Alicia Yamin is the Program Director of the Health and Human Rights Initiative at The O’Neill Institute. Prior to joining the O’Neill Institute, Alicia was a Lecturer on Law and Global Health at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, and the Director of the JD /MPH Program. Alicia was also the Policy Director at the Francois – Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard, a Global Fellow at the Centre for Law and Social Transformation in Norway, and was selected as the 2015-16 Marsha Lilien Gladstein Visiting Professor of Human Rights, University of Connecticut.Trained in both law and public health at Harvard, Alicia’s 20-year career at the intersection of health and human rights has bridged academia and activism. From 2007 to 2011, Alicia held the prestigious Joseph H. Flom Fellowship on Global Health and Human Rights at Harvard Law School. Prior to that, she served as Director of Research and Investigations at Physicians for Human Rights, where she oversaw all of the organization’s field investigations, and was on the faculty of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. For the past 15 years, Alicia has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Center for Economic and Social Rights, where she was the Chair from 2009-2014.
Alicia currently serves as a Commissioner on the Lancet – O’Neill Institute Commission on Global Health and the Law; the UN High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth’s expert group; and the Secretary-General’s Independent Accountability Panel for the Global Strategy for Women’s Children’s and Adolescents’ Health. She is a founding faculty member and a course director for the Global School on Socio-economic Rights, which seeks to build capacity among and create networks of practitioners and scholars from around the world relating to the legal enforcement of ESC rights. Alicia has published extensively on legal enforcement of ESC rights and health rights, and co-edited, with Siri Gloppen, Litigating Health Rights: Can courts bring more justice to health?Ê(Harvard Human Rights Series, Harvard University Press, 2011), a leading volume on the impacts of health rights litigation across multiple countries. Alicia is a graduate of Harvard College (summa cum laude), Harvard Law School (cum laude), and the Harvard School of Public Health, where she received both the Samdperil and Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Awards upon graduation.
Joe Amon is Vice President for Neglected Tropical Diseases at Helen Keller International, overseeing the organization’s portfolio of work on parasitic and bacterial diseases in 20 countries in Africa and Asia. Prior to joining HKI in 2016 he was Director of the Health and Human Rights Division at Human Rights Watch where he conducted research and advocacy related to a wide range of issues including access to health care, disability rights, environmental health and palliative care. He holds a master’s degree from Tulane University and a Ph.D. from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He has lectured and held appointments at a number of universities, including Columbia, Princeton, Johns Hopkins, USUHS, and SciencesPo (Paris).
Pamela Sumner Coffey is a human rights lawyer with over 20 years of experience working at the intersections of international law, institutional policy reform and global philanthropy.Ê Pamela is the Vice-President of Global Operations at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the lead advocacy and policy reform partner within the Bloomberg PhilanthropiesÕ Global Initiative for Tobacco Control and Global Health Advocacy Incubator.Ê Previously the Director of the International Grants Program at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Pamela joined the Campaign staff in 2008. Pamela has worked on policy and reform projects in over 50 countries. She came to the Campaign from DAI, where she managed and provided technical expertise on global policy and institutional reform projects for USAID and the World Bank. ÊPamela has also led technical assistance and grant programs for the Open Society Institute/Soros Foundations, International Organization for Migration, and the Central & Eastern European Law Initiative of the American Bar Association. A human rights lawyer, Pamela served as government trial attorney and guardian ad litem within the child abuse, neglect, dependency courts in Chicago/Cook County Illinois. She has authored publications on international law, philanthropy and child protection– with a focus on policies and institutional reforms that improve vulnerable personsÕ access to public health, legal protections, education and social welfare services. Pamela obtained a Juris Doctorate from the Indiana University School of Law, as well as dual degrees in Economics and International Relations from Simmons College and the London School of Economics. She serves as an advisor and Board Member on several organizations, including on the Center for Constitutional Democracy at the Indiana University at Bloomington School of Law.
