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Ahmed Bugre
Marion Mutugi
Joseph Kimani
Alumeti Munyali
Ashley Spence
John Mungai
Kizzi Shako
Wangu Kania
Lisa Smith
Yasin Farah
Stephen Fonseca
Fidelis Bugoye
Bruce Budowle
Tim Schellberg
Vanessa Lynch
Andre Mubiru


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Dr Ahmed Bugre  Migration Law Expert

DNA - A Crucial tool for Re-uniting Missing and Dead Migrants to their Families. 

Senior Advisor on Migration at African Union Commission and Director of the Foundation for Shelter and Support to Migrants in Malta, Bugre has established himself as an expert in Asylum and Mixed Migration Law and Policy. In Canada, Burge developed the Identification and Disaster Response Unit, with the objective of developing a multi-disciplinary systematic approach to the resolution of missing persons cases through the identification of human remains after mass fatality events and in complex investigations. Dr Bugre is passionate about Human Rights advocacy and Diaspora Communities empowerment.

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Prof. Marion Mutugi  Kenya National Human Rights Commission

DNA Databases in EAC Cross Border Security - A Human Rights Perspective


Marion Wanjiku Mutugi, a professor of genetics is widely published n her area of medical genetics and more recently bioethics  is currently a Commissioner with the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR), focusing on ethical application of research findings and advances in science for the promotion and protection of human rights.

Prof. Mutugi has worked in various public and private research institutions and universities and was awarded the “Elder of the Order of the Burning Spear (E.B.S.)” in recognition of her service to the nation by the President, Prof Mutugi's personal motto is “What’s worth doing, is worth doing well.”

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Dr Joseph Kimani  Government Chemist, Kenya 

Forensic DNA in Complex Identification Determinations: A Case Study


Dr Joseph Kimani has a doctorate in Human Genetics and is published on allele frequencies and pathogenic mutations, in several International journals. With twenty fours years of experience in the Forensics field, he specialises mainly in Forensic DNA analysis for cases in homicide, sexual offences, human identification of postmortem and skeletonized remains, and genetic relatedness using STR markers and Y DNA  haplotypes.

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Prof. Alumeti Munyali Medical Dr & Trainer, Panzi Hospital 

From Horror to Hope: Transforming Victims to Survivors of Sexual Assault in the EAC


Dr. Alumeti Munyali Désiré is a forensic doctor at the Panzi Foundation and at Panzi Hospital in Congo and Dean of the faculty of medicine at Université Evangélique en Afrique. With degrees in Forensic Medicine and Pediatric Surgery; Forensic Medicine Bodily Injury Repair and Pediatric Surgery and Physiology and Pharmacology of reproduction, he is Director of the Center for Forensic Medicine at Official University of Bukavu. Dr. Munyali is a Trainer in the collection and analysis of forensic evidence in matters of rape and sexual violence. An expert in the analysis of the crime scene, in the multi-sectoral care of survivors of sexual and based violence and  an expert in the courts and tribunals of Bukavu. He is widely published in the field of pediatric surgery, forensic medicine and reproductive physiology. 

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Ms Ashley Spence  Founder, DNA Justice Project 

Sexual Violence in the EAC - A Call for Investment 


Ashley Spence is an inspirational speaker, victim advocate and founder of the DNA Justice Project.  At 19 years old, she was the victim of a brutal home invasion rape that nearly took her life. It was through DNA that her perpetrator was caught and is now serving nearly 138 years in prison. Ashley focuses her efforts on educating others on the power of DNA to create policy change that can provide justice, prevent crimes and exonerate the innocent. She has worked globally to spark conversations on how to tackle the worldwide sexual assault kit backlog crisis, believing every survivor has an important story to be told and a courageous voice to be heard.

