Meet Our Advisory Board

Claudio Grossman, Co-Chair

Claudio Grossman is Professor of Law, Dean Emeritus, and the Raymond Geraldson Scholar for International and Humanitarian Law at American University Washington College of Law (WCL). Professor Grossman served as WCL dean from 1995-July 2016, at which time he decided to return to the faculty. He was appointed Dean Emeritus by American University's (AU) Board of Trustees in recognition of over two decades of commitment, dedication and distinction. Throughout his academic career, Professor Grossman has contributed to promoting the rule of law, human rights and legal education in both international and domestic organizations. Professor Grossman has been consistently recognized as one of the top 25 most influential people in legal education.

Robert K. Goldman, Co-Chair

Robert K. Goldman is Professor of Law and Louis C. James Scholar at American University's Washington College of Law, where he has taught since 1971. Professor Goldman is also Co-Director of the Law School's Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and Faculty Director of the War Crimes Research Office. He was a member of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights from 1996 to 2003 and its President from March 1999 to March 2000. From July 2004 to August 2005, he was the U.N. Human Rights Commission's Independent Expert on the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms while Countering Terrorism. Professor Goldman teaches and publishes on subjects relating to International Law, Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law.

Victor Abramovich

Victor Abramovich is currently the director of the master's program at the Universidad Nacional de Lanús, Argentina. He has served as the Second Vice-president of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (IAHRC) and as theCommissioner and the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women for the IAHRC. Prior to his work with the IAHRC, he was the Executive Director of Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS), a consultant for the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, a consultant of the Inter-American Development Bank, legal advisor of the Ombudsman office of Buenos Aires and he has worked with the U.N. Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Committee. Abramovich instructs the Human Rights course and directs the Human Rights Law Clinic at the University of Buenos Aires, and teaches at Universidad Nacional de Lanús, Argentina.

Gudmundur Alfredsson

Gudmundur Alfredsson is an Icelandic lawyer (M.C.J. - NYU ’76, S.J.D. - Harvard Law School ‘82). He is Professor in the Polar Law Master Program at the University of Akureyri, Invited Professor at the Law Faculty of the University of Strasbourg, Visiting Professor at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI) in Lund, and Visiting Professor at the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing. He was Law Professor at Lund University (1995-2008), Director of the RWI (1995-2006), staff member with the UN Secretariat in New York and Geneva (1983-95), Chairman of the UN Working Group on Minorities (2006), and a member of the UN Sub-Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (2004-06). He was an expert member nominated by the Greenlandic Government on the Danish-Greenlandic Self-Governance Commission (2004-08).

Philip Alston

Philip Alston is John Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, at New York University Law School. He is currently Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights on the subject of Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions as well as Special Advisor to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the Millennium Development Goals. He chaired the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights from 1991 to 1998 and played an active role as an Independent Expert appointed by the UN Secretary-General to report on measures to ensure the long-term effectiveness of the UN human rights treaty bodies. He was the sole Legal Adviser to UNICEF throughout the period of the drafting of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and was an expert adviser in the preparation of the Machel Report on children in armed conflict.

Jose Alvarez

Hernert and Rose Rubin Professor of International Law at New York University School of Law, Alvarez is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was an attorney adviser at the U.S. Department of State.  He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1981 and practiced law at D.C. firm and at the State Department.

Elizabeth Andersen

Elizabeth Andersen is an Executive Director and Executive Vice President of the American Society of International Law where she has worked since 1995. Most recently, she has served as the Executive Director of the American Bar Association’s Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative where she started to work in 2003. Earlier she also served as the Executive Director of Human Rights Watch’s Europe and Central Asia Division, a Legal Assistant to Judge Georges Abi-Saab of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and as a law clerk to Judge Kimba M. Wood of the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York. Andersen is a graduate of Yale Law School, the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, and Williams College.

Thomas Buergenthal

Thomas Buergenthal grew up in the Jewish ghetto of Kielce (Poland) and later in the concentration camps at Auschwitz and Sachsenhausen. On December 4, 1951, he emigrated from Germany to the United States. He studied at Bethany College in West Virginia (graduated 1957), and received his J.D. at New York University Law School in 1960, and his LL.M. and S.J.D. degrees in international law from Harvard Law School. Buergenthal is a specialist in international law and human rights law. Since 2000, he has sat as a judge on the International Court of Justice at The Hague. Prior to this appointment, he was Lobingier Professor of International and Comparative Law and Jurisprudence at The George Washington University Law School and held numerous prestigious academic positions. He has served as a judge for many years, including lengthy periods on various specialized international organization bodies.