Christian Courtis is a Human Rights Officer with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, working on economic, social and cultural rights and sustainable development issues. Born in Argentina, he is a former law professor at the University of Buenos Aires Law School (Argentina) and invited professor at ITAM Law School (Mexico). He has been visiting professor and researcher at different universities in Europe, Latin America and the United States. He has served as a consultant for the World/Panamerican Health Organization, UNESCO, the UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), the Economic and Social Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the Inter-American Institute for Human Rights. He was previously the coordinator of the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Project of the International Commission of Jurists (Geneva).
Jackie Dugard is an Associate Professor at the School of Law, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, where she teaches Property Law, Jurisprudence and Critical Jurisprudence. She was the founding director of the University’s Gender Equity Office (2014-2016); and Jackie was the co-founder and first director of the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI) and currently serves as Chairperson of SERI’s Board of Directors. Prior to co-founding SERI (in January 2010), Jackie was a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg between 2004 and 2009. Jackie’s areas of expertise are socio-economic rights, socio-legal studies and access to basic services and justice for the poor. She has published extensively on these areas. Jackie has a BA (Hons) in African Politics and an LLB from the University of the Witwatersrand; an MPhil in the Sociology and Politics of Development and a PhD in Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge; and an LLM in International Human Rights Law from the University of Essex.
Chris Jochnick is a global land rights expert and social entrepreneur with decades of experience in international development. Chris joined Landesa as CEO in August 2015 after leading Oxfam America’s work on business and development including shareholder engagement, value chain assessments, and collaborative advocacy initiatives, such as the successful ÒBehind the BrandsÓ campaign. Jochnick is the co-founder and former director of two pioneering non-profit organizations: Center for Economic and Social Rights and the Ecuador-based Centros De Derechos Economicos y Sociales. Jochnick spent seven years working in Latin America, devoting much of that time to addressing threats to indigenous peoplesÕ land rights. Prior to Oxfam, Jochnick worked as a corporate attorney with the Wall Street law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison, on corporate governance and social responsibility issues. He is Chair of the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre and on the Steering Committee of the Sorensen Center for International Peace and Justice. He is a member of the advisory council of the International Land and Forest Tenure Facility, and of the Center for Business and Human Rights at NYU Stern School of Business. Jochnick is a graduate of Harvard Law School and a former fellow of the MacArthur Foundation and Echoing Green. He teaches a course on business and human rights at Harvard Law School.
Maia Kats is the Litigation Director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the leading non-profit addressing nutrition and truth in food labeling. As CSPI Litigation Director, she focuses on prosecuting consumer class actions in the food and supplements context. Most recently, Ms. Kats and her co-counsel resolved class claims against Coca-Cola for its marketing of Vitaminwater, Campbell Soup Company for its labeling of Plum Organic Baby Foods, Safeway for its failure to notify customers of Class One Recalls, and PepsiCo for its marketing of Naked Juices. She recently initiated several other litigations, including against Coca-Cola and the American Beverage Association, CVS, Kellogg, and General Mills. Prior to joining CSPI, Ms. Kats was a partner with the class action firm of Sprenger & Lang, PLLC and before then, an associate with Hughes Hubbard & Reed. She earned her J.D. From the University of Michigan School of Law, where she earned multiple awards, and her B.A. from the University of Michigan, with highest honors. She is a frequent speaker on the topic of food litigation.
Peter Maybarduk is the Director of Public Citizen’s access to medicines and knowledge economy group, which helps partners around the world overcome high-price pharmaceutical monopolies and secure the benefits of science, technology and culture for all. Peter has provided technical assistance to international organizations and to public agencies and civil society groups in more than three dozen countries. He is an intellectual property expert and presently a visiting fellow with the Information Society Program at Yale Law School. Peter’s work has yielded HIV/AIDS medicine price reductions, new state access to medicines policies and global shifts toward anti-counterfeiting policies that safeguard generic competition. His analysis and strategy helped eliminate many harmful measures from the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership. Peter studied technology law at Berkeley Law School (University of California) and anthropology at The College of William & Mary in Virginia.
