Board Of Directors Profiles

Board Of Directors Profiles

Ann Burroughs

Board Chair

Currently Executive Director of the Taproot Foundation

Education: She was educated in South Africa

Biography: Ann Burroughs is the Executive Director of the Taproot Foundation, Los Angeles, She was on the staff of AIUSA from 1991 - 1999 first as the Western Regional Deputy Director then as a Media Director on the national team. She has been a member of the IAR Member Strategy Planning Group since June 2011. She was imprisoned for her work against apartheid in her native South Africa in the 1980s and was the subject of a successful AI Special Action.



Reza Fakhari

Vice-Chair, Governance Committee Chair

Associate Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs & Professor of International Politics at The City University of New York/Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn, New York as well Professor of Politics at Fordham University in New York City

Education: Ph.D., with Honors, in International Relations from the New School for Social Research in New York City. B.A. in Chemistry/Sociology from Winona State University in Winona, Minnesota.

Biography: Reza has had a long-standing, passionate commitment to promoting human rights globally. This interest began in his years as a dissident in Iran where he was arrested under the Shah's regime for possessing testimonies of political prisoners and banned books. Since becoming a higher education practitioner in the U.S., he has intensified this devotion by conceiving and successfully implementing civic and global engagement programs at his colleges, lecturing and writing about the imperative of global citizenship, and serving on the board of national organizations devoted to human, civil, and democratic rights.

Reza established an AI chapter at LaGuardia Community College in New York City in 2000 which hosted the AIUSA Conference, "Teach Truth to Power," attended by educators in the tri-state area, with the author Kerry Kennedy Cuomo as the keynote speaker. As the Chairman of the Board of the Student World Assembly and working with the leadership team since 2004, he has been able to organize and energize members globally at the chapter/school level for various campaigns and causes, global and/or local in dimension. Relatedly, Reza actively serves on the National Steering committees of The Democracy Commitment and Dream.US-a national scholarship for undocumented college-bound youth (Dreamers).

Reza has been trained in a number of national executive leadership workshops and brings extensive experience in shared governance, grants development, fundraising, strategic planning, outcomes assessment, resources allocation, personnel management, diversity recruitment, technology integration, branding/marketing, and speaking on pressing international issues. He intends to effectively contribute to AIUSA's strategic goal of aggressive outreach to educational institutions, educators, and students to build an energized base of young members and empower and engage them. Reza received the Distinguished College Administrator Award from Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society in 2013. He was awarded the Bene Merenti Medal for excellence in teaching at Fordham University in 2008. He has also taught at Vassar College, International Pacific College in New Zealand, and has been a visiting faculty at Salzburg Global Seminar in Salzburg, Austria. He is on the Editorial Advisory Board of Liberal Education, the flagship journal of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.



Kristina Brady

Treasurer, Finance Committee Chair

Enterprise Business Continuity for the Office of the Texas Attorney General

Education: MBA, with emphasis in Entrepreneurship, from Pepperdine University and a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Management, from San Diego State University

Biography: Kristina has been a member of AIUSA since 1991 starting as a student activist and is currently a member of the local Austin chapter. She has held various roles within the organization, most recently serving as Chair of the Development Committee; previously on the Board from 2010 - 2013 serving as Treasurer from 2012 - 2013 and as an AIUSA delegate to the bi-annual International Council Meeting (ICM) in Germany held in 2013.

She has been in the Business Continuity field since 1999 and has been a member of the professional organization, the Association of Contingency Planners since 2004 where she has previously served on the Board of Directors, including as President, of the Capital of Texas Chapter.


Becky Farrar

General Secretary


Education: J.D. from Stetson University College of Law (2009); B.A. from Queen's University (Canada) (1979)

Biography: Becky Farrar works as a contract attorney in Washington, D.C. and is actively involved with both Amnesty International USA and the American Bar Association (ABA).

As a member of DC's Adams Morgan/Capitol Hill Amnesty group, Becky helps organize events and rallies, including the annual Get on the Bus-DC. She has been a Legislative Coordinator (LC) with AIUSA since 2007, in Florida and DC. Becky is concluding a term as Co-Chair of the ABA's Section of International Law's International Human Rights Committee.