Antônio Cançado Trindade

Antônio Cançado Trindade is a Judge with the International Court of Justice (Brazil). Previously, he worked with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights as a Judge, Vice-President, and President. He was also the Executive Director of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, where he is today a Member of the Board of Directors. He has been an Adviser of UNDP and UNEP for special projects as well as a Legal Adviser to the Council of Europe. In the past, he played a significant role in representing Brazil in many international human rights meetings, regional and world conferences including those of the United Nations and the Organization of American States. He is also in a leadership position with several journals of international law. Judge Cançado Trindade received his PhD and his LL.M. in International Law from the University Of Cambridge and his LL.B. from Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil.

Rebecca Cook

Rebecca Cook is a Professor of Law and Faculty Chair in International Human Rights at the University of Toronto where she also serves as a Co-Director of the International Program on Reproductive and Sexual Health Law. She is the Ethical and Legal Issues Co-editor of the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, and a member of the editorial Board of the Human Rights Quarterly. Her publications include over one hundred and fifty books, articles and reports in the areas of international human rights, and women's health and feminist ethics law. Ms. Cook has earned a number of academic degrees including A.B. (Barnard University), M.A. (Tufts U.), M.P.A. (Harvard U.), J.D. (Georgetown U.), and J.S.D. (Columbia U.).

Asbjørn Eide

Asbjørn Eide is a Professor Emeritus, founder, and former director of the Norwegian Institute of Human Rights, at the University of Oslo. He was previously the Secretary-General of the International Peace Research Association in Oslo. He has been a member of the United Nations (UN) Sub-commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, and since 1995, he has served as chair of the UN Working Group on the Rights of Minorities. As special rapporteur for several UN studies, he focused on topics including conscientious objection as a human right, food as a human right, the new international economic order and the promotion of human rights, and the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples. From 1988 to 1989, he was chairman of the Working Group on Contemporary Forms of Slavery. In addition, he has published extensively on human rights issues.

Felipe González

Felipe González Morales is currently the Commissioner and Second Vice-President of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Previously, he also served as president of IACHR. He is the Rapporteur on the Rights of Migrant Workers and Their Families, as well as the Rapporteur for the countries of Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba and Venezuela. He is a professor of International Public Law and Constitutional Law at the Universidad Diego Portales, in Santiago, Chile. Previously he served as the Director of the Legal Research Center, Founder and Director of the Center for Human Rights as well as the Latin American Network of Human Rights Legal Clinics, and Representative on Global Rights to Latin America. He holds a Doctorate and a Master’s in Advanced Studies in Human Rights from the Universidad Carlos III of Madrid as well as a Master’s in International Law from American University.

Christof Heyns

Christof Heyns holds the degrees MA LLB University of Pretoria; LLM Yale Law School; and PhD University of the Witwatersrand. He is Professor of Human Rights Law and Co-director of the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa at the University of Pretoria. In August 2010, he was appointed as United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. In this capacity, he reports to the Human Rights Council in Geneva and the General Assembly in New York. Professor Heyns is an adjunct professor at the Washington College of Law of the American University in Washington DC, USA, and a Visiting Fellow at Kellog College at Oxford University, UK, where he has been teaching in the masters’ program since 2005.

Ernesto de la Jara

Ernesto de la Jara is director of the Review ‘IDEELE’ and of the Project ‘Justicia Viva’ of the Institute for Legal Defense (IDL), Lima, Peru.

Sarah Joseph

Sarah Joseph is a Professor of Human Rights Law and the Director of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law at Monash University, Melbourne. She is a world-renowned expert on the UN and human rights, particularly the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (she is co-author of The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: Cases Materials and Commentary, now entering its third edition). She has also published on global trade and human rights (Blame it on the WTO: A Human Rights Critique (OUP, 2011)), corporations and human rights (Corporations and Transnational Human Rights Litigation (Hart, 2004), terrorism and human rights, and, lately, social media and human rights. She has taught human rights courses in Australia, the US, and New Zealand, as well as training courses to international officials from Iraq, Indonesia, Iran and Burma.

