Governance Structure 

GLS serves as the Human Rights Program's administrative home, with co-chairs and executive director being responsible for its programs.


Executive Director

Affiliated Scholars

Samer Alatout headshot

Samer Alatout

Associate Professor, Department of Community & Environmental Sociology

  • Research Interests: sociology and politics of science and technology; social theories of power and government biopolitics; Foucault Social theories of territory with a focus on borders, political and cultural geography; environmental policy and politics; water politics in the Middle East; environmental politics on the US/Mexico and Palestine/Israel borders; International Development and the politics of sustainability
  • Human Rights Courses Taught: Water Policy in International Contexts; International Development, Environment, and Sustainability; Social Theories of Power; Social Theories of Border; Local and Regional Approaches to Sustainability and Vulnerability
headshot of Araceli Alonso

Araceli Alonso

Associate Faculty, Department of Gender and Women's Studies and the School of Medicine and Public Health

  • Research Interests: women's health and women's rights; Founder and Director of the United Nations Award Winner Health by Motorbike (HbM), an NGO that provides medical services and health literacy to remote and isolated villages in Africa
  • Human Rights Courses Taught: GWS535 Global Women's Health and Human Rights; Global Health Field Experience on Human Rights and Sex Trafficking in Spain and Morocco "Sex Trafficking: Criminalized Economies of Gender and Desire"
Sumudu Atapattu headshot

Sumudu Atapattu

Director of UW Law School Research Centers; Senior Lecturer,  UW Law School

  • Research Interests: international environmental law; climate change; human rights and the environment
  • Human Rights Courses Taught: 918 SP International Law: International Environmental Law; Climate Change, Human Rights and the Environment
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Tyrell HaberKorn

Professor of Southeast Asian Studies, Director of Graduate Studies

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Ksenija Bilbija

Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese

  • Research Interests:  Cultural Studies; Gender Criticism and Post-Traumatic Memory.
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Brandon Bloch

Assistant Professor, History

  • Research Interests: research and teaching foreground questions of democracy, citizenship, and human rights; special interest in how European national and religious identities have evolved against the backdrop of territorial conflict, divided sovereignties, ethnic cleansing, and genocide; currently researching democratic reconstruction in post-1945 Germany, with a focus on the role of religious networks in constitutional and human rights politics
  • Human Rights Courses Taught: “Genocide, War Crimes Trials, and Human Rights in the 20th Century”
headshot of Lori DiPrete Brown

Lori DiPrete Brown

Associate Director for Education and Engagement for the Global Health Institute; Director of the 4W Initiative

  • Research Interests: global health; vulnerable populations (especially women and children)
  • Human Rights Courses Taught: PHS 370 Introduction to Public Health: Local to Global Perspectives; PHS 640 Foundations in Global Health Practice; PHS 644 Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Global Health and Disease; PHS 503 Public Health and Human Rights: The Case of Vulnerable Children; PHS 504 Quality Evaluation and Improvement in Low-Resource Settings; EPS 600 Education for Global Change
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Peggy Choy

Assistant Professor, Dance Program

  • Research Interests: Southeast Asian studies
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James Cleary

Associate Professor of Medicine; Palliative Care Medicine Physician; Director, Pain and Policy Studies Group, WHO Collaborating Center for Pain Policy and Palliative Care

  • Research Interests: global pain policy; access to pain medicines; hospice and palliative care practice and education; cancer pain relief; cancer communication; web-based communication in patient care; palliative care research in pain relief, nausea, fatigue, side effects of chemotherapy
Sarah Davis headshot

Sarah Davis

Clinical Associate Professor, UW Law School

  • Research Interests: cataloging and interpreting diverse literature on health advocacy; consumer engagement in quality improvement efforts in health systems
  • Human Rights Courses Taught: 768 Clinical Program: Health Advocacy & Patient-Centered Care; 769 Consumer Issues in Health Care; 935 Intro to Health Care; 940 Public Health Law Practice Workshop
Headshot for Anna M. Gade is missing. A red block shows with the UW crest in white in the center, featuring a large white letter W.

