About Us

The Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law established the student-run Human Rights Brief in 1994 as part of its long-standing commitment to human rights education and excellence in legal analysis and writing.  Today, the Brief's staff include J.D. and LL.M. students with interests and experience in a variety of topics in human rights and international humanitarian law.  With more than twenty-five years of publications, the Human Rights Brief has a strong national and international alumni network, including lawyers, judges, and practitioners in every field.  The Brief's staff and faculty advisory board engage in cutting-edge research and writing, create scholarship, organize events, and develop trainings focused on cultivating the next generation of human rights scholars and advocates.   

2019-2020 Senior Staff

Andrew Johnson

andrew johnson

Drew is a J.D. candidate in the class of 2020. He is a former member of the Student Advisory Board for the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. He has written articles for the Human Rights Brief and the Journal for Gender, Social Policy & the Law, where he published a comment on climate change litigation. He is interested in environmental justice and peace-building, transitional justice, and international humanitarian law.

Page Monji

page monji

Page Monji is a 3L at American University, graduating in 2020. Prior to law school, she worked for 8 years in the public and private healthcare sectors. She was motivated to return to school after working in international public health. Most recently, she was based out of Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Vancouver, Canada. Throughout her education at WCL, she has focused on international human rights and health.  

Elena Gartner

elena gartner

Elena Gartner is a 2L at American University. Elena holds a B.A. in Anthropology and Spanish from Grinnell College. Prior to law school, she was a Princeton in Asia Fellow in Laos and then worked at EarthRights International in Thailand. She is also a member of the Administrative Law Review and is interested in environmental justice, environmental law, and human rights law.

Kate Morrow

kate morrow

Kate is a J.D. candidate in the class of 2021 and the Senior Columns Editor for 2019-2020. Last year, she was a Junior Staff Writer for the Europe, Asia, and Oceania region on the Human Rights Brief. She grew up in north central Illinois before transplanting to Boston for her undergraduate degree in International Relations and German Language and Literature. Prior to coming to WCL, she was a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Indonesia, where she taught English in a vocational secondary school. As a law student, Kate is primarily interested in issues of how the law creates (and tears apart) borders, whether they be geographical, political, ethnic, cultural, or otherwise.

Kate Juon

kate juon

Kate is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College, where she studied Sociology and History of Art. Before law school, she worked at a non-profit in New York City. She is a Student Attorney for the International Human Rights Law Clinic, the Articles & Partnership Editor for the Human Rights Brief, and Managing Editor of the Sustainable Development Law & Policy Brief. During her law school career, she has worked at the Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center, the Alexandria Office of the Public Defenders, and the Department of Justice, Office of Immigration Litigation, Appellate Section.

Megan McCullough

meagan mccullough

Meagan is currently a 2L at WCL. Originally from Houston, Texas, Meagan graduated from Villanova University in 2014 with a B.A. in Sociology with a Concentration in Peace and Justice and again in 2015 with a M.A. of Liberal Arts with a Certificate in Peace and Justice. She focused her studies on genocide and post-genocide justice and has done research in Rwanda, Poland, and Germany. After receiving her paralegal certification from the University of Houston, she worked as a paralegal at a civil litigation law firm in Houston. She plans to focus her studies on immigration and human rights law.

Yousra Elkhalifa

yousra elkhalifa

Yousra Elkhalifa is the Co-Symposium Chair. Yousra immigrated to the United States at the age of 6. She was born in Abu Dhabi, UAE. She grew up between Abu Dhabi, UAE and Iowa City, IA. That unique experience has shaped her view on the world and allowed her to find a path where she can explore all of the intersectionalities that make up her identity as a black, Muslim, immigrant woman. Her parents were political activists in Sudan and came to the United States under a political asylum. She has always been inspired by her parents’ story and she seeks to follow in their footsteps and make a positive impact in my community. She has her Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art from the University of Minnesota. During law school she participated in human rights and civil rights internships and externships however now she hopes to put her art degree to use by specializing in art contracting and art dealing. She hopes to make a positive impact on the world through her love of art and law.

