Baher Azmy is the Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). He directs all litigation and advocacy around issues related to the promotion of civil and human rights. At CCR, he has litigated cases related to discriminatory policing practices (stop and frisk), government surveillance, the rights of Guantánamo detainees, and accountability for victims of torture. Azmy is currently on leave from his faculty position at Seton Hall University School of Law, where he taught Constitutional Law and directed the Civil Rights and Constitutional Litigation Clinic. Azmy received his J.D. from NYU School of Law.
Ira Belkin is an Adjunct Professor and Executive Director of U.S.-Asia Law Institute at NYU School of Law. Previously, as a program officer for Ford Foundation in Beijing, Belkin worked on law and rights issues in China, helping Chinese institutions strengthen the rule of law and enhance the protection of citizens’ rights. Prior to joining Ford, Belkin combined a career as an American lawyer and federal prosecutor with a deep interest in China, and spent seven years working to promote the rule of law in China. He has lectured extensively in Chinese to Chinese audiences on the U.S. criminal justice system and to American audiences on the Chinese legal reform movement. Belkin received his J.D. from NYU School of Law.
Nate Cardozo is a Senior Staff Attorney on the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s digital civil liberties team. In addition to his focus on free speech and privacy litigation, Cardozo works on EFF's Who Has Your Back? report and Coders' Rights Project. Cardozo has projects involving cryptography and the law, automotive privacy, government transparency, hardware hacking rights, anonymous speech, electronic privacy law reform, Freedom of Information Act litigation, and resisting the expansion of the surveillance state. Cardozo received his J.D. from U.C. Hastings where he has taught first-year legal writing and moot court.
Yu-Jie Chen received her J.S.D. from NYU School of Law. Chen has worked as a Research Scholar for the U.S.-Asia Law Institute at NYU School of Law, where she focused on criminal justice and human rights developments in Taiwan and China. Prior to U.S.-Asia Law Institute, Chen was awarded the Robert L. Bernstein Fellowship in International Human Rights and worked as a researcher at Human Rights in China. Chen has also practiced in the Taipei-based international law firm Lee and Li. Her research has focused on international and domestic law in relation to human rights in Mainland China and Taiwan. Chen received her LL.M. from NYU School of Law and holds an LL.M. and LL.B. from National Chengchi University in Taiwan.
Suba Churchill is the Presiding Convener of the Civil Society Organisation Reference Group, a civil society platform bringing together more than 120 non-state actors in Kenya. Churchill leads a team of committed civil society actors serving in the organization’s Oversight Committee to push for an enabling environment for civil society organizations in Kenya. Churchill also co-founded and chairs the Kenya University Student Organization, a national student union seeking to broaden student representation in Kenya's universities, and founded the National Youth Convention, a branch of the National Youth Movement of Kenya focused on protecting students' rights and preparing youth for democratic leadership.
Jerome A. Cohen is a Professor of Law and the Faculty Director of the U.S.-Asia Law Institute at NYU School of Law. Cohen is a leading American expert on Chinese law and government, and began studying and teaching about China’s legal system in the early 1960s. From 1964 to 1979, he introduced the teaching of Asian law into the curriculum of Harvard Law School, where he served as Jeremiah Smith Professor, Associate Dean, and Director of East Asian Legal Studies. In addition to his responsibilities at NYU School of Law, Cohen served for several years as C.V. Starr Senior Fellow and Director of Asia Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, where he currently is an Adjunct Senior Fellow. Cohen retired from the partnership of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP at the end of 2000 after twenty years of law practice focused on China. He received his J.D. from Yale University. .
Sukti Dhital is is the Deputy Director of the Robert L. Bernstein Institute for Human Rights at NYU School of Law and a human rights lawyer with extensive international law experience in the fields of economic and social rights. Previously, Dhital was the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Nazdeek, a legal empowerment organization committed to bringing access to justice closer to marginalized communities in India. Prior to Nazdeek, She was the Director of the Reproductive Rights Unit at the Human Rights Law Network, India, and also worked at the American Civil Liberties Union’s Reproductive Freedom Project and Bingham McCutchen LLP. She received her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law.
Tashwill Esterhuizen is a South African lawyer and head of the LGBTI and Sex workers Rights Programme at the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC). Esterhuizen has extensive experience in public interest and human rights litigation and advocacy in ten Southern Africa countries. Prior to SALC, he worked as a litigation attorney at the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa, where he assisted communities and social movements on protection of their socio-economic rights. Previously, Esterhuizen advised the Office of the Provincial Police Commissioner in Cape Town on police actions and human rights. He received his LL.B. from the University of Cape Town.
