Governance Structure and Steering Committee Members

While GLS serves as the Human Rights Program's administrative home, a steering committee advises and takes policy decisions for HRP.


Executive Director

Past Steering Committee 

Affiliated scholars

Samer Alatout
Samer Alatout headshot
  • 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
Araceli Alonso
Araceli Alonso headshot
  • 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
Sumudu Atapattu headshot
  • 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
Tyrell HaberKorn  
Ksenija Bilbija
Ksenija Bilbija headshot
  • Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese
  • Research Interests:  Cultural Studies; Gender Criticism and Post-Traumatic Memory.
Brandon Bloch
Brandon Block headshot
  • 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”
Lori DiPrete Brown
Lori Diprete Brown headshot
  • 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
Peggy Choy
Peggy Choy headshot
  • Assistant Professor, Dance Program
  • Research Interests: Southeast Asian studies
James Cleary
James Cleary headshot
  • 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
Sarah Davis headshot
  • 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
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
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.
Rachel Grob
Rachel Grob headshot
  • 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
Francine Hirsch
Francine Hirsc headshot
  • 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
Alexandra Huneeus
Alexandra Huneeus headshot
  • 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.
Asra Husain
  • Policy and Legal Analyst, University of Wisconsin Pain and Policy Studies Group
  • Research Interests: international pain policy
Rick Keller
Rick Keller headshot
  • 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
Heinz Klug
Heinz Klug headshot
  • Evjue-Bascom Professor in Law; Director, Global Legal Studies Center
  • 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
Susan E. Lederer
Susan Lederer headshot
  • 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
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 
Sara Mckinnon
Mckinon headshot
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Arts
  • Research Interests: Intercultural rhetoric, globalization/transnational studies, legal rhetoric, and transnational feminist theory

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
Richard Monette
Richard Monette headshot
  • 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
Larry Nesper
Larry Nesper headshot
  • 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
Asifa Quraishi-Landes
Quraishi-Landes headshot
  • Associate Professor of Law
  • Research Interests: Islamic Constitutionalism, Comparative Constitutionalism, Legal Pluralism
Paul Robbins
Paul Robbins headshot
  • 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
Mitra Sharafi
Mitra Sharafi headshot
  • Associate 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
Sweta Shrestha
Sweta Shrestha headshot
  • Education Programs Associate for the UW-Madison Global Health Institute
  • Research Interests: international health; epidemiology; zoonotic and/or communicable diseases
Mark Sidel
Mark Sidel headshot
  • Doyle-Bascom Professor of Law
  • 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
Erica Simmons
Erica Simmons headshot
  • 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)
Karen Solheim
Karen Solheim headshot
  • Clinical Professor and Director of Global Health Initiatives 
  • Research Interests: Community Health Nursing; Global Health Nursing, Global Health Systems
Scott Straus
Scott Straus headshot
  • 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
Steph Tai
Steph Thai headshot
  • 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
Aili Tripp
Aili Tripp headshot
  • 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
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
Sharon Wilcox headshot
  • 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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