Twitter

 

Biographies

Zainab Al-Suwaij
Zainab Al-Suwaij is the co-founder and executive director of the American Islamic Congress, a post-September 11th social activist organization based in Cambridge, Mass., that works to foster tolerance, promote civil society and civil rights, and mobilize a moderate voice in the American Muslim community. After fleeing Iraq following the 1991 uprising against Saddam Hussein, she worked as a refugee case manager for Interfaith Refugee Ministry. She continues to be an outspoken social activist and positive voice in the Muslim community. Al-Suwaij’s writings have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, and the Houston Chronicle, and she has been interviewed on National Public Radio, CNN, Fox News, and other national media outlets.

Nathan Brown
Nathan Brown, on leave from his position as professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University, is a distinguished scholar and author of four well-received books on Arab politics. Currently a senior associate with the Carnegie Endowment for Peace, Brown is an expert on Palestinian reform and Arab constitutionalism, and his research interests also include Egyptian and Palestinian politics, legal reform in the modern Middle East, as well as democratization. Brown’s most recent book, Resuming Arab Palestine, examines Palestinian society and governance after the establishment of the Palestinian Authority.

Brown was previously a scholar in residence at the Middle East Institute. He has recently been a member of the international advisory committee on drafting the Palestinian constitution and a consultant to the U.N. Development Program on issues of governance in the Arab world.

Nasrine Gross
Nasrine Gross is an Afghan-American writer and women’s rights activist. She teaches at Kabul University and is the founder and president of the Roqia Center for Women’s Rights, Studies, and Education. During the Taliban era and afterwards, she helped collect over 300,000 signatures worldwide in support of equal rights in the new constitution of Afghanistan. She participated in the Loya Jirga of Afghan Women in Brussels in November 2001. Gross was invited to the transfer of power ceremonies that marked the new Afghanistan in December 2001, the emergency Loya Jirga in 2002, and the constitutional Loya Jirga in 2003. She has organized and participated in numerous conferences and seminars on Afghan women’s rights across the country.

Most recently, Gross organized six seminars in 14 provinces for female candidates, all who ran for provincial councils and the lower house of parliament. At the Roqia Center, she organizes workshops, publishes books, and conducts innovative adult literacy classes that require both husband and wife to attend. Gross is also the author of four books and many articles. Her publications include: Women’s Guide to Winning in the 2005 Afghan Elections, Memories of the First Girls’ High School in Afghanistan, Steps of Peace and Our Responsibility as Afghans, and Women in the Koran: Dari Translation of Verses in the Koran Regarding Women.

Neil Hicks
In addition to supervising Human Rights First’s international work, including the International Justice program, Neil Hicks directs the Human Rights Defender program. The Defender program assists human rights advocates—lawyers, judges and other activists—who have come under attack for defending human rights. Hicks supervises defender campaigns that include overseas missions, diplomatic advocacy, public education, and grassroots lobbying.

Before joining Human Rights First, Hicks worked as a researcher for the Middle East department of Amnesty International in London from 1985-91. He has also served as human rights project officer of Birzeit University in the West Bank.

Hicks took a year-long sabbatical from Human Rights First in 2000-01, spending his leave as a senior fellow in the Jennings Randolph Fellowship Program of the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C. Hicks is the author of many reports and scholarly articles, most recently, “The Impact of Counter Terror on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: A Global Perspective,” in Human Rights in an Age of Terrorism.

Hicks has taught Human Rights in the Middle East at Fordham Law School. He has published articles on human rights in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Times, the Christian Science Monitor, and Al-Ahram Weekly.

A. E. Dick Howard
Widely acknowledged as an expert in the fields of constitutional law, comparative constitutionalism, and the Supreme Court, A. E. Dick Howard is the White Burkett Miller Professor of Law and Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. Active in public affairs, Howard was executive director of the commission that wrote Virginia’s current constitution and directed the successful referendum campaign for its ratification. He has been counsel to the General Assembly of Virginia and a consultant to state and federal bodies, including the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. From 1982 to 1986 he served as counselor to the governor of Virginia, and he chaired Virginia’s Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution.

Howard has been twice a fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, in Washington, D.C. He has served as president of the Virginia Academy of Laureates and has received the University of Virginia’s Distinguished Professor Award for excellence in teaching. In the fall of 2001, he was the first Distinguished Visiting Scholar in Residence at Rhodes House, Oxford.