Brittany Stanek

brittany stanek

Brittany is currently a 3L. She is originally from Massachusetts and went to college at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). She graduated in 2017 with a B.A. in Forensic Psychology and a B.S. in Justice Studies with a minor in Sociology. Her legal interests include international and domestic criminal law, international humanitarian law, and human rights. In the summer after 1L she participated in The Hague Study Abroad Program and then worked as a research assistant for the War Crimes Research Office. As a 2L, she was a research associate for the Public International Law & Policy Group focusing on transitional justice in Libya and Iraq. In the summer after 2L she externed at AEquitas: The Prosecutor’s Resource on Violence Against Women. She started on the Brief in 1L as a junior writer for the Middle East and Africa and was the Deputy Managing Editor as a 2L.

Samira Elhosary

samira elhosary

Samira is a 2L JD/MA candidate. She spent the summer after 1L as a judicial intern at the DC Superior Court gaining experience with criminal law and mental health diversion. Prior to law school, she earned her B.A. in International Affairs from The George Washington University and has experience working with women's rights non-profits and community-based social justice organizations. In her free time, Samira enjoys baking and knitting.

Yara Calcano

yara calcano

Yara Calcaño is the IACHR Editor on the Brief. She graduated cum laude from Rutgers University in 2013 with a degree in Cultural Anthropology. She studied abroad in Cochabamba, Bolivia and wrote her honors thesis on access to potable water for marginalized communities there. Before law school, Yara was the Legal Assistant for Latin America and Africa at the Center for Reproductive Rights, where she assisted with litigation and advocacy before the Inter-American Commission and the African Commission on Human Rights, among other responsibilities. Now a 2L at WCL, she is also on the Student Advisory Board for the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, the Director of Social Advocacy for the Black Law Student Association (BLSA), a Senator for the Student Bar Association, and a Dean’s Fellow for the Women in the Law Program. 

Lucia Canton

lucia canton

Lucia Canton is a 3L at WCL, and is interested in international human rights law with a particular focus on refugee/asylum law and torture prevention. Lucia is part of the International Refugee Assistant Project (IRAP) at WCL, where she previously served as a Case Manager, and currently serves as Assistant Director. She is a student attorney for the International Human Rights Clinic, and a member of WCL’s Kovler Project Against Torture. Prior to law school, Lucia interned at the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims, and the UNHCR Protection Unit in Quito, Ecuador. During her 2L Fall semester, Lucia was a legal intern at Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, where she focused on human rights issues in Latin America and drafted legal correspondence for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Caroline Gillis

caroline gillis

Caroline Gillis is a 2L specializing in immigration law and its intersections with domestic violence survivors. Last Summer, she worked full time for the WomensLaw project of the National Network to End Domestic Violence in Washington, DC. This Fall, she is working at Mil Mujeres immigrant legal services in Alexandria, VA. When she isn't working, Caroline enjoys spending time with her husband, Jacob, her cat, Aida, and her dog, Princess Penny.

Krishna Pathak

krishna pathak

Krishna is a 2L from Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. She graduated from The George Washington University with a B.A. in International Affairs in 2018. Krishna is a Junior Staffer on the American University Business Law Review and serves as the External Vice President of the South Asian Law Students Association (SALSA). She is interested in topics of migration, international trade, labor and employment law, and business law.

Lucette Moran

lucette moran

Lucette Moran is a 2L student at AU Washington College of Law in the JD/MA International Affairs program. Originally from Connecticut, Lucette graduated from AU School of International Service in 2016 with a B.A. in International Studies and a minor in Arabic Language. Before law school, she worked as a litigation assistant at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP and volunteered with the Ethiopian Community Development Council and the Washington Area Clinic Defense Task Force. She is currently working as a Dean's Fellow in the Immigrant Justice Clinic and as a Case Manager for the International Refugee Assistance Project. She is pursuing a career in immigration, refugee, and international human rights law, and she is also interested in constitutional and administrative law.

Brittany Williams

brittany williams

Brittany is a 3L at American University and will be graduating in 2020. She graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor’s in International Relations. During her time at FIU, Brittany worked with the U.S. Department of State in researching the role of police in global peacekeeping. In addition to serving as the Deputy Articles and Partnership Editor on the Human Rights Brief, Brittany is also the Deputy Publications Editor for the Criminal Law Practitioner. Furthermore, Brittany is the Vice President of the Women’s Law Association (WLA). Over the summer, Brittany worked with a solo practitioner in asylum law. In her free time, you can likely find Brittany at the dog park with her two fur children or making soap.

