Professor Michael Reed-Hurtado is a Colombian/US journalist and lawyer with more than 20 years of experience in the field of Latin American human rights. During 2014-2015, he was a Coca-Cola World Fund Faculty Fellow and Senior Lecturer in Latin American Studies at Yale. Prior to that, he was a consultant with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Colombia. His research interests include state crime and control, the limits of criminal law to address mass atrocity, effective criminal investigation of complex crime, and the conceptual and practical limits of transitional justice.
Adam Michnik is the founder and editor-in-chief of Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's highest-circulating daily newspaper. He was is also co-founder of KOR (Committee for the Defense of Workers) in 1976. Michnik was detained many times during 1965-1980. A prominent “Solidarity” activist during the 1980s, he spent a total of six years in Polish prisons for activities opposing the communist regime.
Michnik participated in the Round Table Talks in 1989, was a member of the first non-communist parliament from 1989 until 1991, at which point he created the first independent Polish newspaper, Gazeta Wyborcza. He was been awarded many prizes and titles: the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award, the Erasmus Prize, the Francisco Cerecedo Journalist Prize (the first non-Spanish author to do so), Grand Prince Giedymin Order; Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur. He has been awarded a doctorate honoris causa from The New School for Social Research in New York, the University of Minnesota, the University of Michigan, and from Connecticut College, and named honorary senator of the University of Ljubljana, honorary professor of the Kyiv Mohyla Academy. In September 2011 Michnik won the Goethe Institute's Goethe Medal.
His most recent book is The Trouble With History: Morality, Revolution, and Counterrevolution (2011). He has also written Ko?ció?, Lewica, Dialog (Church, the Left, Dialogue), Paris 1977; Z dziejów honoru w Polsce. Wypisy wi?zienne (From the History of Honour in Poland. Prison Notes), Paris 1985; Midzy Panem a Plebanem, Warszawa 1995; Wicieko i wstyd, Warszawa 2005; and W poszukiwaniu utraconego sensu, Warszawa 2007.
Kajal Bhardwaj (Fall 2014) is a global leader in the access-to-medicines movement. She is a lawyer who has been working on health and human rights for more than a decade. She has worked particularly closely with the Lawyers Collective HIV/AIDS Unit, Medecins Sans Frontieres (India office), and the Delhi Network of Positive People. Kajal’s engagement with health and HIV started in 2002 with her involvement in the drafting of India’s HIV/AIDS Bill, including intensive research and consultations on the Bill’s drafting, capacity building related to the Bill, and advocacy with law and policy makers. Since 2005, she has been working extensively on developing legal and advocacy approaches to improve HIV/AIDS treatment access in light of India’s new patent law. Since 2009, she has also been working regionally in South Asia, including on capacity building for government officials and civil society groups in Nepal, Myannmar and Cambodia. In 2012, she designed and coordinated an eight-country U.N. capacity-building workshop on the use and adoption of TRIPS flexibilities.
Wan Yanhai (Spring and Fall 2013) is one of the most prominent leaders in the global campaign against HIV/AIDS. He launched China's first HIV/AIDS counseling hotline in 1992 while working for China's National Health Education Institute. In 1994, he founded AIZHI Action Project, an NGO that uses health education, research, publishing, and conferences to confront the growing HIV/AIDS crisis in China. He directs the Beijing Aizhixing Institute, the largest AIDS NGO in China. The institute works on HIV/AIDS and public health related policy, legal aid and human rights, and community outreach among the most vulnerable population. He organized several challenging campaigns in China including a national compensation campaign for the victims of HIV infection caused by blood transfusion or blood products, a national working group for the educational rights of people with HIV, hepatitis or other health problems, and a China HIV/AIDS NGO Network.
Fatima Hassan (Fall 2012) is a human rights lawyer and social justice activist from South Africa. She has worked at the University of Cape Town’s Institute for Development and Labor Law on a project that seeks to reform discriminatory compensation practices for mine workers in Southern Africa. She is a former research fellow with the Constitutional Court of South Africa under Justice O’Regan and worked as Special Adviser to Minister Barbara Hogan in the Health Ministry and Public Enterprises Ministry. She previously served as co-director of Ndifuna Ukwazi (Dare to Know), a South African organization addressing social justice issues.
Octovianus Mote (Spring 2012) is an activist for Papuan human rights. Before moving to the United States in 1999, he was Bureau Chief of Kompas in Indonesia’s Papua Province. At Yale University, he has been affiliated with the Genocide Studies Program, the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School, and the Yale Indonesia Forum of the Council on Southeast Asia Studies. He has lobbied the U.S. Congress and State Department, has testified before the U.S. Congress on the issue of Papua and has participated in the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network / ETAN and the West Papua Advocacy Team. In 2011, he was elected by the Papuan people in Jayapura, the capital of Papua Province, as one of five Papuans to represent the Papuan people in possible future dialogue with the Indonesian Government to resolve 50 years of conflict.
John Prendergast (Fall 2011) is the co-founder of the Enough Project, an initiative affiliated with the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. In the past, he has worked for the Clinton White House, the State Department, two members of Congress, the National Intelligence Council, UNICEF, Human Rights Watch, the International Crisis Group, and the U.S. Institute of Peace. He is also the author or co-author of ten books, has appeared in several documentaries and four episodes of 60 Minutes, and has traveled to Africa with NBC’s Dateline, ABC’s Nightline, The PBS NewsHour, CNN’s Inside Africa, Newsweek/The Daily Beast, and The New York Times Magazine. His work has been profiled in The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Men's Vogue, Time, Entertainment Weekly, GQ, Oprah Magazine, Capitol File, Arrive, Interview, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
Shadi Sadr (Spring 2011) is an Iranian lawyer, human rights defender and journalist. As a practicing lawyer, she has successfully defended several women activists and journalists in court. She is the founder of Justice for Iran, which promotes and defends women's rights in Iran, and of the website, Women in Iran. She has been involved in the campaign to eradicate the practice of capital punishment by stoning, particularly of women, in a campaign known as End Stoning Forever.
Saad Eddin Ibrahim (Fall 2010) is currently the Wallerstein Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Drew University Center on Religion, Culture & Conflict. A professor of sociology at the American University in Cairo for most of his career, Ibrahim was the founder of both the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies in Cairo and the Arab Organization for Human Rights. He is credited for playing a leading role in the revival of Egypt’s contemporary research-based civil society movement.
Michael Posner (Spring 2009) is currently a Professor of Business and Society at NYU’s Stern School of Business, working to launch the first center on business and human rights at a business school. Prior to joining NYU Stern, he served from 2009 to 2013 as Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. From 1978 to 2009, he led Human Rights First (formerly the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights), a New York-based human rights advocacy organization. He played a key role in proposing and campaigning for the first U.S. law providing for political asylum, which became part of the Refugee Act of 1980, as well as the Torture Victim Protection Act, which was adopted in 1992. He also led the Human Rights First delegation to the 1992 Rome conference, at which the statute of the International Criminal Court was adopted.