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Tatiana R. Zaharchenko

Visiting Scholar

Tatiana R. Zaharchenko was a Senior Staff Attorney and Advisor on the Eastern European Program at ELI in 1994-1995 and now splits her time between the US, Europe and Ukraine. Zaharchenko received her Ph.D. from the All-Union Research Institute of Comparative Law in Moscow (1988) and holds two other law degrees from Ukraine and the US. For twelve years, she was a tenured law professor at the Ukrainian Law Academy in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Concurrently, she served as Legal Counsel for the Ecological Commission of the Kharkiv Municipality. During perestroika, Dr. Zaharchenko became an outspoken academic introducing right to know, access to information and public participation into policy debate, legal writing and law drafting. In 1989, she was in the first group of 17 Soviet lawyers invited by the Soros Foundation and the American Bar Association for professional internships in the US. Upon her return to Ukraine, she published law reviews and newspaper articles and prepared course materials on US, comparative and international environmental law.

Since 1992, Dr. Zaharchenko has worked on the reform of legal systems, laws and polices in the post-socialist world. Transparency and accountability in environmental governance remain her primarily focus both as a scholar and a practitioner. Her areas of expertise also include regional seas, particularly the Caspian and the Black Sea, implementation of multilateral agreements, and approximation with EU environmental legislation.

In 1994, while with the Natural Resources Defense Council, Zaharchenko wrote the Russian-language Citizen Guide for Environmental Democracy in Russia, the first such publication in the post-Soviet region. In 1996-1999, as a senior program officer for the World Wildlife Fund (US), she was in charge of a USAID-financed project to promote biodiversity conservation in Ukraine. The resulting dual language book, Priority-Setting in Conservation: A New Approach for Crimea, documented a broad participatory policy shaping exercise and years later it continues to guide conservation efforts for this region. In 2009, her paper, On the Way to Transparency: a Comparative Study on Post-Soviet States and the Aarhus Convention, was published by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars where she was a Fellow.

Zaharchenko has assisted national governments, the European Commission, other multilateral and bilateral agencies such as UNECE, UNEP, the World Bank and the Danish Environmental Protection Agency on environmental projects and multilateral agreements. In 2007-2009, she was team leader for the EU-funded project "Environmental Collaboration for the Black Sea: Georgia, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine," helping to bring environmental laws and policies of participating countries closer to EU standards, improving regional cooperation and amending the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution (the Bucharest Convention). Besides delivering 21 major regional and national policy documents developed through participatory processes, it brought the voices of the Black Sea region’s civil society to the attention of an international audience and national governments.  In 2011-2012, Zaharchenko was key legal expert for the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency on convergence of Ukrainian legislation with EU environmental laws in preparation for the signing of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement.

Dr. Zaharchenko is the author of and/or contributor to over 60 publications and reports, and is a frequent public speaker and invited guest lecturer internationally. She volunteers on boards of international environmental organizations and national NGOs in Europe and currently is a trustee for the Center of International Environmental Law (CIEL).