Institute for the Study of Human Rights
Business and Human Rights
Joanne Bauer is Senior Researcher, Business and Human Rights Program and Adjunct Professor at the School of International and Public Affairs. She co-leads the Teaching Business and Human Rights Forum based at Columbia and involving more than 260 faculty at 180 institutions in more than 30 countries. Bauer is editor of Forging Environmentalism: Justice, Livelihood and Contested Environments (ME Sharpe, 2006), and co-editor of The East Asian Challenge for Human Rights (Cambridge University Press, 1999). From 2006-2013, Bauer was Senior Researcher at Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, where she was responsible for Asia, as well as the thematic areas of women's rights, HIV/AIDS and access to medicines globally. Prior to that (1994-2005) she was Director of Studies at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs where she founded research programs on human rights and environmental values, directed the Fellows program, and founded the periodical, Human Rights Dialogue. Bauer is Senior Fellow, Melbourne University Law School and an adviser and consultant to a number of non-profits and projects, including Inclusive Development International, Accountability Counsel, Oxfam America, and Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.
Senior Lecturer in the discipline of Human Rights
Director of the Woman and Gender in Global Affairs Network (WGGA)
Director, Capacity Building
Stephanie V. Grepo joined ISHR as the Director of Capacity Building in 2008. During her tenure, she has increased the number of female participants in the Human Rights Advocates Program, secured funding to create openings in HRAP for LGBT and disability rights advocates, and encouraged HRAP alumni—who can be found in 93 countries around the globe—to cooperate across class years and geographic boundaries. She has advised alumni on their work ranging from youth empowerment in South Sudan and Bosnia to capacity building for indigenous peoples to advocacy around prisoners’ rights in Nigeria. She has assisted them with grant proposals that have garnered $3 million in funding from the Global Fund for Women, the National Endowment for Democracy and United States Institute of Peace. In 2011, she created a summer program at ISHR through which Columbia University students volunteer at organizations led by HRAP and AHDA alumni around the globe. She designed and won funding to develop ISHR’s first MOOC which is on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights and can be found on edX.
With the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe from 2000 to 2007, Stephanie developed multi-ethnic experiential education programs in Kosovo; created and led a $2 million euros grants program to support confidence-building projects at the grassroots level in North Macedonia; worked on return and integration issues and led a field office of 10 staff in one of the most politically sensitive regions of Croatia; and served as the youth and education advisor to the OSCE Head of Mission in Serbia. She has observed elections in Bosnia and Georgia. A lecturer at The New School, Stephanie has led graduate-level practicums with clients including the International Rescue Committee and Transparency International. In 2021, she joined the faculty of The School of The New York Times. She earned a master’s degree from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Her volunteer experience with resettling refugees through Catholic Charities led her to work in human rights.
Founder of the Roma Peoples Project
Director of Education Programs
Gergana Halpern serves as Director of Education Programs at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights. In this role Gergana manages the development, execution, and evaluation of ISHR’s academic programs, and oversees strategic planning and the implementation of new education initiatives. Prior to joining ISHR, Gergana supported legal advocacy on issues related to academic freedom at the Scholars at Risk Network. She also served as a research associate at Amnesty International USA, working on migrants' rights in the United States, and as the Millennium Development Goals campaign organizer at Amnesty International’s United Nations office in New York. Gergana holds a JD with a concentration in International and Comparative Law from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
Undergraduate Studies Coordinator
As the Institute for the Study of Human Rights' Undergraduate Program Coordinator, Julia provides student support, strategy for the institute, and program operations. Julia comes to ISHR after a 13 year career as an entrepreneur in the fields of maternal health and strategic marketing. She has served as a doula, childbirth consultant, and yoga instructor for thousands around the Upper West Side, NYC, and abroad. Her previous experience in the private entertainment sector was as Director of Film, TV, and Strategic Marketing for Universal Motown Records. She is a student herself at Columbia, currently pursuing an Executive Masters in Public Administration, with a dual concentration in Urban Social Policy and Management Innovation (and prioritizing the inclusion of Human Rights coursework in her studies!). A native New Yorker and Vassar College graduate who has lived in Australia, Europe, and the Middle East, Julia currently lives in South Harlem with her husband Jonah Geffen and two daughters. She is honored to serve the vital work of our human rights students and advance the goals of ISHR.
Communications and Outreach Coordinator
Magdalena joined the Institute for the Study of Human Rights in 2020 as the Communications and Outreach Coordinator. She holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs from New York University with a human rights concentration and a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina. Originally from Argentina, Magdalena has been based in New York since 2011. She has worked for organizations such as Amnesty International USA, Human Rights Watch, the Coalition for the International Criminal Court, and Women Across Frontiers International Magazine. She is a member of the Women’s Human Rights Coordination group for Amnesty International where her main focus is monitoring and writing about human rights violations in Latin America, especially women’s rights and discrimination issues.
Graduate Studies Coordinator
Anna Miller is the Education Program Coordinator at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights. Anna graduated from Columbia University with her MA in Human Rights Studies. As a student at Columbia, Anna researched 21st century antisemitism and wrote her thesis: "2020 Digital Antisemitism: A Contemporary Content Analysis of History’s Oldest Hatred." Previously, Anna received her BA from St. Norbert College where she studied English and Gender Studies. Before joining ISHR, Anna worked at nonprofit organizations in the Chicagoland area, specifically in the fields of public affairs, communications, and advancement.
Peace-Building and Human Rights
David L. Phillips is Director of the Program on Peace-building and Rights at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights. Phillips has worked as a Senior Adviser to the United Nations Secretariat (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (1999-2000). He was a Senior Adviser and Foreign Affairs Expert to the U.S. Department of State during the administrations of Presidents Clinton (Bureau for European Affairs 1999-2001), Bush (Bureau for Near Eastern Affairs 2001), and Obama (Bureau for South and Central Asian Affairs 2010-2011).
Phillips held academic positions at Harvard University's Center for Middle East Studies, Belfer Center for Science in International Affairs, and the Program on Humanitarian Affairs. He was Executive Director of Columbia University’s International Conflict Resolution Program, Director of the Program on Conflict Prevention and Peace-building at the American University, Associate Professor at New York University’s Department of Politics, and Professor at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna.
Phillips worked at think tanks, as Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of the Council on Foreign Relations/Center for Preventive Action, Senior Fellow and Program Director at the Atlantic Council of the United States, Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Director of the European Centre for Common Ground, and Project Director at the International Peace Research Institute of Oslo.
Phillips has also served as a foundation executive, as President of the Congressional Human Rights Foundation and Executive Director of the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity.
Phillips worked in media as an Analyst, Expert, and Commentator for NBC Universal, CNBC, and the BBC World Service.
Phillips is author of The Kurdish Spring: A New Map for the Middle East (2014), Liberating Kosovo: Coercive Diplomacy and U.S. Intervention (2012), From Bullets to Ballots: Violent Muslim Movements in Transition (2008), Losing Iraq: Inside the Postwar Reconstruction Fiasco (2005), Unsilencing the Past: Track Two Diplomacy and Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation (2005). His upcoming book is Turkey: An Uncertain Ally (2017).
Phillips has also authored dozens of policy reports, as well as more than 100 articles in leading publications including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, CNBC.com, and Foreign Affairs.
Lecturer in the discipline of Human Rights
Indigenous Peoples' Rights Program