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Dr John Mungai  Forensic Scientist

A Paradigm for a Forensic DNA Database Policy Programme in Kenya


Dr John Mungai is one of the pioneers of the Forensic DNA laboratories in the East African region, where he has three decades of experience working at the the Government Chemists Departments in Kenya, heading the Science division and handling evidential material on human identification during disaster human identifications and in succession cases. A member of the Task force spearheading the implementation of the sexual offences Act and initiating the Forensic DNA laboratory for the Kenya defence forces to store DNA profiles of soldiers before deployment to war zones and peace keeping missions, Dr Mungai has also consulted for The International Institute for Justice (IIJ) in developing a curriculum for the Forensic evidence management in counter-terrorism based cases.

Dr Kizzie Shako  Police Surgeon, Kenya

Solutions for Fighting Sexual Assault in the EAC


Dr Kizzie Shako is Kenya’s first female Police Surgeon and Senior Medical officer in the Ministry of Health, Forensic and Pathology Services, seconded to the National Police Service as a Police Surgeon. Skilled in Forensic medical examination of child abuse, sexual violence,Intimate partner violence, expert witness testimony, aspects of crime scene investigation and chain of custody processes, and a National Trainer of Trainers with a Master in Forensic Medicine (MFM) focused in Clinical Forensic Medicine.

Lizzie is also the founder of Vunja Kimya Foundation, TEDx speaker, mentor, blogger and rapid response advocacy against child abuse.

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Lady Wangu Kanja  Founder of the Wangu Kanja Foundation 

Overcoming Challenges in DNA Collection Practices in Low Resource Environments


Wangu Kanja is an affiliated researcher at the University of Birmingham. A human and women's rights activist, she is also the executive director and founder of the Wangu Kanja Foundation, which works to amplify the voices of the survivors to access comprehensive care and support.Nominated for the Life Time Achievement Award by the National Coalition of Human Rights Defenders, listed on the BBC 100 Women list and International Women's Day Unsung Hero Award, she has received several awards for championing the rights of the Sexual Violence Survivors and celebrated for her initiatives.

Wangu Kanja was awarded the title Lady, rank of a Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy in 2022. 

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Prof. Lisa Smith  University of Leicester

Overcoming Challenges in DNA Collection Practices in Low Resource Environments


Lisa Smith is a Professor of Criminology, and Head of School of Criminology at the University of Leicester. Her research focuses on the intersection of criminology, forensic science, psychology and the law, and she has led a number of interdisciplinary funded projects with international partners improving the criminal justice responses to crime globally. Prof. Smith has been leading a team of researchers and NGOs to pilot innovative DNA evidence kits in Kenyan Gender Violence Recovery Clinics, to enhance access to justice for survivors of sexual violence. The team’s work on DNA innovations in low-resource environments was awarded the Times Higher Education Research Project in 2018.

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Mr Yasin Farah  Puntland Bureau of Forensic Science

DNA Forensic Practices in Puntland - Achievements and Challenges of Somalia's inaugural Forensic Bureau


Yasin S. Farah holds a Bachelor in Chemical Engineering from Lund University in Sweden, a Master's in Analytical Chemistry from London Kingston University and a second Master’s degree in Crime and Forensic Science from the University College London. With over 15 years of work experience from various laboratories in the pharmaceutical, analytical chemistry and forensic science fields from institutions in Sweden, the UK and Somalia, Trained in forensic crime scene investigations by INTERPOL, Yassin is currently serving as a Senior Forensic Science Advisor on Forensic Chemistry and Toxicology at the Puntland Bureau of Forensic Science in Somalia.

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Mr Stephen Fonseca  ICRC

DNA in Humanitarian Catastrophes - Conflict, Disasters and Migration


Fonseca began his career in death investigation in the British Columbia Coroners Service and went on to develop and manage the Identification and Disaster Response Unit for several years, to develop a multi-disciplinary systematic approach to the resolution of missing persons cases through the identification of human remains after mass fatality events and complex investigations. Fonseca joined the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in 2013 as a forensic coordinator, working on the Missing and Dead from the Lebanese Civil War and broader forensic capacity building; then in Africa, providing oversight for strategic planning and operational support to ICRC forensic specialists managing humanitarian programs in 24 African countries. Fonseca is Manager of the new ICRC African Centre of Expertise on Missing Persons and Forensic Systems and a member of the ICRC’s Forensic Unit Global Management Team. 