Anna M. Gade

Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies

  • Research Interests: global cultural, historical, and religious responses to environmental change, specializing in history, knowledge, and practices of Southeast Asia
  • Human Rights Courses Taught: Religion and the Environment; Islam, Science & Technology and the Environment; Environmental Humanities in Asian Perspectives
Headshot for Aaron Gilson is missing. A red block shows with the UW crest in white in the center, featuring a large white letter W.

Aaron Gilson

Research Program Manager at the Pain & Policy Studies Group

  • Research Interests: evaluating national and state controlled substances and healthcare practice policies; national trends in the medicinal and non-medicinal use of opioid medications; knowledge and attitudes of state healthcare regulators and practitioners regarding issues of pain management; prescription drug monitoring program characteristics relating to legitimate medication use and aberrant use.
headshot of Rachel Grob

Rachel Grob

Department of Family Medicine Senior Scientist; Associate Clinical Professor and Director of National Initiatives, Center for Patient Partnerships

  • Research Interests: patients' experiences with health care; inclusion of patient experience measures in public reporting; how patient voice influences health policy; theory and practice of advocacy; social impact of genetics; child health
Headshot of Francine Hirsch

Francine Hirsch

Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of History

  • Research Interests: Russian and Soviet history; modern European history; comparative empires
  • Human Rights Courses Taught: History 600-History of Idea of Human Rights; History 600-Genocide, Justice, and Postwar Human Rights
Headshot photo of Alexandra Huneeus

Alexandra Huneeus

Associate Professor of Law

  • Research Interests: public international law; comparative law; Latin America; human rights
  • Human Rights Courses Taught: 641 Sociology of Law; 827 International Law; Climate Justice.
Headshot for Asra Husain is missing. A red block shows with the UW crest in white in the center, featuring a large white letter W.

Asra Husain

Policy and Legal Analyst, University of Wisconsin Pain and Policy Studies Group

  • Research Interests: international pain policy
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Rick Keller

Professor of Medical History and Bioethics

  • Research Interests: The history of European and colonial medicine and public health; history of psychiatry and psychoanalysis;  history of the human sciences; science and race
  • Human Rights Courses Taught: MHB 553: International Health and Global Society; MHB 919: Science, Technology, and Medicine in the Colonial Context
Headshot photo of Heinz Klug

Heinz Klug

John and Rylla Bosshard Professor of Law

  • Research Interests: constitutional transitions; constitution-building; human rights; international legal regimes; natural resources
  • Human Rights Courses Taught: 827 International Law; 895 WI International Law Journal
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Susan E. Lederer

Robert Turell Professor of Medical History and Bioethics

  • Research Interests: medicine and society in twentieth-century America; race, medicine, and public health; medicine and popular culture; research ethics; history of medical ethics
  • Human Rights Courses Taught: MHB 668: Seminar: Fat and Thin: Making American Bodies
Headshot for Jenna M. Loyd is missing. A red block shows with the UW crest in white in the center, featuring a large white letter W.

Jenna M. Loyd

Associate Professor, Department of Geography

  • Research Interests: Racism and state violence, refugee resettlement
  • Human Rights Courses Taught: International Migration, Health, and Human Rights 
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Sara McKinnon

Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Arts

  • Research Interests: Intercultural rhetoric, globalization/transnational studies, legal rhetoric, and transnational feminist theory
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Darshana Mini

Assistant Professor, Film

    • Research Interests: intersection of gender, sexuality, transnational media, migrant media and screen cultures of South Asia.
    • Human Rights Courses Taught: COM950 – Migrant Media and Diasporic Imaginations
Headshot photo of Richard Monette

Richard Monette

Professor of Law

  • Research Interests: Native Americans and U.S. law, Wisconsin constitutional law; federalism, water law
  • Human Rights Courses Taught: 730 Federal Law & Indian Tribes; 820 Conflict of Laws; 845 Water Rights Law
headshot of Larry Nesper