Becky grew up in Canada and graduated from Queen's University in 1979 with a degree in politics and drama. Prior to attending Stetson University College of Law, Becky worked in human resources, created and managed small businesses, and co-published and edited a magazine. During law school (2007-2009), she co-founded Stetson Law's first Amnesty chapter and served as President of the Public Service Fellows. Becky has been recognized with leadership awards from AIUSA and Mid-Atlantic Region, and from Stetson Law.

In her spare time, Becky enjoys writing. She is currently working on a mystery thriller involving microfinance.


Terry Kay Rockefeller

Planning and Priority Committee Chair

Documentary film producer, peace and justice activist.

Education: M.A. in U.S. History, The Johns Hopkins University; A.B in Government, Radcliffe College, Harvard University.

Biography: Terry began her documentary filmmaking career at WGBH-TV where she helped create the long-running PBS science series, NOVA. Among her other credits are episodes of Eyes on the Prize, a history of the civil rights movement, and The Great Depression, both produced at Blackside, Inc., America's leading African-American production company.

Terry's sister, Laura Rockefeller, was killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Since May of 2002, Terry has worked with September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows to oppose war in response to 9/11, to protest lack of due process in the military tribunals trying those accused of the terrorist attacks, and to close Guantanamo. From 2003 to 2009, Rockefeller was a member of the board of directors of Murder Victims Families for Reconciliation, which works to abolish the death penalty in the U.S. She currently serves on the steering committee of United for Peace and Justice, a coalition of national and local peace, nonviolence and social justice organizations. She also works with the Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative, a collaboration between Iraqi and international NGOs to support human rights, democracy, and anti-corruption activists in Iraq. Terry has been a member of AIUSA for more than 30 years.


Matthew Kennis

Membership Committee Chair

Currently Senior Research Consultant, Tian Shan Policy Center/American University of Central Asia.

Education: MA in Human Rights and Political Transitions, Columbia University.

Biography: Matthew Kennis has worked on human rights accountability issues in Latin America and globally for more than ten years, including field work in Guatemala where he accompanied witnesses involved in the Rios Montt genocide case. The impetus and dedication for this work stems from meetings with underground Central American indigenous activists involved with truth and memorialization efforts in the mid 1990's.

Matthew has held staff positions with Amnesty International USA and Human Rights Watch and previously worked as an assistant editor with the Interdisciplinary Journal of Human Rights Law. Since 2010, Matthew has worked with Central Asian human rights groups on fundraising efforts, rule of law development, and advocacy strategies. He currently chairs Amnesty International USA's Central America/Mexico Coordination Group. Matthew is a recipient of the Kathryn Davis Fellowship for Peace.


Pratap Chatterjee

Member at Large

Executive director of CorpWatch, based in Berkeley, CA. Member of AIUSA Board since June 2011

Education: Pratap has degrees from Calcutta University in India, San Francisco State University in California, and the New School for Social Research in New York as well as a graduate diploma in international journalism from City University in London, UK.

Biography: Pratap is an investigative journalist specializing in environmental and human rights issues as well as on fraud, waste and abuse. He has traveled widely throughout the Middle East and Central Asia including a number of trips each to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq since 2001 when the U.S. War on Terror began. He has also worked extensively in Asia and throughout the Americas to investigate gold mining as well as other major reconstruction and development projects by institutions like the World Bank.

He is the author of two books on the US war on terror: Halliburton's Army (Nation Books, 2009) and Iraq, Inc. (Seven Stories Press, 2004), as well as co-author of The Earth Brokers (Routledge, 1994), a book on global environmental policy.

Pratap previously worked for the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London and Inter Press Service in Washington DC. He serves on the board of the Corporate Europe Observatory in Brussels and spent a year as a visiting fellow at the Center for American Progress in Washington DC.