Mikhail Golichenko is an advocate (legal counsel) registered with the Moscow Bar and Saratov Bar Association in Russia. He is involved in several strategic litigation and policy development cases promoting comprehensive packages for HIV prevention among people who inject drugs in Russia. On behalf of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Golichenko leads human rights research and advocacy to address drug policy issues in Eastern European and Central Asian countries, largely through a legal empowerment approach. Previously, Golichenko served as a Legal Officer with the UNODC Country Office for the Russian Federation in Moscow, and worked in UN Peacekeeping in West Africa as well as with the Russian police service. Golichenko has a degree of Candidate of Legal Sciences (Ph.D. equivalent) in Russian civil law, and has authored several publications on law, policy issues and human rights in Russia and internationally.
Shannon N. Green is a Director and Senior Fellow of the Human Rights Initiative at Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS). She brings deep experience in human rights, civil society strengthening, and international development, with over 13 years in the U.S. government, academia, and the nonprofit sector. Green’s research areas include addressing threats to democratic institutions and norms and enhancing justice and accountability in conflict and post-conflict environments. Prior to CSIS, Green was the Senior Director for Global Engagement on the National Security Council where she developed and coordinated policies and initiatives to deepen and broaden U.S. engagement with critical populations overseas, including spearheading the President’s Stand with Civil Society Agenda. From 2008 to 2013, Green worked at the Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance at the U.S. Agency for International Development, where she developed policies, strategies, and programs to advance political reform and human rights in the Middle East and North Africa. Green received her M.A. in international peace and conflict resolution from American University.
Tor Hodenfield is a Policy and Research Officer at CIVICUS, an international alliance dedicated to strengthening citizen action and civil society throughout the world. Hodenfield helps coordinate CIVICUS’ strategic and international advocacy on civic space, including at the UN Human Rights Council, and conducts research on freedom of assembly and the right to protest. Prior to joining CIVICUS, Hodenfield worked as an advisor to a human rights monitoring group in the Horn of Africa. Hodenfield also worked for the Legal Resource Center, a Ghana-based human rights organization and as a research assistant to a U.K. Parliamentarian. He holds degrees in human rights from American University and University College London.
Sharon K. Hom is an Adjunct Professor of Law and Director of the China and International Human Rights Law Research Program at the Robert L. Bernstein Institute for Human Rights at NYU School of Law. Hom is also Professor of Law Emerita at the CUNY School of Law where she taught for 18 years, including training judges, lawyers, and law teachers in China. In addition to her academic activities, Hom is the Executive Director of Human Rights in China, and leads their human rights, media advocacy and strategic policy engagement with NGOs, governments, and multi-stakeholder initiatives since 2003. She has actively lobbied and participated in the UN human rights system for more than 15 years and published extensively on Chinese legal reforms, trade, technology, and international human rights. Hom was named one of Wall Street Journal’s “50 Women to Watch” in 2007. She received her J.D. from NYU School of Law.
Melissa Hooper is the Director of Human Rights and Civil Society at Human Rights First. She studies laws and methods that governments use to restrict NGOs and civil society activity, and works with international experts to develop effective responses. From 2011 to 2015, she served as the U.S. Chair of the Human Rights Working Group of the Bilateral Presidential Commission’s Human Rights Committee, bringing together Russian and American experts to engage on human right issues. Hooper has directed rule of law and human rights programs, monitored conditions, and engaged in advocacy in several countries of the former Soviet Union. Prior to joining Human Rights First, Hooper worked for the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative in Moscow as Regional Director for Russia and Azerbaijan, providing support and training to local lawyers, NGOs, human rights defenders, and journalists. Hooper received her J.D. from U.C. Berkeley School of Law.
Danna Ingleton is a Research and Policy Advisor on Human Rights Defenders at Amnesty International. She has a feminist and legal human rights background and has worked with numerous international organizations such as the Red Cross, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and Amnesty International. Ingleton also specializes in human rights defenders’ security and protection on and off line, including developing a security app for activists at risk. Ingleton has worked on issues related to NGO and advocacy ethics including informed consent, participatory approaches, and data management protection. She was previously the Engine Room’s Responsible Data Program Manager, while on sabbatical from Amnesty International. She received her LL.B. from the University of Ottawa.