Kaitlin Fusco

kaitlin fusco

Kaitlin is a 2L in the JD/MA Program and new to the brief! Prior to law school, she worked on Syria and migration-related issues in Germany, Morocco, and the UN in New York. She is also involved with the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) here at WCL. Last summer, Kaitlin worked with the Open Society Foundations Justice Initiative. Kaitlin’s interests include international development, transitional justice, and getting her nails done.

Shannon Gough

shannon gough

Shannon Gough is a 3L who has lived and worked as a human rights professional in D.C. for the past several years. Prior to law school, she assisted a human rights lawyer in complex civil litigation against companies for human rights violations, worked as an advocate to improve the Investor State Dispute Settlement system, contributed to research used to advise the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office on their policy on multinationals and human rights and worked as an analyst with the Conflict Risk Network, among other work. Like other HRB staff, she views pizza as an essential ingredient to life and enjoys it weekly.

Victoria Kadous

victoria kadous

Victoria Kadous is currently a 3L at American University Washington College of Law. She received a B.A. in International Relations and a minor in French from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. While earning her bachelors degree, she was involved in Model Organization of the American States which peaked her interest in human rights issues in the Americas. Victoria wrote her undergraduate honors thesis on prostitution regulation techniques and their impact on curbing sex trafficking. This past summer Victoria interned for the Special Victim’s Division at the States Attorney’s Office for Montgomery County.

Valentina Capotosto

valentina capotosto

Valentina is a 2L originally from Chicago, IL. She pursued her B.A. in International Business at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy and later interned for an economic development department in southern California. She is a member of the International Trade and Investment Society and will be competing on an international investment arbitration team with the Alternative Dispute Resolution Honor Society this year. Her areas of interest include the intersection of climate change, the environment, and human rights.

Shelsea Ramirez

shelsea ramirez

Shelsea Ramirez is a 3L JD/MA candidate with the Washington College of Law and the School of International Service. She received her undergraduate degree in International Studies from Soka University of America in California. After graduating, she completed a service year focusing on children’s rights with AmeriCorps in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She is interested in international law with a particular focus in international human rights and family law.

Gina Uyghur

gina uyghur

Gina is currently a 3L part-time student. Originally from Xinjiang, China she spent her childhood in Russia and Central Asia. Gina graduated from China Foreign Affairs University with a Bachelor's Degree in Law with an area of emphasis in Diplomacy and International Affairs. She speaks Mandarin, Russian and Uyghur languages. She was involved in the Pacific Asian American legal Resource center, and is currently an intern at the international law institute which is fostering prosperity through the rule of law. She is also a student attorney with the International Human Rights Law Clinic, and a volunteer with the International Refugee Assistance Project. As an ethnic minority from a refugee household, she feels strongly connected to human rights issues around the world. Hence, she is interested in pursuing the International Human Rights Law and helping to improve conditions in her homeland. 

Caylee Watson

caylee watson

Caylee V. Watson is from St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands and is a J.D. candidate for the class of 2020. She graduated from American University with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Legal Institutions, Economics, and Government (interdisciplinary study) alongside two minors in Justice and Philosophy. She is currently a Student Attorney at the International Human Rights Law Clinic and a Law Clerk in the Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of State. Caylee continues to pursue her interests in Civil Rights, International Human Rights, and Criminal Law.

Nick Ripley

nick ripley

Nicholas Ripley is a third year law student at WCL from Montoursville, Pennsylvania. They studied anthropology and poetry at the University of Pittsburgh. Nicholas focuses on international human rights, gender and sexuality, and Indian law.

Mary O'Connell

mary o'connell

Mary Kate O'Connell is a current part-time 3L student at WCL. Originally from Massachusetts, Mary Kate graduated from The George Washington University in 2014 with a Bachelor's degree in International Affairs with a double concentration in International Development and Latin America. Since 2015, Mary Kate has been employed as a Paralegal at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, a global immigration firm. Mary Kate hopes to become an Immigration Lawyer upon graduation from WCL and is thrilled to be a part of the Human Rights Brief.


2019-2020 Junior Staff