Each year, the Institute for the Study of Human Rights welcomes a select number of visiting scholars to conduct research on a variety of human rights topics. Past visiting scholars have included federal judges, attorneys, trailblazers in NGO advocacy, academics and medical doctors. These scholars have come from more than 35 countries and form an essential part of ISHR’s global community of human rights researchers, scholars, and advocates.
Prospective scholars and others interested in researching human rights are encouraged to explore the biographies of some of our recent scholars below. Use the tabs below to sort through our scholars by research specialization. Click here for a list of additional visiting scholars.
To learn more about the Visiting Scholars Program and how to apply, click here.
Basuli Deb (PhD) is a scholar and activist working on gender justice, human rights, law, and literature. She teaches/mentors at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. A Global Scholar at the interdisciplinary Institute for Research on Women (IRW) at Rutgers-New Brunswick, she co-founded the international Research Group on Dalit and Adivasi Studies which works on caste justice and indigenous rights. Deb’s first monograph Transnational Feminist Perspectives on Terror in Literature and Culture focuses on human rights violations in the context of Islamophobia, indigenous ethnocide, caste injustice, settler colonial occupation, colonial wars, and apartheid. She has also published multiple sole authored peer reviewed articles on gender based violations, and co-edited a special issue and two anthologies.
Her current work at Columbia on the Rohingya genocide and the accompanying refugee crisis has branched out from her next monograph project on the connected materialities of indigenenous and transmigrant lives that she is now completing. She was invited to offer recommendations on forced impregnation in the Rohingya genocide and the legal vacuum around it in human rights laws and international policies/practices at a High Level Side Event panel at the sixty-third Commission on the Status of Women at the UN. This event on Gender Violence: Prevention, Protection, and Social Exclusion was co-sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh, the Permanent Mission of Denmark, UN/NGO Commitee on Migration, UN/NGO Commitee on the Commission on the Status of Women, and the PEACE Foundation. Deb was also an invited speaker at the Roosevelt Institute of Public Policy in NYC on women and children in the Myanmar genocide as they navigate bureacracies around international human rights conventions and practices as well as national sovereignty at home and host nations in South and South East Asia. In her keynote address at the 8th International Conference of the Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies “From MeToo to UsToo” she argued for a movement that addresses sexual violence that often accompanies economic violence against legally vulnerable migrant populations. Deb has partnered with NYC Mayor’s Commission on Gender Equity to promote the UN campaign called 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. She is a member of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women that supports the work of the UN Commission on the Status of Women and UN Women. During her earlier research and writing on sexual violence in the Guatemalan genocide against the indigenous Mayans she worked with exiled leaders of the revolution as well as various advocacy organizations and sectors of civil society, such as Guatemalan Human Rights Commission, Centro de Accion Legal de Derechos Humanos, Defensoria de la Mujer Indigena, Alianza Contra la Impunidad, and the Rigoberta Menchú Foundation. In India she has worked on gender based violence against lower caste and indigenous women with the Human Rights Commission, the Women’s Commission, and the Association For Protection of Democratic Rights.
As a featured author, critic, and filmmaker, Deb has been interviewed in journal, print media, and conference platforms, as well as television, and web broadcasts. She continues to serve as an invited speaker on academic and public debates around human rights and gender discrimination at conferences, campuses, consulates, and foundations across the US and abroad, and as an external expert for various institutes/organizations. Currently on the steering committee of the Modern Language Association (MLA) Radical Caucus, she has been internationally and nationally elected/selected to serve in various feminist leadership capacities, such as the MLA Delegate Assembly, the Women of Color Leadership Project of the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA), and as a founding member of NWSA’s South Asian Feminist Caucus. A Distinguished Fellow of the Indian American Intellectuals’ Forum, Deb brings her professional experience in the fields of global issues, human rights, gender relations, and feminist leadership to US foreign policy dialogues. She serves on the advisory board of the Center for Media and Celebrity Studies in Toronto which is engaged in social justice research and activism.
