Currently Executive Director of the Student World Assembly and AIUSA Board Member since June 2007
Education: Masters in Human Rights and Economic Development from Columbia University, BA in Finance from Adelphi University’s Honor College
Biography: Shahram Hashemi has been involved in human rights activism for over a decade, working with various human rights organizations. In addition to his human rights work, he also has extensive auditing, financial, and budgeting experience through his work with Bank of New York and various institutions within the City University of New York. Mr. Hashemi currently serves as Executive Director of the Student World Assembly, an international grassroots network of student activists. Student World Assembly is currently the largest student organization dedicated to democratic values, human rights, and youth leadership.
Mr. Hashemi is the recipient of the former Mayor of New York City, F.H. LaGuardia Memorial Association Award for his service in the 9/11 rescue efforts. He currently resides in the Woodside neighborhood of New York City.
Vice-Chair, Governance Committee Chair
A high school teacher at the Bergen County Academies, a public magnet school in Hackensack, New Jersey, Ken teaches English, French, and History. In addition, he manages the Academy After Hours program, an enrichment program for middle school students, as well as the Apple Academy East, an adult school program for training in digital media.
Education: Ken Mayers received his PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1995.
Biography: Ken Mayers has been the Faculty Advisor of an active Amnesty International student group for almost 15 years. He attended the International Council Meetings in both 2007 and 2009 as a volunteer, and has been a member of the North Africa Coordination group since 2008, serving as the Algeria country specialist.
Jessica Carvalho Morris
Jessica Carvalho Morris is the Director of the International Graduate Law Programs at the University of Miami School of Law where she teaches in the areas of international human rights and constitutional law. She is admitted to practice in Brazil and Florida, and publishes and lectures on international human rights and aspects of Brazilian and American constitutional law.
Education: J.D. equivalent from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil and JD from University of Miami School of Law.
Biography: She has been a member of the Board of Directors of Amnesty International USA since 2008. She is the first Latina to serve as Vice Chair and currently the only Latin American on the Board. She also serves as chair the Governance Committee and on the Executive Committee of the Board. She was the coordinator for the Miami Chapter of Amnesty International for five years, 2004-2009. In that position, she led the organization of one of the largest Florida state conferences in 2006 and the Southern Regional Conference in 2007, and significantly expanded the fundraising and membership of the Miami Chapter with regular events.
Carvalho Morris's father was tortured while serving as a U.S. missionary in Brazil during the military dictatorship. He was kidnapped by the Brazilian military and subjected to electric shocks, beatings, and food and sleep deprivation. After 17 days, he was expelled from Brazil even though official charges were never brought against him. As a result of her father's experience, Carvalho Morris is committed to ending torture and other kinds of human rights violations in the world.
Prior to joining the University of Miami School of Law she worked in the U.S. at National Labor Relations Board and at Greenberg Traurig, and in Brazil with women victims of domestic violence and prisoners' rights. In addition to her work with AIUSA, she also co-chaired the Civil Rights Committee of the Florida Bar and was a member of the Board of the Florida International University Women's Center Advisory Council.
Treasurer, Finance Committee Chair
Currently Member, Group 500 (Austin, Texas) , Former Member, Group 178 (Irvine, CA) and San Diego State University (SDSU) Student Group. AIUSA Board member since June 2010.
Education: MBA, Graziadio School of Business and Management, Pepperdine University, B.S. Business Administration - Management, San Diego State University.
Biography: A member of AIUSA since 1991 and an Amnesty trainer since 1998. Chaired the Nominating Committee for AIUSA Board of Directors, Represented the Western Region on the Special Initiatives Fund (SIF) Committee, and coordinated various campaigns, events, local and student groups. Serve as the Business Continuity Coordinator for the Texas Office of the Attorney General - Child Support Division. On the Board of Directors for the professional organization, the Association of Contingency Planners - Austin Chapter.
Planning and Priority Committee Chair
Currently Executive Director of Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
Education: JD from David A. Clarke School of Law, University of the District of Columbia
Biography: Jeremy's activism commenced through his work with the Lutheran Volunteer Corps working as a legal assistant on issues related to poverty. He later became involved in many other issues, such as indigenous rights, human trafficking, intellectual property, and government corruption. With all of this experience, he gained the skills to develop, write, lobby, pass and implement legislation to benefit homecare and childcare workers. Jeremy has been an active member with Amnesty International for over a decade including serving as the Legislative Coordinator and the State Death Penalty Abolition Coordinator.
