Sr. Director of Global Health Programs at Special Olympics International (Washington D.C.), Javier Vasquez is a lawyer with more than 20 years of experience in public health, human rights, disability and health-related law. At Special Olympics International, Mr. Vasquez oversees implementation of operational plans for Health to fulfill the targets laid out in the strategic and annual operational plans, as well as in approved proposals to major funders of the health program and monitors and reports health activities for achieving targets. He was the Human Rights Advisor (1999-2016) for the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) /Regional Office of the World Health Organization (WHO) where he advised PAHO’s Member States in collaboration with its Representation offices on international human rights issues and strategies to improve the right to the highest attainable standard of health and other related human rights of groups in situation of vulnerability. In PAHO/WHO, he also facilitated the formulation/review of national public health laws, polices, practices; and the reform of public health services in a manner consistent with international human rights treaties and standards.
Prior to his work at Special Olympics International and PAHO/WHO, Mr. Vasquez was a staff attorney and recipient of the Romulo Gallegos Fellowship, for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (Washington D.C. May 1997-May 1998) where he personally handled reports regarding the human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons with disabilities. Mr. Vasquez holds a Master’s Degree in International Legal Studies from the Washington College of Law, The American University, Washington, D.C. (1996) which focused on International Human Rights Law, the UN/Inter-American System of Human Rights, critical issues pertaining to the right to health and other related human rights of groups in situation of vulnerability and ethnic conflicts.