Advisory Board

Advisory Board

Carolyn Patty Blum headshotCarolyn Patty Blum

Carolyn Patty Blum is a Clinical Professor of Law Emerita at the University of California, Berkeley, where she founded and directed the International Human Rights Law Clinic. She is a Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford, where she is a member of the faculty of the Masters’ Program in International Human Rights Law. School. During her over forty year career as a human rights and refugee scholar, teacher and lawyer, she also has taught at Columbia University Law School and Cardozo Law and has worked for major human rights organizations and international foundations as a consultant, including the International Center for Transitional Justice, the Center of Constitutional Rights, the Open Society Foundation, among others.  Her work with the Center for Justice and Accountability included her successful civil litigation against three of the top commanders in the Salvadoran military during their reign of state terror in the 1980s. She also was on the team for the case against one of the top Salvadoran commanders, who ordered the 1989 murder of the six Jesuit priests and their housekeeper and her daughter. After his extradition from the U.S. to Spain, former Vice Minister of Defense Montano was convicted of the murders and sentenced to prison for the rest of his life. Professor Blum’s areas of expertise and publication are refugee law, transitional justice and accountability, human rights and national security, and human rights and film; in addition, she has litigated dozens of other asylum and human rights cases. She holds a JD from Northeastern University School of Law.

Richard M. Buxbaum

Richard Buxbaum ’53 joined the Boalt faculty in 1961. He publishes in the fields of corporation law and comparative and international law. From 1987 to 2003 was editor in chief of the American Journal of Comparative Law. He founded and was the first chair of UC Berkeley’s Center for German and European Studies, and from 1992-1999 was the Dean of International and Area Studies.

Buxbaum was one of the five defense counsel in the criminal proceedings against the 773 members of the Free Speech Movement from 1964 to 1967; represented various campus organizations and individuals in cases arising out of Vietnam War protests; and was defense counsel in a large number of criminal proceedings that accompanied the Third World Strike of 1969-70, which was a factor in the development of affirmative action programs for student admissions on the campus.

Buxbaum is a contributing editor to a variety of U.S. and foreign professional journals and has been a visiting professor at the Universities of Michigan, Cologne, Frankfurt, Münster and Sydney. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001.

Henry Erlich

Henry Erlich is a Senior Scientist at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute. He received his BA from Harvard University and his Ph.D from the University of Washington. Erlich continued his postdoctoral work in microbial genetics at Princeton University and immunogenetics at Stanford University. Since the early 1980s, Erlich has been well-known in the forensic and medical communities for pioneering the development and  application of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology for amplifying specific DNA segments. His lab performed the first DNA case in the US and, in 1988, the first DNA exoneration. Erlich was the Director of the Department of Human Genetics and Vice-President of Discovery Research for Roche Molecular Systems, Inc until 2013. He is currently a Senior Scientist at Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute. He has published > 450 articles and is the recipient of numerous awards.

Hany Fareed headshotHany Farid

Hany Farid is a Professor at the University of California, Berkeley with a joint appointment in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science and the School of Information. His research focuses on digital forensics, image analysis, and human perception. He received his undergraduate degree in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics from the University of Rochester in 1989 and M.S. in Computer Science from SUNY Albany, and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997. Following a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, Farid joined the faculty at Dartmouth College in 1999 where he remained until 2019. He is the recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

Elizabeth Farnsworth

Elizabeth Farnsworth is a filmmaker, foreign correspondent, and former chief correspondent and principal substitute anchor of PBS's NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Her 2008 documentary, The Judge and the General, co-directed with Patricio Lanfranco, aired on television around the world, winning many awards. She has reported on television and in print from Cambodia, Vietnam, Botswana, Chile, Peru, Haiti, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, among other countries. Her articles have appeared in many publications, including The San Francisco Chronicle, Foreign Policy, World Policy, Mother Jones, and The Nation.  Her memoir, A Train through Time: A Life, Real and Imagined,was published by Counterpoint Press in 2017.  She has received three Emmy nominations and is a recipient of the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Award. She graduated from Middlebury College and received a Master’s Degree in Latin American History from Stanford University.

Rohini HaarDr. Rohini Haar

Dr. Rohini Haar is an emergency medicine physician and faculty in the Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley and serves as medical advisor at Physicians for Human Rights. Dr. Haar's research, teaching and practice have focused on the protection of populations in crisis. She teaches courses on health and human rights, global health ethics and epidemiological investigation of human rights abuses at UC Berkeley. Dr. Haar’s research interests include studying the impact of human rights violations, such as torture, violations of free speech and assembly, and war crimes, on health and the protection of health workers and health services in conflict, crisis and disaster settings. She leads studies on the impact of violence against healthcare research in humanitarian settings, the health impacts of crowd control weapons and the social, economic and health consequences of wildfires in California. She received her BA and MD from the University of Chicago and her MPH from Columbia University. She trained in emergency medicine at the NYU/Bellevue Hospitals. 