Jeremy is the Executive Director of the Illinois Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty; a position I have held for almost two years. It works in a broad coalition, which includes Amnesty International, the Illinois State Bar Associations, the ACLU, the Catholic Conference, and many others. During his past two years, the group has gone from a one-person office to a five-person staff, has doubled the size of its budget, and has created a very specific strategic plan which leads to the abolishing of the death penalty in Illinois in 2011.
Membership Committee Chair
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.
Member at Large
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.
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.
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), She is currently Graduate Studies Director, and, since 2002, has been the director of the ICHR internship programme.
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 forthcoming publication (co-authored with Joshua Castellino), is entitled Minority Rights in the Middle East is with Oxford University Press (exp 2011) and will engage in case studies from Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. She has recently been awarded a Millennium Fund Grant to undertake field work on her current research focus on Militant Democracy. The project will legally audit 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 Middle East (Yemen, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Syria, Israel/Occupied Territories, Lebanon, Iran and Sudan), India, and the Republic of Ireland.
Currently a visiting fellow at the Center for American Progress in Washington DC and member of AIUSA Board since June 2011
Education: Pratap has degrees from Calcutta University, San Francisco State University, 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 Chatterjee also volunteers as project director for CorpWatch in San Francisco and serves on the board of the Corporate Europe Observatory in Brussels.
Pratap is an investigative journalist specializing in environmental and human rights issues as well as on fraud, waste and abuse. He has traveled often to the Middle East and Central Asia including a number of trips each to Afghanistan 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.
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.
President of Libby Hawk and Associates
Education: Bachelor of Arts from Mount Holyoke College and Masters of Fine Arts from City University of New York
Biography: Joan has been involved in supporting human rights and women's rights throughout her career, working in nongovernmental organizations, in government and in international organizations. A communications and development specialist, she has helped organizations--local, state, national and international--define strategies and implement successful constituency outreach and public advocacy initiatives. Her involvement with AI and Amnesty USA includes designing and curating the Cambodia Witness exhibit to highlight extrajudicial execution that traveled throughout the US and Europe.
Before starting Libby Hawk Associates in 2010, for more than nine years Joan guided the public affairs and outreach of the United Nations Development Fund for Women, UNIFEM (now part of UN Women), the United Nations organization working in more than 80 countries to realize women's human rights. She expanded and diversified the organization's funding base, sharpened its public profile and developed long-term partnerships with companies, celebrities, NGOs and other UN agencies to strengthen groundbreaking work to end violence against women and promote women's human rights, economic empowerment and equality. Joan was an architect of UNIFEM's global Say NO to Violence against Women campaign that utilized cutting edge Internet-based interactive technology to garner more than 5 million signatures from around the world in its first phase. To advance gender equality in the private sector, she spearheaded the creation of the Women's Empowerment Principles - Equality Means Business, seven steps that business can take to open opportunities for women in the workplace, marketplace and community.
Joan is a spokesperson and writer on achieving women's human rights, ending violence against women and building partnerships to advance gender equality. For example:
-Achieving Gender Equality: The Road from Participation to Influence, Middle East Partnership Initiative Institute, Women as Voters, American University, Washington, DC
-Taking Action to Eliminate Violence against Women, World Conference on Prevention of Family Violence, Banff, Canada
-The Missing Piece to Ending Poverty—Integrating Gender into the Millennium Development Goals, George Washington University, Washington, DC
-Religions for Peace and UNIFEM: Working Together To ‘Say NO' to Violence against Women, Religions for Peace, MOSAIC Newsletter, Issue 13
-Women and the United Nations, Course Instructor, American University's Women & Politics Institute, Washington, DC
Training Adviser, Community Organizing and Rights Education- Burma
Asia Training Associate, Minority Rights Group International (until September 2012)
Education: Emily is a PhD Candidate in socio-cultural anthropology at Cornell University. She holds a B.A. in human rights and international relations from Columbia University, as well as a Certificate in the Advanced Study of Nonviolent Conflict from the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict's Fletcher Summer Institute.
Biography: 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 Survivor's 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 nonviolent people's movements in Asia.
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.
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.
Currently a consultant specialized in grassroots development and AIUSA Board Member since 2009.
Education: MBA from Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a BS and completed two years of doctoral study in financial economies and applied mathematics.