Cristina-Ioana Dragomir teaches at Queen Mary University of London, School of Politics and International Studies. She previously consulted with the United Nations and was a Center for Advanced Study of India 2016-2018 Visiting Scholar at University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, she was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at SUNY Oswego, and a Postdoctoral Fellow at Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy. She is the recipient of several awards and fellowships including the 2007 Ted Robinson Memorial Award, Bucerius Ph.D. Fellowship “Settling in Motion,” and The Global Network Grant from Open Society Institute.
Employing a critical feminist perspective, Dragomir’s work navigates the fields of social justice, human rights, subaltern studies, immigration and citizenship. She received her Ph.D. from the New School for Social Research in Politics in 2014, where she wrote her dissertation titled “Making the American Immigrant Soldier: Inclusion and Resistance,” which examined the role played by gender, race, ethnicity and class in the integration of immigrants in the American military. Currently, using a transnational framework, she analyzes the processes employed by Roma and Adivasi communities to mobilize against racial and ethnic discrimination in Europe and India, and she describes the practices and processes these groups use to challenge the existing political and social order and strive to achieve human rights.
Dr. Elvira Domínguez-Redondo (LLB, Dip. Business Management, M.Phil, PhD) is Associate Professor of International Law at Middlesex University, London (UK) and Adjunct Lecturer of the Irish Center for Human Rights (NUI Galway, Ireland).In the past, Dr. Domínguez-Redondo held different academic positions, at the Transitional Justice Institute (University of Ulster); the Irish Centre for Human Rights (NUI, Ireland); the University of Alcalá de Henares (Spain); and University of Carlos III de Madrid (Spain). She has worked as a consultant with the Special Rapporteur on torture at the Office of the High Commisisoner for Human Rights (Switzerland).
Dr. Domínguez-Redondo specialises in international law and human rights legal theory. She is the author of two books, Public Special Procedures of the UN Commission on Human Rights and Minority Rigths in Asia (co-authored with Prof. J Castellino). She has also written a wide range of articles on international law and human rights topics for academic journals. Her current research focuses on the impact of politicization and cooperation between States on the growth and efficiency of the United Nations human rights system.
Helena Kane Finn served as Vice President of the American Council on Germany from September 2010 to September 2017. A career diplomat of the Department of State, she served as Minister-Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin (2007 - 2010) and as Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv (2003 - 2007). She has been the Cyrus Vance Fellow in Diplomatic Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York (2002 - 2003). Her seminal article on public diplomacy appeared in the November - December 2003 issue of Foreign Affairs. She has also been Director of the Turkish Studies Program at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (2002).
As Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (2000 - 2001), Dr. Finn was responsible for the State Department's global academic, professional and youth exchanges, including Fulbright and the International Visitor program. She also oversaw the Office of Cultural Heritage and Preservation.
Helena Kane Finn has served overseas as the Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey (1997 - 2000). Prior to that, she was the Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Vienna, Austria (1995 - 1997). She was the Public Affairs Officer and Director of the Amerika Haus in Frankfurt-Main, Germany (1992 - 1995).
She has been the Desk Officer for Greece, Turkey and Cyprus (1989 - 1991), following cultural affairs tours in Lahore and Islamabad, Pakistan (1984 - 1989). Her first diplomatic assignment was to the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey (1981 -1984).
Helena Kane Finn is married to former career diplomat Robert P. Finn, the U.S. Ambassador to Kabul, Afghanistan (2002 - 2003). Ambassador Finn is affiliated with Princeton University. Their son Edward F. Finn is Director of the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University. His wife, Anna Humphreys Finn, is an attorney. They have two children.
Ulia Gosart (Popova) is a social policy analyst, who examines the impact of institutional constrains on policies concerning populations with the status of indigenous peoples, and indigenous political representation.
Gosart is a descendent of Udmurts, indigenous people of the south-eastern Siberia (Russia), and was born in the former Soviet Union.
Gosart holds a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her scholarly work emerged from her advocacy, beginning with her service to an indigenous organization from Russia, LIENIP (2004-2009), and her ongoing collaboration with indigenous politicians and scholars from North America and former Soviet states.