Mathew Jacob is the Director of Programs at People’s Watch, an Indian human rights organization committed to combating torture, advocating rehabilitation for victims, monitoring and intervening through courts and human rights institutions, and promoting human rights education in schools and communities. Jacob coordinates two national networks, the Human Rights Defenders Alert, which intervenes in instances of attacks on human rights defenders, and the All India Network of NGOs and Individuals, a network committed to strengthening human rights institutions in India. Jacob is also actively involved with the People’s Commission on Shrinking Democratic Space, a membership body established by civil society organizations and individuals from across India to respond to the current political climate of intolerance. Jacob is pursuing his doctoral degree in Social Sciences at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
Sarah Kendzior is a journalist based in St. Louis. She has a Ph.D. in anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis, where she studied the politics of former Soviet authoritarian states. After receiving her degree in 2012, Kendzior shifted focus to covering social, political and economic issues in the United States, including the Ferguson protests and the 2016 presidential election. Her work has appeared in Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, The Guardian, The New York Times, Politico, Foreign Policy, De Correspondent and dozens of other publications. She is the author of the essay collection The View from Flyover Country.
Zelalem Kibretis a law professor and a Scholar in Residence at the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at NYU School of Law. His research focuses on transitional politics and justice, post-conflict Africa, traditional justice, and the role of individuals in international law and accountability vis-à-vis peacebuilding. Kibret was a Professor of Law at Ambo University in Ethiopia and specialized on teaching Public International Law. In addition to his academic pursuits, Kibret is a blogger at the Zone 9 Blogging platform, a collective which blogs and campaigns on human rights, constitutionalism, and democracy. Along with his team, he won the Martin Ennals Award in 2016, and the Committee to Protect Journalists International Press Freedom award and the Reporter Sans Frontières Citizen-Journalist award in 2015. Kibret was selected as a Mandela Washington Fellow for Young African Leaders by President Obama in 2016. He earned his LL.M. degree from Addis Ababa University.
Sida Liu is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto, Faculty Fellow at the American Bar Foundation, and a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton in 2016-2017. Before moving to the University of Toronto, he taught sociology and law at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Liu has conducted extensive empirical research on China’s legal reform and legal profession, including the globalization of corporate law firms, the political mobilization of criminal defense lawyers, the feminization of judges, and the career mobility of law practitioners. In addition to Chinese law, he also writes on sociolegal theory and general social theory. Liu is the author of three books in Chinese and English, most recently, Criminal Defense in China: The Politics of Lawyers at Work (with Terence C. Halliday, Cambridge University Press, 2016). He received his LL.B. degree from Peking University Law School and his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago.
Vivek Maru founded Namati in 2011 to grow the movement for legal empowerment around the world. Namati and its partners have built cadres of grassroots legal advocates – also known as “community paralegals”– in ten countries. The advocates have worked with over 65,000 people to protect community lands, enforce environmental law, and secure basic rights to healthcare and citizenship. Namati convenes the Global Legal Empowerment Network, more than 1,000 groups from 150 countries who are learning from one another and collaborating on common challenges. This community successfully advocated for inclusion of access to justice in the new global development framework, the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
Sarah McKune is Senior Legal Advisor to the Citizen Lab at Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. She is a U.S. lawyer with expertise in international human rights law, intellectual property law, and export controls. McKune’s work addresses the legal and policy dimensions of technologies that impact human rights. Her areas of interest include targeted digital threats against civil society, commercial spyware and other dual-use technologies, and international cyber norm development. Prior to joining the Citizen Lab, she was Law Officer and Special Assistant to the Executive Director at Human Rights in China, where she focused much of her efforts on the counter-terrorism policies and human rights impact of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Her previous experience also includes work as a litigation associate at the New York office of Morrison & Foerster LLP, and teaching English in China. McKune received her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.
Biraj Patnaik is Amnesty International’s South Asia Director. Patnaik is also the Convener of the CSO Support Cell, a network committed to addressing the shrinking of civil society space in India through advocacy, outreach, and media support. Previously, Patnaik was the Principal Adviser to the Supreme Court of India Commissioners on the Right to Food case. He was closely associated with drafting and lobbying for the National Food Security Act (2013), a landmark legislation that created legal entitlements of subsidized food grains, free meals, and cash entitlements for nearly one billion people in India. Patnaik serves on the board of several human rights organizations including Centre for Equity Studies and Program on Women’s Economic Social and Cultural Rights. Patnaik has a master's degree in management from the Institute of Rural Management, Anand, and was a Gurukul Senior Scholar at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences.
