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Human Rights Center Faculty & Staff

 
Fionnuala Ní Aoláin

Fionnuala Ní Aoláin

Faculty Director

Professor Fionnuala D. Ní Aoláin is the Robina Chair in Law, Public Policy, and Society at the University of Minnesota Law School and a professor of law at the University of Ulster's Transitional Justice Institute in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her teaching and research interests are in the fields of international law, human rights law, national security law, transitional justice, and feminist legal theory. Professor Ní Aoláin received her LL.B. and Ph.D. in law at the Queen's University Law Faculty in Belfast and also holds an LL.M. degree from Columbia Law School.

Her books include The Politics of Force (Blackstaff Press, 2000); Law in Times of Crisis (Cambridge University Press); On the Frontlines: Gender, War and the Post-Conflict Process (Oxford University Press, 2011); Exceptional Courts and Military Commissions in Comparative and Policy Perspective (Cambridge University Press, 2013, with Oren Gross); and Oxford Handbook on Gender and Conflict (forthcoming 2017, with Cahn, Haynes and Valji).

Professor Ní Aoláin was a representative of the prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia at domestic war crimes trials in Bosnia (1996-97); appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations as Special Expert on promoting gender equality in times of conflict and peace-making (2003); appointed by the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights and UN WOMEN to prepare a Study on Reparations for Conflict Related Sexual Violence (2011); and appointed by the International Criminal Court's Trust Fund for Victims to lead an Expert Review on Reparations to victims in the Court's first case (2015). See Professor Ní Aoláin's full faculty profile here.

Contact Fionnuala Ní Aoláin at 612-624-2318 or niaol002@umn.edu.

David Weissbrodt

David Weissbrodt

Co-Director

David Weissbrodt is the Regents Professor and Fredrikson & Byron Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School. His scholarship focuses principally on international human rights law, but he also teaches administrative law, immigration law, and torts. He received his B.A. from Columbia University, attended the London School of Economics, and received his J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall). In 1975, Professor Weissbrodt became a faculty member at the University of Minnesota Law School where he has since established the University of Minnesota Human Rights Center and helped to launch the online University of Minnesota Human Rights Library. He also helped to establish the Center for Victims of Torture, the Advocates for Human Rights, the International Human Rights Internship Program, and two local Amnesty International groups.

Weissbrodt is the author of 20 books and more than 100 articles on many human rights issues, including business and human rights, contemporary forms of slavery, human rights monitoring, prisoners of conscience, refugees, the right to fair trial, the rights of non-citizens, torture and ill-treatment, and United Nations human rights mechanisms. Professor Weissbrodt has served as a member of the U.N. Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (1996-2003) and as its Chairperson for the 53rd session (2001-02). He also was the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Non-Citizens (2001-03).

Contact Professor Weissbrodt at 612-625-5027 or weiss001@umn.edu.

Amanda Lyons

Amanda Lyons

Executive Director

Amanda Lyons is a specialist in international human rights law and advocacy. She joins the Human Rights Center after having served as the Americas Program Coordinator and New York head of office for Franciscans International. In that capacity she focused on human rights advocacy at the UN on a range of issues, including business and human rights, poverty, gender, the rights of indigenous peoples, and environmental justice. Before FI, Amanda was Legal Researcher and Advisor for the International Center for Transitional Justice in Bogota, Colombia. She earned her J.D. magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota with a concentration in international human rights law and a B.A in Sociology and Latin American Studies from the University of Notre Dame.

Contact Amanda Lyons at 612-626-7794 or lyon0061@umn.edu.

Marsha Freeman

Marsha Freeman

Director of the International Women's Rights Action Watch (IWRAW)

Marsha Freeman, PhD, J.D., is a Senior Fellow at the University of Minnesota Human Rights Center, where she is Director of International Women's Rights Action Watch (IWRAW). She is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School, where she teaches courses on women's human rights and the UN human rights system. Dr. Freeman is an internationally recognized expert on the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women. She has published numerous articles, reports, and technical papers on the Convention's content and procedures, as well as on advocacy using its provisions. Dr. Freeman is the primary editor of The UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women: A Commentary, (Oxford University Press, 2012). Additionally, she is the author of Women's Economic, Cultural and Social Rights, a manual for using the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights to advance women's human rights.

Contact Professor Freeman at 612-625-4985 or mfreeman@umn.edu.

Vicky Nguyen

Vicky Nguyen

HRC and Fellowship Programs Administrator

Vicky Nguyen is the Human Rights Center's Office Administrator and has been working for the Center since 2010. Vicky provides clerical, communications, and financial administrative support for all of the Center’s major programs, including coordination assistance for the Fulbright Humphrey Fellowship cohort. Vicky also does logistics and online outreach for public events and private meetings hosted by the Human Rights Center. Over the past couple of years, Vicky has been instrumental in designing the formatting and layout of Human Rights Center’s Annual Report, as well as compiling and presenting statistics on program performance. Vicky obtained her B.A. in Statistics from the University of Minnesota. Her other interests include music and hockey.

Contact Vicky at 612-626-0041 or nguye386@umn.edu.