Linda Veazey

Deputy Secretary

Currently Assistant Professor of Political Science at Midwestern State University

Education: PhD from University of Southern California in Political Science

Biography: She has worked on several human rights projects including research on LGBT human rights and a book manuscript on women's cultural rights. Linda has done a wide range of volunteer work with asylum seekers in the United States. Since then, she has been an ICM delegate, chaired for the National Resolutions Committee, and served as a Saudi Arabia Country Specialist, among many other volunteer and committee positions with Amnesty International.


Govind Acharya

Deputy Treasurer

Education: Graduate work in Economics at Cornell University and San Francisco State University; undergraduate work at University of California, San Diego.

Biography: Govind has been a volunteer with AIUSA for almost 20 years, serving in a variety of capacities ranging from Student Area Coordinator in San Diego to Country Specialist. He has worked as a staff person at the International Secretariat, serving as AI's representative in Afghanistan. He has served on numerous working groups aimed at strengthening AI's policies worldwide. His graduate work was on developing linkages between mainstream economic theory and human rights, especially the right to food.

In addition to his human rights activism, he is a commissioner on the City of Ithaca's Board of Public Works and chairs the City of Ithaca's Planning and Development Board. While on these local government bodies, he has pushed to ensure that development is sustainable and available for all in our community.

He has also served as the Vice-Chair of the Ithaca Health Alliance, an organization dedicated to ensuring health care for all in his community.

He has a prolific social media presence, tweeting to the world from @gringostani.


Jan Knippers Black

Currently Professor of International Policy Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies

Education: PhD from School of International Service at American University

Biography: Her areas of specialization have included international and grassroots development, international and comparative politics and US foreign policy, especially with respect to the Western Hemisphere, globalization, media, human rights, and women's rights and roles. For more than a decade she has anchored the Institute's human rights program and has offered workshops and onsite courses overseas, most recently in Chile in collaboration with Judge Juan Guzman.

She has also been a Senior Associate Member of St. Antony's College, Oxford, a faculty member in the University of Pittsburgh's Semester-at-Sea Program, a Research Professor in public administration at the University of New Mexico, and a research team supervisor at American University. A founding generation Peace Corps Volunteer in Chile, she has worked on AIUSA campaigns and committees since the 1970s.

Dr. Black has served on more than two dozen editorial or NGO governing or advisory boards and has traveled extensively, to some 175 countries, undertaking research, speaking engagements, workshops, consulting, and program evaluation. She is author, editor, or coauthor of more than two dozen books and 200 chapters or articles in anthologies, encyclopedias, journals, magazines or newspapers. Recent books include Inequity in the Global Village, Development in Theory and Practice, 2nd ed. rev, The Politics of Human Rights Protection (pbk. 2010) and Latin America, Its Problems and Its Promise (5th ed. Rev. 2010).

Drawing upon earlier careers in music and art, she is now collaborating on composition for musical comedy.


Kathleen Cavanaugh

Biography: Kathleen Cavanaugh is currently a Lecturer of International Law in the Faculty of Law, Irish Centre for Human Rights (ICHR), National University of Ireland, Galway. She holds a PhD in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics & Political Science (1997) and a LL.M (Distinction) from the Queen's University of Belfast, Northern Ireland (1998). She has held several Visiting Lectureships including: Fellow, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford (2006-7), and Visiting Lecturer, at the EIUC Centro Interuniversitario Europeo per i Diritti Umani e la Democratizzazione (2002-to date) and a Visiting Research Fellow, Minerva Centre for Human Rights, Hebrew University, Israel (2001).

Her publications and current research agenda, academic interests and specialisation includes: the study of nationalism, Islamic international law, ethnic conflict, political violence, applicable human rights laws in entrenched/states of emergency, freedom of religion and militant democracy. Her most recent publication (co-authored with Joshua Castellino) is entitled Minority Rights in the Middle East is with Oxford University Press (April 2013) and engages in case studies from Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

She has recently been awarded a Leverhulme/British Academy of Sciences grant to undertake field work in Turkey on her current research focus on Militant Democracy. This project follows on from an earlier research project that legally audited pre-emptive security measures in the United Kingdom and their effect on the Muslim community.