Howard is the author of a number of books, articles, and monographs. These include The Road from Runnymede: Magna Carta and Constitutionalism in America and Commentaries on the Constitution of Virginia, which won a Phi Beta Kappa prize. More recent works include Democracy’s Dawn and Constitution-making in Eastern Europe.

Howard has briefed and argued cases before state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States. Often consulted by constitutional draftsmen in other states and abroad, Howard has compared notes with revisers at work on new constitutions in Brazil, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Albania, Malawi, and South Africa. In 1996, the Union of Czech Lawyers, citing Howard’s promotion of the idea of a civil society in Central Europe, awarded him their Randa Medal—the first time this honor has been conferred upon anyone but a Czech citizen. In January 1994, Washingtonian magazine named Howard as one of the most respected educators in the nation.

Deena R. Hurwitz
Deena Hurwitz is director of the Human Rights Program and the International Human Rights Law Clinic at the University of Virginia School of Law. From 2000-03, she was the Robert M. Cover/Allard K. Lowenstein Fellow in International Human Rights with the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School. While at Yale she co-supervised the law school’s human rights clinic, coordinated events sponsored by the Schell Center, and taught International Human Rights at Yale College.

Before entering academia, Hurwitz served as a legal counselor with the Washington Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. She spent 1997-99 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where she was director of the International Human Rights Law Group’s Bosnia program for 14 months. Before joining the Law Group, Hurwitz served as an Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) liaison officer to the Human Rights Coordination Centre of the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In 1997, Hurwitz worked in Ramallah (Israeli-occupied Palestinian Territory) with the Centre for International Human Rights Enforcement, as executive administrator for a project involving human rights enforcement under a European Union-Israel trade agreement. She has also been a consultant with the Women’s Division of Human Rights Watch, investigating violations of women’s rights under Morocco’s Family Code.

Before attending law school at Northeastern University, she worked more than 10 years for the California-based Resource Center for Nonviolence, where she was involved in capacity building and training with nongovernmental organizations in the United States and the Middle East. Between 1981 and 1993, she led regular delegations of U.S. citizens on study tours of the Middle East, and spent a sabbatical year (1989-90) in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.

Hurwitz has edited Walking the Red Line, Israelis in Search of Justice for Palestine, and authored “Lawyering for Justice and the Inevitability of International Human Rights Clinics” (Yale J. Int’l L. , 2003). More recently, she has served as a consultant with Global Rights in Afghanistan, and with the Center for Justice and Accountability in Lebanon.

Vanessa J. JimÉnez
Vanessa J. Jiménez has been working and studying in the field of international law and human rights for the past 15 years. She is currently a senior research associate with the Public International Law & Policy Group (PILPG).  As part of PILPG’s constitutional assistance team, she spent the better part of July in Baghdad advising the Iraqi National Assembly’s Constitutional Committee on its drafting of the Iraqi Constitution. She recently hosted a months-long roundtable series in Washington, D.C., examining the next steps toward implementing the Iraqi Constitution. At PILPG she is assisting in the preparation of several legislative drafting guides prepared in anticipation of the upcoming amendment and implementation phase of the Iraqi Constitution.

Last September Jiménez advised Montenegrin officials on their upcoming referendum regarding secession from Serbia, and in December she was in Cameroon teaching a seminar on international law, international human rights complaint mechanisms, and indigenous peoples.  She is working with the U.N. Special Representative on Internally Displaced Persons to draft a book about constitutionalism, self-determination, and ethnic conflict in Africa. She is also working on the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Sudan, as well as conflicts in Central and South America involving land and natural resource claims of ethnic communities.

Through her past and present work with institutions and organizations such as Human Rights Watch, the Indian Law Resource Center, PILPG, and as an adjunct professor at the American University, Jiménez has gained experience on issues concerning indigenous and minority rights, international organizations, the negotiations of international instruments at the United Nations and the Organization of American States, peace and conflict resolution, constitutionalism, truth and accountability issues, international financial institutions, government transparency, and civil society participation. 