Deborah Alejandra Popowski is the Executive Director of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) at NYU School of Law. Her research interests include institutional vulnerability to capture by the national security state, accountability ethics, the role of media and the arts in shifting attitudes towards human rights, and the incorporation of testimony and performance into legal pedagogy. Popowski joined CHRGJ in 2016 from Harvard Law School, where she taught human rights for seven years, most recently as a lecturer and clinical instructor. Prior to Harvard, Popowski was a Kaufman-Skirball Fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where she worked with the Guantánamo Global Justice Initiative and advised the habeas bar on matters involving health and medical ethics. Popowski has organized and led an innovative torture accountability campaign that incorporated a legislative reform initiative and the use of state professional boards as impact litigation forums, and has advocated in or appeared before various international bodies. Popowski received her J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Michael H. Posner is a Professor at NYU Stern School of Business, and the Co-Founder and Co-Director of NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights, the first center on business and human rights at a business school. Previously Posner served as Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the State Department from 2009-2013. As Assistant Secretary, Posner traveled extensively, representing the U.S. Government to foreign officials and representatives of civil society in numerous countries including China, Egypt, India, and Russia. Posner has been a prominent voice in support of human rights protections in global business operations in the manufacturing supply chain and the promotion of free expression and privacy rights on the Internet. From 1978 to 2009, he led Human Rights First, a New York-based human rights advocacy organization. Posner received his J.D. from U.C. Berkeley School of Law.
Xiao Qiang is an Adjunct Professor at the Berkeley School of Information and the Founder and Editor in Chief of China Digital Times, a bi-lingual China news website that explores how to apply cutting edge technologies to aggregate, contextualize, and translate online information from and about China. At Berkeley, Qiang teaches a class on Digital Activism and runs the Counter-Power Lab, an interdisciplinary faculty-student group researching innovative technologies to expand the free flow of information in cyberspace. He became a full time human rights activist after the Tiananmen Massacre in 1989. Qiang was the Executive Director of Human Rights in China from 1991 to 2002. He is a recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship in 2001 and was a visiting fellow of the Santa Fe Institute in 2002. A theoretical physicist by training, Qiang studied at the University of Science and Technology of China and entered the Ph.D. program in Astrophysics at the University of Notre Dame.
Zara Rahman is a researcher, writer, and linguist interested in the intersection of power, culture, and technology. She has traveled and worked in more than 25 countries in the field of information accessibility and data use in civil society. She worked at OpenOil, investigating the impact of publicly available information and open data in the extractive industries in the MENA region, and then worked for Open Knowledge, working with School of Data on data literacy for journalists and civil society. Rahman is currently a Fellow at the Data & Society Research Institute in New York City, investigating the bridging role between highly tech-literate communities and lower tech-literate communities. She is also a Research Lead at The Engine Room where she leads their Responsible Data Program, providing practical materials for the ethical, privacy-related, and legal challenges of using data in new and different ways in social change.
Nikki Reisch is the Legal Director of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) at NYU School of Law. Her work focuses on social and economic rights, with an emphasis on corporate accountability, economic inequality, and environmental justice. Prior to studying law, Reisch worked as an advocate with NGOs monitoring the effects of international financial and development institutions on communities in the Global South. She spent years conducting research and advocacy related to the human rights impacts of extractive industry and large-scale infrastructure projects, trade liberalization and climate change, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa. Before CHRGJ, Reisch served as a law clerk to the Honorable Marsha S. Berzon on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and to the Honorable Raymond J. Lohier, Jr. on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She received her J.D. from NYU School of Law.
Edwin Rekosh is a Visiting Professor of Law and the Director of Human Rights Initiatives at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. In that capacity, he is overseeing the overall growth of Cardozo School of Law’s human rights program, including Human Rights Forward, an initiative to create new solutions for combating suppression of civil society groups and advancing human rights. Prior to Cardozo School of Law, Rekosh served as the president & CEO of PILnet: The Global Network for Public Interest Law, an organization which he founded in 1997 to develop global resources and networks in support of local human rights advocacy around the world. Rekosh also teaches on the adjunct faculty of Columbia Law School and has been a recurring Visiting Professor at Central European University in Budapest. Rekosh has pioneered innovative human rights initiatives in China, and in over 30 other countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America. He received his J.D. from Columbia Law School and was awarded the American Bar Association's International Human Rights Award in 2009.
Heidy Rombouts is a Belgian lawyer with a background in human rights, rule of law, and transitional justice. Since 2015, Rombouts has been a member of the team of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association, where she provides legal advice and coordinates the litigation project under which several amici curiae have been submitted in national and regional courts. She is an accomplished interlocutor, with experience in countries such as Chile, Kenya, Mali, South Africa, and Vietnam. Previously she managed a social justice program in Kenya for the German development cooperation, acted as justice advisor in several countries strengthening rule of law and respect for human rights, and researched, published, and consulted on transitional justice and working in conflict and fragile environments. Rombouts received her Ph.D. in Social and Political Sciences from University of Antwerp and a LL.M. from Katholieke Univesiteit Leuven.
