoming an OSF Fellow, Vandenberg served as a partner at Jenner & Block LLP, where she focused on complex commercial litigation and internal investigations under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. She served as a senior member of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee.

Vandenberg has spent two decades fighting human trafficking, forced labor, rape as a war crime, and violence against women. Vandenberg has represented victims of human trafficking pro bono in immigration, criminal, and civil cases. She has testified before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law, the Helsinki Commission, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and the House Armed Services Committee on an array of human rights issues. Through HT Pro Bono, Vandenberg has trained more than 2,000 pro bono attorneys nationwide to handle human trafficking matters.

A former Human Rights Watch researcher, Vandenberg spearheaded investigations into human rights violations in the Russian Federation, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Uzbekistan, Kosovo, Israel, and Ukraine. She is the author of two Human Rights Watch reports, “Hopes Betrayed: Trafficking of Women and Girls to Post-Conflict Bosnia & Herzegovina for Forced Prostitution,” and “Kosovo: Rape as a Weapon of ‘Ethnic Cleansing.’”

As a researcher for the Israel Women’s Network, she investigated and published the first report documenting human trafficking into Israel. While living in the Russian Federation in the 1990s, she co-founded Syostri, one of Russia’s first rape crisis centers for women.

Vandenberg has received multiple awards for her leadership against human trafficking. In 2012, the Freedom Network USA presented Vandenberg with the Paul and Sheila Wellstone Award for her “outstanding leadership and dedication in working to combat human trafficking and slavery in the United States.” In 2013, she received the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation’s Stevens Award for outstanding service in public interest law. T’ruah presented Vandenberg with the Raphael Lemkin Human Rights Award in 2014. She received the Katharine & George Alexander Law Prize the following year. Vandenberg currently serves as a co-chair of the International Bar Association’s Human Trafficking Task Force.

A Rhodes Scholar and Truman Scholar, Vandenberg has taught as an adjunct faculty member at the American University Washington College of Law and at the Oxford University Human Rights Summer Program.

Dr. Gary Shiffman

Founder and CEO of Giant Oak

Gary M. Shiffman, PhD, is an expert in the economics of organized violence. He brings passion and energy to the mission of making the world more difficult for illicit actors, networks, and behaviors. He is the Founder and CEO of Giant Oak, a software company supporting federal law enforcement and compliance professionals in regulated industries.

Dr. Shiffman created Giant Oak to automate many time consuming screening and monitoring tasks such as investigative support and clearing large numbers of alerts through open sources and social media. Giant Oak software brings the craft of behavioral science together with computer science and subject matter expertise to meet the challenges of big data analytics. Dr. Shiffman created Giant Oak in 2009 to support DARPA-funded research and development on counter illicit finance, counter-insurgency, and counter-terrorism, and has grown it into an innovative RegTech firm.

His previous corporate positions include: Managing Director of the Chertoff Group and Senior Vice President and General Manager of Risk Management Solutions at L-3 Communications.

A Gulf War veteran, Dr. Shiffman served operational, policy, and planning positions in the U.S. Navy. In his last government role, he served as the Chief of Staff at U.S. Customs and Border Protection in the Department of Homeland Security. He has also spent four years in the US Senate as a National Security to the US Senate Leadership.

Dr. Shiffman teaches at Georgetown University and is widely published in academic literature. He is the author of Economic Instruments of Security Policy, and the forthcoming, Economics of Organized Violence.


Ms. Amy O’Neill Richard
Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of State

Amy O’Neill Richard is the Senior Advisor to the Director in the State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. She was an original member of the office and instrumental in developing its foundational goals and policies. She serves as co-chair of the U.S. Government’s Research and Data Committee on human trafficking.

Previously, Ms. Richard worked as the Senior Coordinator for Reports where she oversaw the Department’s Annual Trafficking in Persons Report. Her own research has earned her several honor awards, including the State Department’s Swanee Hunt Award for Advancing Women’s Role in Policy Formulation and the Warren Christopher Award for Outstanding Achievement in Global Affairs for her report “International Trafficking in Women to the United States: A Contemporary Manifestation of Slavery and Organized Crime.” This study, which was carried by the New York Times, was used to support the drafting of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, and its findings became an initial baseline for assessing early U.S. government anti-trafficking efforts.

Formerly, Ms. Richard worked in the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, where she received the Analyst of the Year Award, for shedding new light on transnational organized crime. She also worked in the Bureau’s Office of African Analysis covering several Central and Western African countries and issues.

Ms. Richard received her Master’s Degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University where she received the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence. She graduated from the University of Richmond Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa.


Sahar Hafeez
Associate, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman

Sahar Hafeez is an Associate in the firm’s Public Practices group and is located in the Washington, DC, office. Her practice focuses on international trade.

Prior to joining Pillsbury, Ms. Hafeez worked on trade remedy, economic sanctions, export controls, and forced labor matters at another law firm. After graduating from law school, she was a post-graduate fellow at the U.S. Trade Representative, Office of General Counsel, where she worked on WTO litigation and IP policy matters.
During law school, Ms. Hafeez worked with five other students on an international human rights case before the U.S. Supreme Court.





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