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Court Leader's Advantage

71 EpisodesProduced by Peter C. KieferWebsite

Coming innovations, thought-provoking trends, questions that matter to the court community, these and more themes are covered by the Court Leader’s Advantage podcast series, a forum by court professionals for court professionals to share experiences and lessons learned.


International Rule of Law Assignments: Asking Questions that Change Lives

Tuesday, June 15, 2021, Court Leader’s Advantage Podcast Episode

Long days of travel, strange hotels, and strange food. Yes, international assignments can include all of these. But it can also afford the opportunity to make real change and create real change in yourself. This month we are talking to folks who have engaged in international rule of law assignments in countries around the world.

We’re asking questions about international assignments. Did the folks on assignment make a difference? What were the political and cultural hurdles these people had to overcome? Do you need to know the language to go on assignment? What takeaways do these folks have for the rest of us?

Today’s contributors:

· Michele Oken, is a past president of NACM and has chaired the International Committee for the past seven years. In March of 2020, she retired from the Los Angeles Superior Court where she worked as a manager and court administrator for approximately 19 years.

· Jeffrey Apperson is Vice President of the National Center for State Courts’ International Division.  Jeff works all over the world to help courts establish and improve judicial administration. He directs dozens of programs in 25 or so nations at any given time. He has had leadership roles in projects in Mongolia, Iraq, Brazil, Nigeria and Trinidad and Tobago, to name just a handful. He co-founded the International Association for Court Administration.

Our panel today includes:

· Norman Meyer is a CourtLeader contributor with 38 years of experience as a trial court administrator in the U.S. federal and state courts.  Norman has experience working with many foreign judiciaries, especially in the Russian Federation, Serbia, Ukraine, Moldova, and Albania.  He received his M.S. in Judicial Administration from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 1979, and a B.A. in political science and Russian studies from the University of New Mexico, graduating in 1977.

Pam Harris is the first woman State Court Administrator for the Maryland Court System. In 1989, she was appointed as the first woman to hold the Court Administrator position for the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, Maryland. Pamela has been active in various rule-of-law initiatives in Argentina, Brazil, Russia, Sri Lanka, India, China, and the Ukraine.

Pamela Ryder-Lahey is a Court Management Consultant with 41 years’ experience and most recently Chief Executive Officer for the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.   Since 2000, she has been involved in Rule of Law and Court Reform projects in several countries including Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam, Albania, Jamaica, and Philippines.

John Cipperly is a Senior Program Manager with the International Division of the National Center for State Courts.  John has more than 15 years of experience in the design and management of justice sector assistance programs for the U.S. Department of State, USAID, and other donors. He has developed or managed programs in Latin America, Africa, Europe, and Asia.  John is a native English speaker and fluent in Spanish.

Janet Cornell court consultant with over 35 years of experiences with both general and limited jurisdiction courts.  Janet is a founding and contributing member to She has a Masters in Public Administration from Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, and is a Fellow of the Institute for Court Management along with certificates from the Leader Coach Institute, Scottsdale, AZ, and the Leadership Institute for Judicial Education.

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