With regard to community service and activities outside the University, she has served as Chair of the Executive Committee of Amnesty International (Ireland), was a member of the International Policy Committee of Amnesty International and is currently a member of AIUSA's Board of Directors.

As a consultant, she has undertaken numerous missions on behalf of Amnesty International including to Northern Ireland, Israel/Palestine and Iraq (where she focused on the conduct of the occupying powers with relation to detention and security). She has conducted trainings for governmental as well as non-governmental organisations throughout the (broader) Middle East (Yemen, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Syria, Israel/Occupied Territories, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq and Sudan), India, and the Republic of Ireland.


Emily Hong

Training Adviser, Community Organizing and Rights Education- Burma Asia Training Associate, Minority Rights Group International (until September 2012)

Education: Currently a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology at Cornell University. She holds a B.A. in human rights and international relations from Columbia University, a Certificate in the Advanced Study of Nonviolent Conflict from the Fletcher Summer Institute, and is a graduate of Training for Change's Super-T Training for Social Action Trainers.

Biography: Emily is a Seoul-born and New York-raised writer and trainer. Prior to returning to the US to begin her PhD, Emily spent four years in Thailand and on the Thai-Burma border working with grassroots and international human rights organizations. In her work with Minority Rights Group International, Emily provided training and advising on minority rights advocacy to human rights defenders from twelve countries in South and Southeast Asia.

Prior to joining MRG, Emily was based on the Thai-Burma border, providing strategic advocacy support to Burma's democracy movement-in-exile. She also played a critical role in the launch of CORE Burma, a novel training program on rights-based community organizing and nonviolent direct action, consisting of a partnership between the multi-ethnic coalitions Students and Youth Congress of Burma and Nationalities Youth Forum. Based on the border, she also conducted fieldwork and editing for the book Nowhere To Be Home: Narratives from Survivors of Burma's Military Regime, a volume in the Voice of Witness series on oral history and human rights.

Emily has facilitated trainings on minority rights, international advocacy, creative and cultural resistance, nonviolent civil resistance, campaign planning, and monitoring and evaluation. Her recent research focuses on the interplay between culture and rights, the local strategies of minority and indigenous human rights defenders, and business and human rights issues.

She has been a member of AIUSA for over a decade, and has previously served as Student Area Coordinator and Corporate Action Network Coordinator. The latter role took her to Bhopal, India, and sparked a lifelong interest in working in solidarity with grassroots people's movements.


Natalie Jesionka

Education: Currently in the MA/PhD program in Sociology at the New School, Natalie holds a MSc in Global Affairs and a B.A in Journalism from Rutgers University.

Natalie Jesionka is a lecturer of Sociology and Anthropology at Rutgers University, and serves as the Director of International Programs for Gateway Education, a global university program based in Norway. As an undergraduate, she founded the PRIZM Project, a human rights education organization for young women. Natalie also worked to shed light on untold human rights stories researching and reporting on issues such as refugee rights and human trafficking.

Natalie served as a Fulbright Scholar in Thailand, researching stateless Hill Tribes and examining the origins of human trafficking. The work led to a partnership with Shine Global, an Oscar Award-winning nonprofit production company, on the upcoming documentary film Selling Our Daughters.

She writes the column "Travel Mirror" for The Daily Muse, and is the Editor of Shatter the Looking Glass, an online magazine that focuses on ethical travel. In 2014 she was awarded the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans to further her research in counter-trafficking efforts around the world.

For over twelve years, Natalie has been a member of Amnesty International and has served as a Student Area Coordinator, and an Area Coordinator within the organization.


Marcel Kitissou

Currently Visiting Fellow with the Institute for African Development, the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Cornell University

Education: PhD in Political Science from Syracuse University; Doctorate in Contemporary History from the University of Bordeaux, France.