Hà Lê Phan-Warnke is a doctoral researcher in the international interdisciplinary graduate program "Human Rights under Pressure - Ethics, Law, and Politics" at Free University Berlin, Germany. She holds a LL.B from the Dresden University of Technology, a law degree from the Université Paris X and a LL.M in International human rights law with distinction from the University of Essex. She previously worked for the Research Division of the Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation, the German Institute for Human Rights and civil society organizations in Germany. Her research interests revolve around socio-economic rights, substantive equality, critical theories, socio-legal approaches and qualitative methods. During her visiting fellowship at the ISHR, she focuses on a case study that seeks to track localization processes of the human right to sanitation in Alabama.
Victoria Sanford is professor and chair of anthropology and founding director of the Center for Human Rights and Peace Studies at Lehman College. She is a member of the anthropology doctoral faculty at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She holds a doctorate in Anthropology from Stanford University where she studied International Human Rights Law and Immigration Law at Stanford Law School. She is the author of Buried Secrets: Truth and Human Rights in Guatemala (2003), Violencia y Genocidio en Guatemala (2003), Guatemala: Del Genocidio al Feminicidio (2008), La Masacre de Panzos: Etnicidad, Tierra y Violencia en Guatemala (2009), and co-author of the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation's report to the Commission for Historical Clarification (the Guatemalan truth commission). She is co-editor (with Katerina Stefatos and Cecilia Salvi) of Gender Violence in Peace and War ~ States of Complicity (2016). She is also co-editor (with Asale Angel Ajani) of Engaged Observer: Anthropology, Advocacy and Activism (2008). In August of 2012, she served as an invited expert witness on the Guatemalan genocide before Judge Santiago Pedraz in the Spanish National Court’s international genocide case against the Guatemalan generals. She recently won the University of California Press Public Anthropology competition for her latest book project –The Surge~Central American Border Crossings in the United States, 1980-2015. She is currently completing Bittersweet Justice: Feminicide, Impunity & Courts of Last Resort. She is recipient of many awards including the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, MacArthur Consortium Fellowship, United States Institute for Peace Fellowship, Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies Bunting Peace Fellowship, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities Fellowship and three Fulbright Fellowships among others.
Matheus Hernandez is a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University for the 2017-2018 academic year where he is conducting a research on the OHCHR-NY. He is a Professor of International Relations at Faculty of Law and International Relations at Federal University of Grande Dourados (UFGD) in Brazil. He holds a PhD in Political Science from Unicamp, Brazil. His thesis (PhD Unicamp, 2015) on the institutional development of the OHCHR was considered the Best Political Science PhD Thesis of 2015 in Brazil according to National Association of Graduate Studies and Research in Social Sciences. His research interests encompass international organizations, mainly the UN, and human rights field. He is author of The Vienna Conference and the Human Rights Internationalization (Juruá Press 2014). His research has appeared in Cadernos de Política Exterior – Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Brazilian Journal of International Relations, Revista de Direito Internacional, The Age of Human Rights Journal and in edited volumes. Matheus was a member of the research team of the Brazilian National Truth Commission. He also worked as Editorial Assistant at Brazilian NGO Conectas in 2011.
Binalakshmi Nepram, born in the state of Manipur located in India's Northeast region next to Myanmar, is an writer and civil rights activist spearheading work on making women-led peace, security and disarmament meaningful. She is author of five books, her most recent being, Where are our Women in Decision Making on UNSCR 1325. In 2004, she co-founded India's first civil society organization for conventional disarmament issues, Control Arms Foundation of India. In 2007, Binalakshmi launched the Manipur Women Gun Survivor Network. She is a recipient of Dalai Lama Foundation's WISCOMP Scholar of Peace Award (2008), the Sean MacBride Peace Prize (2010), and the CNN IBN Real Heroes Award (2011).
In 2015 Forbes (India) listed Binalakshmi in 24 "Young Minds of India that Matter" and Femina Women’s Magazine honoured her with their Women Awards 2015 followed by an award by the Young Women Federation of Indian Commerce and Industries. She was also awarded with "Women Have Wings" Award from USA in 2016 and in 2017, she received Telegraph Newspaper Excellence Awards 2017 for her work with women survivors in Manipur. You can follow her work on twitter @BinaNepram.