Biography: Within Amnesty International USA he also serves on the International Committee for Reserve Policy, on the review board for Special Initiative Funds, and as co-coordinator of Amnesty International Manhattan (Groups 9 & 280). He has also done human rights work with Children International, Burma Point, Oxfam, Ashoka, and orphanages in Africa. Outside the NGO world, Zack is a Lecturer in Finance at New York University, and does financial consulting and investment management.
Currently Professor Emerita of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico
Education: PhD in Anthropology from University of California-Irvine
Biography: She is widely published on issues of development in Poland and Mexico and on migration, immigration, refugees and human rights conditions in the U.S.-Mexico border region.
She has been a member of Amnesty International USA for 32 years, including in local groups in Riverside CA, Chicago IL, Santa Cruz CA, and Albuquerque NM and she advised the University of New Mexico student group for a number of years. At the national level, she founded the Turkey co-group (country specialist) in the 1980s; she served three terms on the Board of Directors in the late 1980 and early 1990s, including two years as Chair of the Board (1990-2). She was elected to the Board again in 1998 and yet again in 2009. She has been Chair of the Board since 2010. Over the years she has served in a number of local, regional, national and international positions.
In addition to her work with AIUSA, Nagengast has chaired the American Association for the Advancement of Science Committee on Scientific Freedom and Responsibility and the Committee for Human Rights, the American Anthropological Association Committee for Human Rights, and the Society for Applied Anthropology Committee on Human Rights and Social Justice. She is also the Chair of Board of Directors of the Claire N. Connelly Scholarship Foundation, a college scholarship fund for the children of police officers in Riverside CA. The Connelly Foundation honors Nagengast's daughter, a police officer killed in the line of duty in 1998.
Currently a Research Associate at The Earth Institute at Columbia University and Special Assistant to the Director of the Earth Institute, and UN Secretary General Special Advisor, Professor Jeffrey Sachs.
Education: Political Science at Yale University, where he graduated with honors and distinction.
Biography: Aniket's research focuses on economic and political development of Africa, Asia, and the United States, and his work has taken him around the world, from East Timor and South Korea to Nigeria and Rwanda. He also serves as an advisor to various non-governmental organizations around the world, and is considered an expert on youth leadership and involvement in civil society. Aniket has worked in international finance in London and New York at major financial institutions as well, including Glitnir Bank and Goldman Sachs & Co.
Aniket studied Political Science at Yale University, where he graduated with honors and distinction. At Yale, Aniket collaborated closely with former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo and UN Deputy Secretary General Mark Malloch Brown, on a variety of publications on globalization and international politics. Aniket also led various field missions throughout Africa, researching elections and governance issues in Mauritania, Kenya, Ghana and Rwanda. He is the co-editor of the upcoming volume: Re-Developing America: Global Perspectives on America's 21st Century Challenges (University of Pennsylvania Press, October 2012).
Currently Professor at the University of Michigan's Ford School of Public Policy
Education: PhD in International Studies from the University of Denver
Biography: Susan Waltz has been an active member of Amnesty International for more than 30 years. As an area specialist with expertise on North Africa she helped establish AIUSA's Maghreb Coordination group in 1981. From 1993-1999 she served on AI's International Executive Committee, including two years as the organization's international chairperson. In that capacity, she visited many sections of Amnesty International around the world in Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, and Asia and she has led AI missions to Tunisia, Japan, Yemen and Morocco. In recent years she has been involved in international efforts to promote an Arms Trade Treaty, and from 2001-2008 she chaired AIUSA's Working Group on Military, Security and Police Transfers.
Susan regularly teaches courses on the international politics of human rights, international development policy, foreign policy and global governance. Her recent publications include a series of articles on the historical origins of international human rights instruments and the political processes that produced them. This work calls attention to the contribution of small states to the development of human rights law and reflects her longstanding interest in the Global South.
Rafia Zakaria is an author and human rights activist focusing on Muslim women and minority rights. She co-founded the Muslim Women's Legal Fund which provides legal representation to Muslim women facing domestic abuse in family and immigration law cases.
Education: Rafia is an attorney and PhD candidate in Political Philosophy at Indiana University. She teaches Political Theory, American Constitutional Law and the Politics of Islam.
Biography: Rafia Zakaria is the first Pakistani American woman to serve as a Director for Amnesty International USA. 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."
Rafia writes a weekly column for DAWN Pakistan's largest English newspaper and is a blogger for Ms.Magazine in the United States.Her work has been quoted or has appeared in the New York Times, Arts and Letters Daily, Guernica the Nation and the American Prospect. 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.