Attorney and Senior Development Specialist, Democracy and Governance
Lamar Cravens is an attorney specializing in governance issues in Muslim-majority societies. He has spent the past 15 years on assignments in the Central Asian Republics of the Former Soviet Union, South Asia and the Arabian Peninsula.
In Kyrgyzstan, he built and led a rural-based network of 21 pro-bono legal clinics to address the needs of citizens and alleviate inter-ethnic tensions surrounding the privatization of former collective farms, wrote civic education materials for students and evaluated the curriculum of the law department of the University of Central Asia. On several assignments in Tajikistan, he guided the creation of a network of legal assistance centers, evaluated the quality of the available legal services and developed training material for judges resolving disputes under a then newly adopted electoral code. He is presently assisting the President’s Administration remove administrative barriers to the implementation of a 2009 Law on Local Self Governance in advance of the withdrawal of NATO forces from neighboring Afghanistan.
In Bangladesh, he led Participatory Strategic Planning activities in 85 local governments. In support of Iraq's USAID-funded Local Governance Program (LGP) he served as Provincial and a Regional Team Leader, National Director of Programs, Deputy Chief of Party and Chief of Party over an eight year period on this $800 million dollar project. In other work, Cravens served as an Observer during the first round of provincial elections in post-Mubarak Egypt and in Yemen he was commissioned to analyze its laws affecting local service delivery and reorganized USAID's Responsive Governance Project there.
He is author of a well-received Annotation of the Law of Governorates not Incorporated into a Region of Iraq and two other papers about rebuilding efforts and provincial council legislation and budgeting in Iraq. Cravens has paticipated in several international conferences sponsored by the United Nations and the Rand Corporation.
He holds an LLM in International & Comparative Law, a Juris Doctorate, and an Master’s Degree in Middle Eastern Studies. In addition to his native English, he speaks fluent Russian and conversational Standard Arabic.