Toru Oga is an Associate Professor in International Politics, Faculty of Law, Kyushu University, Japan. He completed his MA in International Relations (2002) and Ph.D. in Ideology and Discourse Analysis (2005) at the Department of Government, University of Essex, United Kingdom. In 2008, he joined the faculty of Kyushu University. He was also a visiting scholar at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford, and the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge. His research interests include international relations, East Asian regionalism, and human rights regimes. His recent research has focused on human rights regimes in Southeast Asia, not least the networks of national human rights institutions (NHRIs) in Southeast Asia, specifically how the networks of NHRIs have influenced human rights policy making and advocacies in domestic politics by examining and comparing the ASEAN countries of Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines.
He was a visiting scholar at ISHR from 2016 to 2017.
Angana P. Chatterji is Co-chair, Project on Armed Conflict Resolution and People’s Rights, Center for Social Sector Leadership-Haas, University of California, Berkeley. A cultural anthropologist, Dr. Chatterji’s scholarly work focuses on issues of gendered violence; nationalism and minoritization; religion in the public sphere; and cultural survival. Between 1989-2002, she worked with the Indian Social Institute, Planning Commission of India, and Asia Forest Network, on issues of community land tenure. Between 1997-2011, Chatterji served on the faculty in the Anthropology Department at the Ca. Inst. of Integral Studies, where she co-created a graduate curriculum in postcolonial anthropology. In 2005-2006, she convened a people’s tribunal in Odisha, calling attention to issues of majoritarian nationalism. In 2008-2012, Chatterji co-founded and was co-convener of the People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Jammu & Kashmir, and her collaborative work called attention to the issue of unknown and mass graves. Chatterji is a founding-member of the South Asia Feminist Preconference at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She has served on human rights commissions and offered expert testimony at the United Nations, European Parliament, United Kingdom Parliament, and United States Congress. Chatterji’s publications include: Violent Gods: Hindu Nationalism in India’s Present; Narratives from Orissa (2009); Land and Justice: The Struggle for Cultural Survival (forthcoming); a co-edited volume, Contesting Nation: Gendered Violence in South Asia; Notes on the Postcolonial Present (2013); a co-contributed anthology, Kashmir (2011); and the reports entitled, BURIED EVIDENCE: Unknown, Unmarked, and Mass Graves in Kashmir (2009), Communalism in Orissa (2006), and Without Land or Livelihood (2004), for which she was lead author.
Gina Cosentino is a human rights, environmental, conservation and international development leader with two decades of experience at the local, national and international levels, working with communities, NGOs, governments and the private sector. She has extensive experience in social and environmental sustainability and operationalizing best practices and human rights based approaches to conservation and development. She is also a leading practitioner in international human and environmental policy and rights norms, policy and standard-setting. More recently, she has worked as the Global Director of Indigenous and Communal Conservation at The Nature Conservancy, was the senior advisor to the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations and to the President of the Metis National Council in Canada, and was the president of a boutique public affairs firm where she was listed on the Top 100 Public Affairs specialists in Canada. Gina’s work supports strengthening governance, sustainable livelihoods, and participatory approaches that strengthen the roles of Indigenous peoples in making decisions that will shape their futures and positively impact their lands, territories, waters and natural resources while promoting healthy ecosystems and biodiversity. Gina was an instructor in the department of political science at the University of Toronto. She is also a frequent television, print and social media political and social commentator.
Cristiana Grigore is a Fulbright scholar of Roma (Gypsy) ethnicity from Romania who graduated from Vanderbilt University in International Education Policy and Management in December 2012. Since then she has been a Research Scholar at Bard College, New York. She frequently writes and speaks about Roma in a global context. Her experiences have been featured by the International New York Times, CNN, Voice of America, NPR, Al Jazeera America etc. In 2007, Cristiana received a B.A. from Univ. of Bucharest, Romania, in Psychology. She co-founded a nonprofit organization, Link Education and Practice (LEAP), which promotes non-formal education to improve employability. Cristiana began to study ballet in graduate school, which fulfills her need for athletic and artistic expression.