Justice Alfredo Gutierrez Ortiz Mena is a Justice on the Supreme Court of Mexico. Born in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Justice Gutierrez Ortiz Mena earned his law degree from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and his graduate degree, LL.M. and International Tax Certificate from Harvard University. As a graduate student, he was awarded a scholarship from the Fulbright-Garcia Robles Foundation. He is a member of the Mexican Bar and the New York Bar. Between 1995 and 2012 Justice Gutierrez Ortiz Mena worked for different international law firms, including Covington & Burling, Holland & Knight and White & Case. Afterwards, he served in the Ministry of Finance and was appointed by the President of Mexico as Commissioner of the Internal Revenue and Customs Services from 2008 to 2012. In November 2012, he was nominated by the President of Mexico to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court of Mexico. His appointment was approved by a vote of 92 percent of the members of the Mexican Senate. He was sworn in on December 1, 2012, and he will serve for a period of fifteen years.
In his opinions and dissents, Justice Gutierrez Ortiz Mena has recurrently explained why his approach to law is guided by the notion that the Constitution should be read and interpreted in accordance with international human rights law. His legal reasoning often relies on the language of principles that would seem associated with liberal values. He has subscribed the idea that rules limiting the scope of human rights provisions should be interpreted in the most restrictive way possible. Justice Gutierrez Ortiz Mena has consistently argued in favor of analyzing cases through a “gender lens”. His thinking on equality and discrimination has led him to vote in favor of striking down statutory rules that, in his view, would likely reinforce stereotypes. According to one of his opinions, in any decision making process, judges should follow certain analytical steps in order to maintain awareness of the structural inequalities that may be at play. He has also voted in favor of understanding that the Constitution does not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.
He has favored the interpreting role of the court in cases involving claims of arbitrary detentions, torture, coerced confessions, and abuse of force by police, among others. In some of his opinions, he has dealt with issues like the standard of adequate representations at trail, the right to confront witnesses, and suggestive eyewitness identification procedures. On federalism, Justice Gutierrez Ortiz Mena has issued opinions and dissents expressing faith in the importance of granting meaningful leeway to State authorities. In matters of administrative law, he has shown willingness to afford deference to the statutory interpretation proposed by administrative agencies. Along with others Justices, Alfredo Gutierrez Ortiz Mena has argued that the Mexican Supreme Court should use a more discretionary method to select the cases it hears. His position favors the courts ability to use its judicial discretion to set the agenda of constitutional interpretation.
Matthew L. Myers is President and CEO of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a privately funded organization established to reduce tobacco use and its devastating consequences in the United States and around the world. Over the last 25 years, Mr. Myers has participated in virtually every major national tobacco-related legislative effort and has worked with state tobacco prevention advocates and officials around the country. In 1999, Mr. Myers was asked to serve on the first advisory committee established to advise the Director General of the World Health Organization on tobacco issues. The following year, Mr. Myers was named by President Clinton to co-chair a Presidential Commission to examine the economic problems being experienced by tobacco farmers and their communities and recommend possible solutions. In October 2004, the Harvard School of Public Health bestowed its highest honor, the prestigious Julius B. Richmond award, on Mr. Myers for his work as an advocate in preventing tobacco industry marketing to children.
