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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.

 

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.

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.