Larry Nesper

Professor of Anthropology and American Indian Studies

  • Research Interests: Great Lakes Indian law and politics; institutional development
  • Human Rights Courses Taught: Anthro 104-Cultural Anthropology and Human Diversity; Anthro 300-Theory and Ethnography; Anthro 448-Anthropology of Law; Anthro 471-Ethnohistory of American Indian Religious and Political Movements; Anthro 940-Seminar: Law in Culture and Society
Headshot photo of Asifa Quaraishi-Landes

Asifa Quraishi-Landes

Professor of Law

  • Research Interests: Islamic Constitutionalism, Comparative Constitutionalism, Legal Pluralism
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Paul Robbins

Dean, Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies

  • Research Interests: human interactions with nature and the politics of natural resource management; conservation conflicts; urban ecology; environment and health interactions
  • Human Rights Courses Taught: Introduction to Environmental Studies Methods in Environmental Research
Headshot photo of Mitra Shirafi

Mitra Sharafi

Evjue-Bascom Professor of Law

  • Research Interests: South Asian legal history; the history of the legal profession; the history of colonialism; the history of contract law; law and society; law and religion; law and minorities; legal consciousness; legal pluralism; and the history of science and medicine.
  • Human Rights Courses Taught: Law and Colonialism
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Sweta Shrestha

Education Programs Associate for the UW-Madison Global Health Institute

  • Research Interests: international health; epidemiology; zoonotic and/or communicable diseases
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Mark Sidel

Doyle-Bascom Professor of Law and Public Affairs

  • Research Interests: nonprofit and philanthropic organizations in the United States and in comparative perspective; civil society and the law; comparative constitutionalism, particularly in China, Vietnam, and other parts of Asia; human trafficking
  • Human Rights Courses Taught: 940 L&CP: Human Trafficking & Involuntary Servitude
headshot of Erica Simmons

Erica Simmons

Assistant Professor, Political Science and International Studies

  • Research Interests: contentious politics, particularly in Latin America
  • Human Rights Courses Taught: Introduction to Contentious Politics (graduate); Contentious Politics (undergraduate); Social Movements and Revolutions in Latin America (undergraduate); The Politics of Food and Water (undergraduate)
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Karen Solheim

Clinical Professor and Director of Global Health Initiatives 

  • Research Interests: Community Health Nursing; Global Health Nursing, Global Health Systems
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Scott Straus

Professor, Political Science and International Studies

  • Research Interests: genocide; political violence; human rights; African politics
  • Human Rights Courses Taught: 318-The Comparative Study of Genocide
Headshot photo of Steph Tai

Steph Tai

Associate Professor of Law

  • Research Interests: interactions between environmental and health sciences and administrative law; environmental law; food systems law; environmental justice
  • Human Rights Courses Taught: 848 Environmental Law; 988 SP Environmental Law: Natural Resources Law
Headshot photo of Aili Tripp

Aili Tripp

Professor of Political Science and Gender & Women's Studies

  • Research Interests: women and politics in Africa; women's movements in Africa; transnational feminism; African politics; informal economy in Africa
  • Human Rights Courses Taught: GWS320: Special Topics in Gender, Women, and Society; GWS325: Global Feminism; GWS643: Women and Politics in Global Context
Headshot for Alberto M. Vargas is missing. A red block shows with the UW crest in white in the center, featuring a large white letter W.

Alberto M. Vargas

Associate Director of the Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program

  • Research Interests: environmental conservation and natural resource management in Latin America; eco-development; conservation
Sharon Wilcox headshot

Sharon Wilcox

Associate Director of the Center for Culture, History, and Environment in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies

  • Research Interests: wildlife conservation on the U.S./Mexico border with a concern for environmental justice for multi-species communities (humans and animals). Multi-species communities, environmental justice, environmental politics on the U.S./Mexico border, human dimensions of wildlife conservation, environmental humanities, animal geography, cultural geography.

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