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Human Rights Center Staff Bios

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.

Kristi Rudelius-Palmer

Kristi Rudelius-Palmer

Co-Director

Kristi Rudelius-Palmer is Co-Director of the University of Minnesota’s Human Rights Center and Director of the Law School's Humphrey Fellowship Program. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota Law School and serves as the professional and academic advisor for the Fulbright Humphrey Law & Human Rights Fellows cohort each year. She also teaches courses on human rights education and the integration of human rights into organizational leadership through the College of Education and Human Development. Rudelius-Palmer obtained her B.A. from Lawrence University and her M.A. in comparative international development education from the University of Minnesota.

Rudelius-Palmer has served as co-director of the Human Rights Center since 1989. With more than 20 years of experience in the field of Human Rights Education, she has designed and taught courses at the university, primary and secondary school, and community levels. Rudelius-Palmer has collaborated with hundreds of human rights activists and educators, working to create innovative models of human rights teaching and training in classrooms and communities in diverse settings, including Canada, Egypt, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Russia, and South Africa. She also edits and publishes the Human Rights Center’s Human Rights Education Topic Book Series and has written numerous articles on human rights education and training.

Publications

Contact Professor Rudelius-Palmer at 612-626-7794 or krp@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.

Artemis Ahmadi

Artemis Ahmadi

Professional Development Coordinator, Humphrey Fellowship Program

Mrs. Ahmadi is a Professional Development Coordinator for the Humphrey Fellowship Program at the University of Minnesota Human Rights Center. In this role, she assists Humphrey Fellows with professional development, local and national professional affiliation placements, and networking. Mrs. Ahmadi is an expert in the area of Family Law and has been a human rights activist since 1996. She has a Bachelor of Law degree from Iran and a Master’s of Law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School. Mrs. Ahmadi is a qualified Mediator and practices in the civil area.

Contact Artemis at 612-626-0041 or ahma0144@umn.edu.

 

Patrick Finnegan

Patrick Finnegan

Assistant Director for Development and Research

Patrick Finnegan is the Assistant Director for Development and Research at the University of Minnesota Human Rights Center. He manages the Center’s grant and report writing, engages in fundraising, assists in financial management and strategic planning, and conducts research and writing on substantive human rights issues. Patrick has been involved with the Human Rights Center since 2002, starting as an intern, then serving as a student employee, then as a regular staff member. He obtained his B.A. in Global Studies (with minors in History and French) from the University of Minnesota and his Masters of Public Policy (with a graduate Human Rights Minor) from the University’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Patrick serves as a researcher for ProRights, a human rights consulting organization based in Kenya and the U.S. He is also a volunteer translator and interpreter (English-French) for the Advocates for Human Rights, receiving a 2009 Volunteer of the Year Award from that organization. Patrick has been a volunteer for Minnesotans United for All Families, engaging in community outreach on issues of marriage equality and LGBT rights, as well as a board member for the Oromo-American Citizens Council (OACC).

Contact Patrick at 612-625-2007 or finn0105@umn.edu.

 

Will Gelvick

Will Gelvick

Assistant Director of Fellowship Programs

Will Gelvick began work as Assistant Director of Fellowship Programs at the Human Rights Center in April 2012. She first began work with the Human Rights Center in September 2010. She obtained her B.A. in German Studies from St. Catherine's University and her J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law. Will has worked in both domestic and international criminal law as well as human rights law, humanitarian law, and immigration. She spent a summer working on the legal aspects of witness protection as a legal intern with the Witness / Experts Support Unit of the United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Will is active in her community as a volunteer with the Legal Rights Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As Assistant Director of Fellowship Programs, Will coordinates support and training opportunities for human rights activists through the Hubert. H Humphrey Fellowship Program hosted by the Human Rights Center and the University of Minnesota Law School, and through the Human Rights Fellowship Program. Will co-teaches the Humphrey Law Course on human rights, rule of law and leadership attended by the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows hosted by the University of Minnesota Law School.

Contact Will at 612-626-2226 or gelvi003@umn.edu.

Natela Jordan

Natela Jordan

Education Program Director

Natela Jordan joined the Human Rights Center in May 2006 as Education Program Coordinator following her volunteer work with Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights. Previously, she served as Human Rights Program Officer with Freedom House in Uzbekistan. In 2010 she became Education Program Director and currently provides training and professional development for educators and activists, designs human rights education curricula and classroom resources, manages online educational resources and communications, and co-instructs an online course on Integrating Human Rights into Organizational Leadership at the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development at the University. She also concurrently served for two years as Program Manager for Human Rights Students Initiative at Central European University and Course Director for international conferences with Council of Europe's Youth Center Budapest on human rights advocacy and cultural relativism. Prior to that, Natela served as Secondary Education Program Coordinator at Open Society/Soros Foundation for two years. Natela holds a B.A. degree in Linguistics and Russian-English Translation from World Languages University in Uzbekistan, and M.A. degree in International Human Rights from Central European University in Hungary.

Contact Natela at 612-625-2857 or jorda274@umn.edu.

Zehra Avsar Keye

Zehra Avsar Keye

Humphrey Fellowship Inter-Cultural Coordinator

Zehra Avsar Keye is the Inter-Cultural Coordinator for the Humphrey Fellowship Program at the Human Rights Center. She came to Minnesota in 1968 to study at St. Olaf College and graduated with a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology in 1970. In 1972, she received her M.S. in Clinical Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin—Madison. She received her Ph.D. in Intercultural—Interpersonal Communication from the University of Minnesota's Speech and Communication Department. During her Ph.D. studies, she worked at the University as a foreign student adviser and as an instructor. She is currently the advisor to the Turkish American Association of Minnesota and a steering committee member to the Eastcliff Mansion (the official residence of the president of the University of Minnesota). Several of the boards she served on are: The United Nations Association of Minnesota; The Woman's Club of Minneapolis; The National Association of Foreign Students; The Society of Intercultural Education, Training, and Research; and The Women's League for Peace and Freedom. In 1973, she served as the president of the Turkish American Association of Minnesota. She has also served as regional representative to the United Nations Association-USA board of directors in New York City. Ms. Keye resides in Minneapolis with her husband, Noyan Tanberk.

Contact Zehra at keyex006@umn.edu.

Leah Marks

Leah Marks

Web Coordinator of the Human Rights Library

Leah Marks has been working as the Human Rights Library Web Coordinator since 2004. She is responsible for the overall functionality and growth of the Library, as well as for responding to user inquiries. She posts documents and links, as well as designs and formats web menus and document archives. This work includes the expansion of the various language versions of the Library. In addition to the regular maintenance of the Library, Leah also works closely with researchers and graduate assistants to edit, format, and post special scholarship and research works on the Human Rights Library website. In 2007, Leah worked with Steven Miles, MD, of the University of Minnesota's Center for Bioethics to create United States Military Medicine in War on Terror Prisons, an extensive electronic archive containing U.S. government documents pertaining to the roles of U.S. Armed Forces Medical Personnel in prisoner mistreatment in Iraq, Afghanistan, and at Guantanamo Bay from 2001 to 2006. In 2009, Leah worked with Marsha Freeman, Director, International Women’s Rights Action Watch (IWRAW), to redesign the IWRAW's website, migrating materials from the old site into the new site, and editing and uploading new materials. Leah's other interests include independent research and studies on U.S. global economic policy, human rights, and education.

Contact Leah at will1903@umn.edu.

Vicky Nguyen

Vicky Nguyen

Office 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.