Biography: Marcel Kitissou has been involved in the work of Amnesty International-USA indirectly and directly since the late 1990s. In 1998-2001, he served as academic advisor for AI-USA student group when he was Director of the PEACE Institute at SUNY-Oswego. He collaborated with AI-USA on issues pertaining to arms transfer and child soldiers when he was Executive Director of Africa Faith and Justice Network in 2001-2005. In between, he used to send student interns to AI-USA when he was Faculty Director of the Global Humanitarian Action Program at George Mason University. Since 2007, he joined the West Africa Co-Group and currently serves as Country Specialist for Burkina Faso and Cote d'Ivoire.

Marcel has recently taught courses on public policy and social justice, conflict resolution, and public policy and human rights. His publications include topics such as Africa in China's global strategy and the politics of water in Africa. His current research focuses on hunger and political stability in Africa. In 2012, he founded the International Consortium for Geopolitical Studies of the Sahel."


Janet Lord

Currently senior vice president for human rights and inclusive development at the Burton Blatt Institute, Syracuse University

Education: LLM, George Washington University Law School; LLB & LLM, University of Edinburgh (Scotland); BA, Kenyon College.

Biography: Janet Lord is currently serving as senior vice president for human rights and inclusive development at the Burton Blatt Institute, a disability law and policy center at Syracuse University. She is also senior research associate at the Harvard Law School Project on Disability and holds part-time teaching appointments at the University of Maryland, Carey School of Law; American University, Washington College of Law; and National University of Ireland (Galway).

Earlier in her career, she worked on the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, focusing on landmine survivor rights in mine-affected countries and serving as legal counsel to NGOs and lead governments in the negotiation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. As part of her human rights law practice, she has worked with grassroots disabled peoples organizations in more than 30 countries around the world to advance disability rights.

Research and field work interests include international disability law and policy, disability inclusive development, participatory human rights education, health and human rights and NGO participation and voice accountability in international law and process.

Recent publications include: Nothing to Celebrate: North Koreans with Disabilities and UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Foreign Policy in Focus (2013); Facilitating An Equal Right to Vote for Persons with Disabilities, Journal of Human Rights Practice (2014) (with Michael A. Stein & Jan Fiala); The Democratic Life of the Union: Toward Equal Voting Participation for Europeans with Disabilities, Harvard Journal of International Law (2013) (with Michael A. Stein & Jan Fiala); and Shared Understanding or Consensus-Masked Disagreement? The Anti-Torture Framework in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 33 Loyola Journal of International and Comparative Law (2011).

She resides in Baltimore, Maryland with her partner and two children.


Thomas A. Pereira

Currently Unavailable


David Stamps

Biography: David Stamps is works in the fields of nonprofit consulting and industrial sales. He has served Amnesty in several capacities: International Board Member and Treasurer, Amnesty USA Board Vice-Chair and Treasurer and Chair of AI's International Financial Control Committee. He also serves on the boards of The Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural rights and the Illusion Theater, Minneapolis.

His non-profit consulting is in the areas of fundraising and board development. A member of Amnesty since 1981, Dave has been a Local Group Coordinator, State Death Penalty Abolition Coordinator and Area Coordinator.

He is a graduate of Lawrence University, Appleton, Wisconsin. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife, children and grandchildren.


Rafia Zakaria

Rafia Zakaria is the first Pakistani American woman to serve as a Director for Amnesty International USA. She is a columnist for DAWN, Pakistan's largest English newspaper. She is a writer and PhD candidate in political philosophy. Her work and views have been featured in the New York Times, Dissent, The Progressive, Guernica, and on Al Jazeera English, the BBC, The Hindu, and National Public Radio. She is the author of The Upstairs Wife: An intimate history of Pakistan, forthcoming from Beacon Press.

Rafia is a lawyer and the Founder of the Muslim Women's Legal Defense Fund for the Muslim Alliance of Indiana/The Julian Center Shelter representing victims of domestic violence. She is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at Indiana University, currently working on her dissertation entitled "Negotiating Identity: Sharia, multiculturalism and Muslim women."

She was the John Edwards Fellow at Indiana University for 2007-2008 which is the highest academic honor that can be achieved by a graduate student at Indiana University. She is the only Pakistani American woman recognized by a joint resolution of the Indiana House and Senate for her work on women's rights.