In his 30-year career as a diplomat, attorney and journalist, Eric Richardson worked at U.S. embassies in and for China, Libya, Tunisia, New Zealand, and Israel and the Palestinian territories. From 2013-16, he served in Geneva as Deputy at the UN Human Rights Council. His Washington assignments focused on North Korea; political transitions in Burma and the Arab Spring; and legal and congressional affairs. As an international attorney, his clients ranged from technology and telecommunications companies to federal judges, and from Central American migrants to UN Agencies. He is a negotiations professor at US and UK law schools, has numerous awards and publications, and speaks English, Mandarin Chinese and French.
Hans Hogrefe has worked on international human rights and humanitarian affairs in the U.S. Congress for more than 30 years. As Executive Director of the U.S. Congressional Human Rights Caucus (now the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission) for more than 15 years, Hans has organized hundreds of Congressional hearings concerning human rights in every corner of the globe. A strong advocate for the under-represented, Hans was instrumental in passage of legislation concerning human rights sanctions. Outside the Congress, Hans has served as advocacy director for Refugees International and as a Special Assistant for the U.S. Under Secretary of State for civilian security, democracy and human rights focused on issues in Asia. He has dozens of media appearances and publications to his name and is fluent in English and German.
John Sciamanna specializes in children’s policy, economic and social rights, labor, health, and well-being for women and youth. John has more than 30 years’ experience advancing these issues on behalf of non-profit social welfare groups and coalitions, as well as in the United States Congress and state legislatures. Monitoring, advocacy, legislative and regulatory policy, and public affairs are among his specialties. John has drafted hundreds of statements for non-profit clients, including Congressional testimony, legislative agendas, and articles on issues of social welfare. Based in New York, John speaks English and Italian.
An expert in health and civil society organizations with deep experience in New York and Geneva, Jane heads up our work on human rights and the Sustainable Development Goals. Jane has managed grant portfolios in excess of $750 million. A PhD in public health from Brazil, Jane has focused on children in the HIV/AIDS epidemic, civil society participation and other aspects of health and human rights. Jane speaks Portuguese, Spanish, French and English.
Kumar was Amnesty International's USA Advocacy Director, based in Washington, for more than 20 years until he recently joined UNHR. A former political prisoner in his native Sri Lanka, Kumar has analyzed and advocated for strong mechanisms to address human rights and humanitarian situations across the globe. His expertise ranges from Afghanistan to Myanmar and he has advocated in Washington, New York and Geneva for populations ranging from the Rohingya to Tibetans.
Carmen Elena Castillo, ambassador and economist, has over 22 years of experience as a diplomat in Geneva and Paris. She represented El Salvador within the UN agencies in Geneva such as UNCTAD, Human Rights Council, humanitarian agencies (refugees, migrants, and red cross) and environmental agencies. She also focused significant attention on the WTO and the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Carmen holds an MBA from Spain and is fluent in Spanish, French, and English.
Our lead Gender Advisor, Dorina is a former Albanian diplomat and Swiss-Albanian dual national with significant experience at the International Telecommunications Union. Dorina has led several coalitions in the UN Human Rights Council, has focused on issues ranging from inclusion to the atrocities in South Sudan. She speaks French, Italian, English and Albanian
Our Libya program lead with more than 10 years experience implementing programs in his native Libya, Mohamed is an expert on reconciliation and democratization, with a bulk of his program experience in training and education. Mohamed has overseen and implemented development projects with the Swiss government, the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, and leading Libyan thinktanks in Tripoli and Tunis. He has managed more than 25 development projects in Libya since 2011, with a value of over $8 million. Mohamed is now based with our Washington team but travels often to North Africa. He is fluent in Arabic and English.
Harvard Medical School professor Dr. Steve Schlozman works as a consultant strengthening UNHR's programs concerning human rights and health, children's rights, and countering violent extremism. As a psychiatrist focusing on youth, Dr. Schlozman has consulted with the U.S government on the factors which press youth to become interested in violent extremism. He is also extremely interested in the right to health, including mental health issues for youth, and has spent significant time in the former Soviet Union.
A prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Ken is an acknowledged leader in accountability and transitional justice. As a Harvard educated lawyer and past member of the UN Human Rights Council's Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, Ken offers UNHR his expertise for our atrocity prevention programs and brings significant ability to do field work in Somalia and South Sudan, and with populations from Lebanon to the Kurds.