Akhila Kolisetty

Senior Advocacy Officer, Wisconsin

Akhila Kolisetty is Namati’s Senior Advocacy Officer, where she drives forward campaigns to improve global access to justice and expand the reach of the legal empowerment movement.

Akhila brings years of experience in research, advocacy, and partnerships to advance legal empowerment, gender justice, and human rights across Nepal, Sierra Leone, India, Bangladesh, and the United States. Most recently, as MADRE’s Policy and Campaigns Manager, she partnered with grassroots women and girls-led organizations to advance feminist policies for peace and environmental justice. Previously, she was a Presidential Fellow with the Open Society Foundations and a Consultant on legal empowerment data, policy and research with the Open Society Justice Initiative and Alliance for Social Dialogue in Nepal. A lawyer by training, she has also provided legal representation and advice to low-income survivors of domestic violence in family courts in New York. She holds a JD from Harvard Law School and a Bachelor’s in Economics and Political Science from Northwestern University. With roots in Andhra Pradesh, India and New Jersey, she enjoys poetry, creative writing, and exploring our beautiful planet.


Selected Publications

The Delivery of Civil Legal Aid in Nepal: An Assessment of the System and Recommendations on the Way Forward. Akhila Kolisetty and Neetu Pokharel. National Human Rights Commission, Nepal. Sambahak: Human Rights Journal, Vol. 15 (May 2020)

Examining the Effectiveness of Legal Empowerment as a Pathway out of Poverty: A Case Study of BRAC – World Bank Justice and Development Working Paper Series (2014)

Book Review – The International Rule of Law Movement: A Crisis of Legitimacy and the Way Forward – Harvard Human Rights Journal