Andrea Parra is an attorney, legal activist and experiential trainer. She holds a law degree from the Universidad de los Andes in Bogot‡, Colombia and an LLM in American Law from Boston University. She is admitted to practice in the state of New York and in Colombia. Between 2011 and 2016, she was the Director of the Action Program for Equality and Social Inclusion (PAIIS), a human rights law clinic at the Universidad de los Andes that engages in legal and political advocacy against discrimination based on disability, gender identity and sexual orientation. She was an adjunct professor at the same law school between 2009 and 2014. Prior to joining PAIIS, she worked as a senior staff attorney at WomenÕs Link Worldwide, where she directed the Gender Justice Observatory and worked on projects related to migrant women and implementation of international human rights standards. Between 2001 and 2006 she worked as staff attorney and supervisor of the domestic violence unit at the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project in Seattle, U.S. Since 2014, she has been a training associate with Training for Change an organization that has developed an experiential methodology of training that helps groups stand up more effectively for justice, peace and the environment. She has trained in Spain, Morocco, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Turkey, Switzerland, Denmark, South Africa, India, Ireland and in various cities of Colombia and the U.S. She is also a translator and interpreter on social justice issues. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the organizations Colombia Diversa, Women Enabled, and Sinergias, and a member of the the Colombian Coalition for the Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.
Regan E. Ralph is the president and CEO of the Fund for Global Human Rights and has directed the organization since its founding. Prior to launching the Fund, Regan was Vice President for Health and Reproductive Rights at the National Women’s Law Center in Washington D.C. where she led advocacy, policy and educational strategies to promote the quality and availability of health care for American women. From 1992-2001, Regan helped build and ultimately directed the Women’s Rights division of Human Rights Watch, where she developed campaigns to ensure the prosecution of sexual violence in conflict as a war crime, to secure recognition of gender-based persecution as grounds for asylum, and to promote women’s rights in countries including Russia, Egypt, Turkey, South Africa, Pakistan and Mexico. Regan is a graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School, and studied international law at the London School of Economics and Arabic at the American University in Cairo. She serves on the boards of EG Justice and WITNESS, the advisory council of the Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program at Georgetown University Law Center, the advisory committee of The Council for Global Equality, and the global practitioner council at Stanford University’s Program on Social Entrepreneurship. Regan is also a member of the Steering Committee of the International Human Rights Funders Group.
Sanjay Ruparelia is Associate Professor of Politics at the New School for Social Research. His main publications include Divided We Govern: Coalition Politics in Modern India (Oxford University Press, 2015), a study of the rise and fall of the broader Indian left, and Understanding IndiaÕs New Political Economy: a great transformation? (Routledge, 2011). He is currently writing a set of papers and a new book, provisionally titled Contesting a Right to Welfare: Law, Citizenship and Accountability in India, which examines the role, successes and failures of rights-based constitutional mobilization in advancing socioeconomic welfare and political accountability in the worldÕs largest democracy. It is part of a wider project comparing analogous developments in China, South Africa and Brazil. Prior to the New School, Ruparelia was Assistant Director of the South Asia Institute at Columbia University. His research has been supported by the Commonwealth Foundation, American Council of Learned Societies, Social Science Research Council and the universities of Princeton and Notre Dame. He has served as a consultant to the United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Research Institute on Social Development and the Asia Foundation. He earned a B.A. (First Class Honors) in Political Science from McGill University, and an M.Phil (Distinction) in the Sociology and Politics of Development and a Ph.D. in Politics from the University of Cambridge.
Aram Schvey serves as Senior Policy Counsel and Manager of Special Projects at the Center for Reproductive Rights, a global human-rights advocacy organization dedicated to using litigation and advocacy to advance reproductive freedom in the United States and around the world. In that capacity, he is responsible for advancing the Center’s priorities on Capitol Hill, at the White House, and with Executive Branch agencies. His work focuses both on U.S. foreign policy, including combating family-planning-related foreign-policy restrictions, as well as domestic policy, including the role of religious liberty in the context of reproductive rights and health. He previously served as a clinical human-rights fellow at Georgetown Law and Fordham Law School, litigated First Amendment cases at Americans United for Separation of Church and State, represented foreign governments as a lawyer in private practice, and clerked for two federal judges. He holds a J.D. and LL.M. from Georgetown, an M.A. from Johns Hopkins, and an A.B. from Harvard.