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Mr Fidelis Bugoye  Goverment Chemist Tanzania

Insights into the Forensic DNA Services in Tanzania


Fidelis Bugoye began his career a Tanzanian national human DNA database coordinator and a senior chemist. He worked for several years in various capacities under the Directorate of Forensic Science and DNA Services at the Government Chemist Laboratory Authority Tanzania before being promoted to his current position, where he is in charge of establishing Tanzanian Human DNA in collaboration with other stakeholders. Bugoye studied Molecular Biology at the University of Dar es Salaam and Sokoine University in Tanzania, where he earned a BSc. and an MSc. With has a strong background in DNA forensics, he has participated in a number of mass disaster victim identification and court expert witnessing events in Tanzania.

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Prof. Bruce Budowle  Visiting Professor, University of Helsinki

Dr. Bruce Budowle carried out research, development, and validation of methods for forensic biological analyses at the FBI’s Laboratory Division from 1983-2009 and has contributed to the fundamental sciences by laying the foundations for the current statistical analyses in forensic genetics and defining the genetic parameters of relevant population groups. Dr Budowle has published over 700 articles, made more than 800 presentations, testified in over 300 criminal cases, and authored books on molecular biology techniques, forensic genetics, and microbial forensics.  One of the original architects of the CODIS National DNA database, Dr. Budowle's efforts have focused on counter-terrorism specifically efforts involving microbial forensics and bioterrorism. Currently Dr. Budowle is the Director of the Center for Human Identification and Professor at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, Texas, focusing on the areas of human forensic identification, microbial forensics, emerging infectious disease and medical genetics with substantial emphasis in genomics and next generation sequencing.

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Mr Andrew Mubiru

Lessons Learnt from Establishing the First DNA Lab in Uganda


Andrew Mubiru is the AG Director of Forensic Services in the Ugandan Police Force where he is leading a team with a mission to support the administration of justice, enhance the value of forensic science and inspire the next generation of forensic practitioners. Andrew was part of a team tasked with fast-tracking the activities of the East African Community creating  a "Center of Excellence" in Forensic Service provision and was responsible for Quality Assurance in the Cyber Crime Unit. Spearheading the establishment of Forensic Databases to aid Criminal Investigations, Mubiru headed a team of foreign forensic experts towards investigation of crimes in the context of International Humanitarian Law. The team was selected by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine.

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Mr Tim Schellberg  President GTHGA

Advancing Justice through DNA Policies - The Need for DNA Laws


Tim Schellberg is President of the Gordon Thomas Honeywell Governmental Affairs firm, managing the daily operations of the firm and provides consultancy services primarily in the Washington DC and International divisions of the firm. Mr. Schellberg received his undergraduate degree from Washington State University in 1988 and his law degree from Seattle University in 1991.  Before joining his firm, he served as a lawyer and governmental affairs advisor to the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police. For the last twenty-two years, Schellberg and his firm have become the world’s foremost experts on forensic DNA database legislation, public policy and law. Tim has advised over 50 foreign and state governments on DNA database legislation, laws and policies.   

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south africa

Dr Vanessa Lynch  Forensic DNA Expert

Vanessa Lynch is the Regional Director of DNAforAfrica, and a Senior Government Affairs Consultant at GTH-GA, based in South Africa. Vanessa has extensive experience leading nationwide policy initiatives and working with governments to advance dynamic legislative and policy changes. Founding The DNA Project in 2005, Vanessa went on to launch @DNAforAfrica,  to aid the development of DNA databases and casework programs throughout Africa. 

Vanessa is regarded as a key opinion leader in Forensic DNA policy and lauded for her leadership in driving the adoption of legislation to administer South Africa’s National Forensic DNA Database, the first of its kind in Africa. Serving as Deputy Chair of the National Forensic Oversight and Ethics Board, she monitored the implementation of the provisions of the DNA Act and now serves on the Forensic Databasing Advisory Board for the International Society of Forensic Geneticists. Vanessa obtained her Law degree (LLB) at the University of Cape Town in 1992 and completed her Doctorate of Laws (LLD) at University of Stellenbosch.

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