Houzan Mahmoud
Houzan Mahmoud serves as the U.K. representative to the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq. She was born in Iraqi Kurdistan in 1973, but fled Iraq in 1996. Mahmoud now lives in the United Kingdom, studying politics and sociology at the University of London. She is an occasional writer for British publications, including the Independent and the Guardian. She has written many articles about the situation of women in Iraq, which have been translated and published in French, Arabic, Japanese, Russian, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish, Farsi, English, Finish, Swedish, and German.

Mahmoud is an outspoken advocate of women’s and workers’ rights in Iraq. She has campaigned against the rape and abduction of women in Iraq and against the imposition of Islamic Shariah law through the new antidemocratic constitution. She has also given speeches in many union conferences in the United Kingdom and the United States about the struggle of workers for their rights and against the occupation. Mahmoud also organized several conferences and seminars in London in defense of women’s rights in Iraq and against occupation, and has addressed the U.K. and E.U. parliaments about women’s rights in Iraq. In 2003 she co-founded the Iraqi Women’s Rights Coalition in support of women in Iraq and the publication Equal Rights Now to expose the violation of women’s rights in Iraq to world public opinion. She was the key speaker at the national anti-Iraq war demonstration March 2003 in London, and has spoken at many antiwar rallies across the United Kingdom. She has taken part in many international conferences and speaker tours, including in Japan to address the International Tribunal Court against war crimes in Iraq, and also America, Belgium, Northern Ireland, Scotland, France, Italy, Portugal, and Germany. Mahmoud recently co-founded an initiative to end the occupation of Iraq and present a democratic, secular, egalitarian alternative through the Iraq Freedom Congress.

Clovis Maksoud
A lawyer, journalist, and diplomat, Ambassador Clovis Maksoud is professor of international relations and director of the Center for the Global South at American University in Washington, D.C.

A Lebanese national, Maksoud served as the Arab League ambassador to India and Southeast Asia from 1961-66. From 1967-79, he served as the senior editor of Al-Ahram and then chief editor of Al-Nahar Weekly. Maksoud was appointed as the League of Arab States’ chief representative to the United States and the United Nations in 1979. On August 15, 1990, he submitted his resignation from the League in the aftermath of Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.

Maksoud is the author of several articles and books on the Middle East and the Global South, among them: “The Meaning of Non-Alignment,” “The Crisis of the Arab Left,” “Reflections on Afro-Asianism,” and “The Arab Image.”

Maksoud graduated from The American University of Beirut, went on to receive his J.D. from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and did postgraduate studies at Oxford University in Britain.

Brett McGurk
Brett McGurk served as associate general counsel to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad from January to June 2004, before working at the Office of the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, where he finished his service in October 2004. While in Baghdad, McGurk helped structure the legal framework for nationwide elections and participated in the negotiation of Iraq’s interim constitution.

McGurk now serves in the White House as Director for Iraq in the National Security Council, handling a policy portfolio that includes the national political process, elections, and constitutional matters.

Before joining the NSC, McGurk practiced appellate litigation at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, and was a frequent commentator on the Iraqi political process, with appearances on CNN Late Edition, PBS NewsHour, Fox News, and BBC Radio. He has authored op-eds in the Washington Post and Legal Times, as well as in the Green Bag and the Virginia Journal of International Law, discussing the legal framework that confronted the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.

Col. Peter D. Menk
Col. Peter Menk currently works in the Civil Affairs division of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command. His experiences regarding domestic military assistance to civil authorities range from in-the-field involvement during domestic disaster to panels addressing national strategy. The commandant of the U.S. Army War College once commended him as the college’s principal expert on homeland security.

Menk’s Pentagon experience includes serving as a staff operations officer in the Army Operations Center in the Directorate of Military Support (DOMS). His interagency experiences include serving as the DOMS liaison to FEMA, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the National Military Command Center. He recently served as Agency Branch Deputy and ESF-01 representative in the National Emergency Operations Center during response operations for Hurricane Ivan and Hurricane Jeanne. Menk has expertise in post-conflict stability operations. He has served on international military legal teams, including a State Department/Joint Staff team in Kosovo assessing the state of judicial processes, as the team chief for an Expanded International Military Education and Training (E-IMET) mission to Cameroon, and as a team member on E-IMET missions to Zimbabwe and Honduras. In 2005 he served in the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, working on rule of law issues. Prior to re-entering military service in 1992, Menk was in private practice.