Olga Sadovskaya is the Deputy Chair of the Committee Against Torture, an award-winning human rights organization providing psychosocial and legal assistance to torture victims in Russia. Sadovskaya specializes in international law, and practices in front of the Russian courts, the European Court of Human Rights, and human rights institutions of the United Nations. She is the author of numerous articles on the application of law in torture cases in Russia, and on the law and practice of the European Court of Human Rights. Sadovskaya is a trainer in the HURIDOCS system and an author of training seminars on the standards of the European Court of Human Rights for lawyers, law enforcement officers, and prosecutorial officials in Russia. She is a law graduate of Nizhny Novgorod State University and Amsterdam University.
Yara Sallam is Director of the Criminal Justice Program at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR). Previously, Sallam worked as a researcher on transitional justice and freedom of religion and belief at EIPR, mostly notably as the Women Human Rights Defenders Program Manager at Nazra for Feminist Studies in Egypt. Prior to EIPR, Sallam was a professional legal assistant at the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in The Gambia, and a research assistant at the Institute of Research for Development focusing on women’s rights in Egypt. Sallam received her LL.B. from Cairo University and Pantheon-Sorbonne University, and a LL.M. in International Human Rights Law from the University of Notre Dame.
Margaret Satterthwaite is a Professor of Clinical Law, Faculty Director of the Robert L. Bernstein Institute for Human Rights, and Co-Chair of the Center for Human Rights and the Global Justice at NYU School of Law. Her research interests include economic and social rights, human rights and counterterrorism, methodological innovation in human rights, and vicarious trauma among human rights workers. Before joining the academy, she worked for a number of human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights First, and the Commission Nationale de Verité et de Justice in Haiti. She has authored or co-authored more than a dozen human rights reports and dozens of scholarly articles and book chapters. Satterthwaite has worked as a consultant to numerous UN agencies and special rapporteurs and has served on the boards of several human rights organizations. She received her J.D. from NYU School of Law.
Jason M. Schultz is a Professor of Clinical Law and Director of the Technology Law and Policy Clinic at NYU School of Law. His clinical projects, research, and writing primarily focus on the ongoing struggles to balance intellectual property and privacy law with the public interest in free expression, access to knowledge, and innovation in light of new technologies and the challenges they pose. In 2016, Schultz took leave and joined the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy as a Senior Advisor on Innovation and Intellectual Property. Prior to joining NYU School of Law, Schultz was an Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic at U.C. Berkeley School of Law. Before U.C. Berkeley School of Law, he was a Senior Staff Attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Schultz also clerked for the Honorable D. Lowell Jensen of the Northern District of California. He received his J.D. from U.C. Berkeley School of Law.
Emerson Sykes is the Legal Advisor for Africa programs at the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), where he provides legal assistance and training to African civil society leaders, state officials, law students, and other stakeholders to improve the legal framework protecting the freedom of association, assembly, and expression. Since joining ICNL, Sykes has managed programs in more than 12 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and worked on the regional level with the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights. Prior to joining ICNL, Sykes served as Assistant General Counsel to the New York City Council. In 2011, he was as Senior Policy Fellow in the office of a Member of Parliament in Ghana. He previously conducted research and wrote about U.S. foreign policy for The Century Foundation, a progressive think tank, and worked for the National Democratic Institute's Central and West Africa Team. Sykes received his J.D. from NYU School of Law.
Pauline Vata is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya and the Executive Director of Hakijamii, a Kenyan human rights organization whose mission is to support and work with marginalized groups to advocate for their economic and social rights. Vata leads the innovative socio-economic rights litigation team at Hakijamii, and coordinates Hakijamii’s monitoring and legal empowerment work with social movements to advance the human rights of the urban poor. Vata received her LL.B. from the University of Nairobi and is currently pursuing her M.A. in Human Rights.
Bilge Yesil is an Associate Professor of Media Culture at the City University of New York, College of Staten Island. Her research focuses on Internet policy, surveillance, censorship, mediated activism, and media and globalization. She is the author of two books including Video Surveillance: Power and Privacy in Everyday Life (2009), and Media in New Turkey: The Origins of an Authoritarian Neoliberal State (2016). Yesil earned her M.A. degree in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her doctoral studies in Media, Culture and Communication from NYU.