Margarette May Macaulay

May is a Judge at the Inter-American Court on Human Rights, San Jose, Costa Rica. She is also an Attorney at Law and Mediator in Jamaica. May is also a Law Tutor of the Law of Trust at North Western Polytechnic, London. She published several articles and she is a weekly columnist in the Jamaica Observer and the Sunday Herald on social issues, legal issues and human rights.

Fernando Mariño Menendez

Fernando Mariño Menéndez is member of the Committee against Torture of the United Nations, where he was elected president for the period between 2003 and 2005. He is also a professor of Public International Law at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain; and Director of “Francisco de Vitoria” Institute of International and European Studies there. Professor Mariño Menéndez was a Jean Monnet Lecturer of European Law assigned by the European Commission and a visiting professor at several Latin-American and European universities, such as University for Peace of UN (1991), Oxford University (2005), and University Pantheon-Sorbonne of Paris (2006). He has also been President of the Association for Human Rights of Spain (1999-2002).

Elisa Massimino

Elisa Massimino was named President and Chief Executive Officer of Human Rights First in September 2008.  Massimino joined Human Rights First as a staff attorney in 1991 to help establish the Washington office. From 1997 to 2008, she served as the organization’s Washington Director. Previously, Massimino was a litigator in private practice at the Washington law firm of Hogan & Hartson, where she was pro bono counsel in many human rights cases. Before joining the legal profession, she taught philosophy at several universities in Michigan. Massimino has a distinguished record of human rights advocacy in Washington. As a national authority on human rights law and policy, she has testified before Congress dozens of times and writes frequently for mainstream publications and specialized journals. In May 2008, the influential Washington newspaper The Hill named her one of the top 20 public advocates in the country.

Juan Méndez

Juan E. Méndez is a Visiting Professor of Law at the American University – Washington College of Law, and an advisor on crime prevention to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. He is also Co-Chair of the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association. Until May 2009, he was the President of the International Center for Transnational Justice (ICTJ) and in the summer of 2009 he was a Scholar-in-Residence at the Ford Foundation in New York. Concurrent with his duties at ICTJ, the Honorable Kofi Annan named Mr. Méndez his Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide, a task he performed from 2004 to 2007. A native of Argentina, Mr. Méndez has dedicated his legal career to the defense of human rights and has a long and distinguished record of advocacy throughout the Americas. In 1994, he became general counsel of Human Rights Watch, with worldwide duties in support of the organization’s mission, including responsibility for litigation and standard setting activities.

Manfred Nowak

Manfred Nowak is Professor of International Law and Human Rights at the University of Vienna, and Director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights. Manfred Nowak was the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture from 2004-2010. Nowak’s other work with the UN includes serving as a member of the Austrian delegation to the UN Commission on Human Rights and contributing to UN initiatives as an expert member in several capacities. Nowak has been a judge, with one year as vice president, of the Human Rights Chamber for Bosnia and Herzegovina; Chairperson of the European Master Programme on Human Rights and Democratization in Venice. He also served as the Director of the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights at the University of Utrecht and was the 2002-2003 Olof Palme Visiting Professor at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at the University of Lund. In 1994, he was awarded a UNESCO prize for the teaching of human rights.

Leo Zwaak

Leo Zwaak is a former Senior Researcher at the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM) and Associate Professor, Utrecht University. Professor Zwaak was responsible for the Digest of Strasbourg Case-Law Relating to the European Convention on Human Rights and the Council of Europe and Gross and Systematic Violations of Human Rights in Europe: the Case of Turkey. The Digest project (in cooperation with Council of Europe, Directorate of Human Rights; Professor P. van Dijk, co-editor) is designed to meet the needs of all those who are required to be, or have an interest in becoming, familiar with the case-law of the organs of the European Convention on Human Rights. The present project is an up-date of a six-volume publication on the case law of the European Commission and Court of Human Rights, covering the period from 1955 to 1996.He is also the co-author of the book Theory and Practice of the European Convention of Human Rights, 4th revised edition 2006, Intersentia, Antwerp, Belgium.