John Norton Moore
John Norton Moore is an authority on international law, national security law, and the law of the sea. Moore is Walter L. Brown Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law, where he also serves as director of the Center for National Security Law and of the Center for Oceans Law and Policy.

Moore taught the first course in the country on national security law and conceived and co-authored the first casebook on the subject.

From 1991-93, during the Gulf War and its aftermath, Moore was the principal legal adviser to the ambassador of Kuwait to the United States and to the Kuwait delegation to the United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Boundary Demarcation Commission.

From 1985-91, he chaired the board of directors of the U.S. Institute of Peace, one of six presidential appointments he has held. From 1973-76, he was chair of the National Security Council Interagency Task Force on the Law of the Sea and ambassador and deputy special representative of the president to the Law of the Sea conference. Previously he served as counselor on international law to the Department of State. With the deputy attorney general of the United States, he was co-chair in March 1990 of the U.S.-U.S.S.R. talks in Moscow and Leningrad on the Rule of Law. As a consultant to the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, he was honored by the director for his work on the ABM Treaty Interpretation Project. He has been a frequent witness before congressional committees on maritime policy, legal aspects of foreign policy, national security, war and treaty powers, and democracy and human rights. He has been a fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars at the Smithsonian Institution.

Moore is a member of advisory and editorial boards for nine journals and numerous professional organizations, and he has published many articles on oceans policy, national security and international law.

Peter Onuf
Peter Onuf is the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor in the history department at the University of Virginia. He received his A.B. and Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University.

Onuf has co-edited and authored several volumes on Revolutionary and Jeffersonian America, including Jefferson’s Empire: The Language of American Nationhood; The Revolution of 1800: Democracy, Race, and the New Republic; Jeffersonian America; Sally Hemings and Thomas Jefferson: History, Memory, and Civic Culture; and All Over the Map: Rethinking Region and Nation in the United States.

William B. Quandt
William B. Quandt is one of the country’s leading experts on the Middle East. For several years he was a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program at the Brookings Institution, where he conducted research on the Middle East, American policy toward the Arab-Israeli conflict, and energy policy. Prior to that, Quandt served as a staff member on the National Security Council and was actively involved in the negotiations that led to the Camp David Accords and the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty. He also served as president of the Middle East Studies Association. He currently is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and serves on the Board of Trustees of the American University in Cairo and the Foundation for Middle East Peace.

In 1994, Quandt joined the Department of Politics at the University of Virginia, where he holds the Edward R. Stettinius, Jr. Chair. Quandt previously held faculty positions at the University of Pennsylvania, the Rand Corporation in the Department of Social Science, UCLA, and MIT. While at the University of Virginia, Quandt served as vice provost for international affairs. In 2004, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2005 he received U.Va.’s All-University Teaching Award. He currently teaches courses on the Middle East and American foreign policy.

Rouhollah K. Ramazani
Ruhi Ramazani is professor emeritus in the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics at the University of Virginia, where he has been since 1952. He chaired his department twice. His visiting professorships include the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, University of Cambridge (England), and American University of Beirut. Ramazani has lectured in more than 30 cities overseas. He has served as vice president of the American Institute of Iranian Studies, on the Board of Governors of the Middle East Institute, and as an adviser to the International Relations Program of the Rockefeller Foundation. He is currently an adviser to the International Center for Jefferson Studies.

Ramazani’s numerous books include The Foreign Policy of Iran, 1500-1941: A Developing Nation in World Affairs; The Persian Gulf: Iran’s Role; Iran’s Foreign Policy, 1941-1975: A Study of Foreign Policy in Modernizing Nations; The Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz; The United States and Iran; Revolutionary Iran: Challenge and Response in the Middle East; and Northern Tier: Afghanistan, Iran and Turkey. He has published over 150 articles and book chapters, edited several books, and his op-eds have appeared in numerous newspapers. He serves on the editorial boards of the Middle East Journal, the Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, and the Journal of the Center for Iranian Research and Analysis.

Ramazani has been a consultant to President Jimmy Carter; the U.S. departments of State, Defense, and Treasury; the U.N. secretariat general; and the foreign ministries of Britain, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, Spain, and Turkey.

Richard Schifter
From 1981 to 2001, Richard Schifter held a succession of senior foreign affairs positions in the U.S. government: U.S. representative to the U.N. Human Rights Commission; deputy U.S. representative, with the rank of ambassador, in the U.N. Security Council; assistant secretary of state for human rights and humanitarian affairs; special assistant to the president and counselor, National Security Council; and special adviser to the secretary of state. He headed the U.S. delegations to the Conference on Security and Cooperation meetings on human rights in Ottawa, in 1983, and on democratic institutions, in Oslo in 1991. In the late 1980s, Schifter represented the United States in the negotiations for fundamental change in human rights practices in the Soviet Union. In the 1990s he initiated and developed the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative. He represented the State Department from 1986 to 1992 on the board of directors of the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Congressional Commission for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Schifter now chairs the American Jewish International Relations Institute and the Center for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeastern Europe. He also serves on the board of trustees of the Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies.

Maha Abu-Dayyeh Shamas
Maha Abu-Dayyeh Shamas is an internationally respected political feminist thinker and advocate for a viable Palestinian state. She is the director of the Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counseling, former chair of the Jerusalem Legal Aid Center, a founding board member of the Jerusalem Center for Women of the Jerusalem Link, and a board member of Equality Now. She is a recipient of the 2002 Ms. magazine Woman of the Year award.

Shamas works at the local and national level to ensure the protection and provision of services to women who are affected by life under occupation, and is well known in the international arena as a promoter of joint political dialogue and anti-occupation resistance with the Israeli women of the Jerusalem Link. She is also one of the drafters of the International Women’s Commission for a Just Peace.

Joseph Stork
Joe Stork is the deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa division of Human Rights Watch, an independent human rights monitoring organization, based in Washington, D.C.

Before joining Human Rights Watch, he co-founded the Middle East Research and Information Project, and from 1971 to 1995 was the chief editor of Middle East Report, its bimonthly magazine. His articles on Middle East developments also appeared in The Nation, the Middle East Journal, World Policy Journal, Index on Censorship, Le Monde Diplomatique, Collier’s Encyclopedia, the Oxford Companion to World Politics, and in many other journals and books. He has lectured widely at universities and public forums in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East.

His books include Erased in a Moment: Suicide Bombing Attacks against Israeli Civilians and Routine Abuse, Routine Denial: Civil Rights and the Political Crisis in Bahrain. He co-edited Political Islam, published by the University of California Press in 1997.

Stork served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Turkey, and has a master’s degree in International Affairs/Middle East Studies from Columbia University. He presently serves as chair of the Middle East Studies Association’s Committee on Academic Freedom. He serves on the advisory committees of the American Friends Service Committee, Foreign Policy in Focus, and the Iraq Revenue Watch project of the Open Society Institute.

Nur Vergin
Nur Vergin is professor of political science in the Public Administration Department of Istanbul University. She has held a series of academic positions in political science and political sociology at several Turkish universities.

Vergin is the author of Industrialization and Social Change in Rural Areas (in French), Political Sociology, and Witnessing Turkey (in Turkish). She has also written numerous articles in Turkish, French, and English on religion and politics, social change, and the Turkish political system. Her ongoing research is on the concept of raison d’Etat, focusing on the Turkish state and politics. She earned her B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Paris-Sorbonne.

Maj. Sean Watts
Maj. Sean Watts is a professor in the International and Operational Law Department of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s School in Charlottesville, Virginia. Watts has taught courses covering the fourth Geneva Convention, human rights law, occupation law, peace operations, military operations other than war, and advanced law of war. He received his B.A. from the University of Colorado in 1992, his J.D. from the College of William and Mary School of Law in 1999, and his LL.M. from the Judge Advocate General’s School in 2004. In his military career, he has served as: tank platoon leader, 3-77 Armor Battalion, Mannheim, Germany, 1993-94; tank battalion support platoon leader, tank company executive officer, headquarters company executive officer, 1-33 Armor Battalion, Fort Lewis, Wash., 1994-96; chief of international and operational law, 2d Infantry Division, Camp Red Cloud, Republic of Korea, 2000; and legal assistance attorney, trial defense attorney, chief of claims, I Corps, Fort Lewis, Wash., 2001-03.

e-mail this