Adam Hochschild

Adam Hochschild is a journalist and lecturer at the Graduate School of Journalism, UC Berkeley. Hoschild graduated from Harvard with a BA in History and Literature. He was a commentator on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and a co-founder of Mother Jones magazine. In 2009 he received the Theodore Roosevelt-Woodrow Wilson Award from the American Historical Association and in 2014 he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Hochschild is also the author of nine books; the latest, Lessons from a Dark Time and Other Essays appeared in October 2018. Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the PEN USA Literary Award, the Gold Medal of the California Book Awards, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa and To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918 were both finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Award. A longtime lecturer at the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley, Hochschild has also been a Fulbright Lecturer in India, Regents' Lecturer at the University of California, Santa Cruz and Writer-in-Residence at the Department of History, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Art Reingold

Reingold is the Associate Faculty Director of the Center for Global Health. He is also Professor of Epidemiology and Associate Dean for Research at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. His research expertise includes the interrelationship between tuberculosis and AIDS in developing countries, opportunistic infections in AIDS patients, and emerging and re-emerging infections and vaccine preventable diseases. Reingold has conducted epidemiologic research on a variety of infectious diseases in the United States and in developing countries. He currently has two Fogarty AIDS training grants in Uganda and Zimbabawe, and is also Principal Investigator at Berkeley for a 25 year old AIDS International Training and Research Program, which has provided multi-disciplinary training and support for epidemiologic and behavioral studies related to AIDS, HIV transmission, and treatment in HIV-infected persons focusing on Brazil, Peru, Thailand, India, Cambodia, Vietnam, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Ivory Coast. Reingold is a member the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Science, and serves on the World Health Organization’s Scientific Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE), a committee that advises on all key vaccine-related matters.

 Robert J. Rosenthal

Robert J. Rosenthal is currently a board member and executive producer at The Center for Investigative Reporting. He joined CIR as executive director in 2008, a position he held until 2017. When Rosenthal joined CIR it had a staff of 7. When he stepped down as Executive Director CIR had a staff of over  70 and was widely recognized for the quality and credibility of its journalism and its constant innovation around storytelling and distribution. Rosenthal spent the bulk of his 50 year career in journalism  at The Philadelphia Inquirer, starting as a reporter and becoming its executive editor in 1998. He became managing editor of the San Francisco Chronicle in 2002. Before joining the Inquirer in 1979, Rosenthal worked as a reporter for The Boston Globe and at The New York Times, where he was a news assistant on the foreign desk and an editorial assistant on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Pentagon Papers project. As a reporter, Rosenthal won numerous awards, including the Overseas Press Club Award for magazine writing, the Sigma Delta Chi Award for distinguished foreign correspondence and the National Association of Black Journalists Award for Third World Reporting. Rosenthal has been a Pulitzer Prize judge four times and was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in international reporting. Rosenthal is also currently on the board or advising multiple journalism nonprofits. In 2018 Rosenthal was named a Fellow of the Society of Professional Journalists for his "extraordinary contribution to the profession of journalism."

Patti Sellers head shotPatricia Viseur Sellers is an international criminal attorney and the Special Advisor for Gender to the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. Ms. Sellers is also a Visiting Fellow at Kellogg College of Oxford University, where she lectures on international criminal law. She was the Legal Advisor for Gender, Acting Head of the Legal Advisory Section and a prosecutor at the Yugoslav (ICTY) Tribunal from 1994 until February 2007.  She developed the legal strategies and was a member of the trial teams of Akayesu, Furundzija, and Kunarac. These landmark decisions remain the pre-imminent legal standards for the interpretation of sexual violence as war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, torture and enslavement. She has served as a legal advisor and a trial attorney at the International Criminal Tribunals in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. She has also served as an expert consultant to UN bodies addressing children and armed conflict, gender and women’s rights, and internal investigations. Ms. Sellers advises governments, such as Colombia, Guatemala, Libya, and Kenya, international institutions, such as the UN and OSCE, and civil society organisations on international criminal law and humanitarian law. Ms. Sellers has lectured extensively and authored many articles on gender and sexual violence under international criminal law. She has received multiple awards for her work, including the American Society of International Law’s Prominent Women in Law award. She holds a JD from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA from Rutgers University.

Gerson SmogerGerson H. Smoger

For over three decades, Gerson H. Smoger, JD, PhD, has worked both within the U.S. and internationally on behalf of people suffering from systemic, neurological, and cognitive injuries as a result of exposure to toxic chemicals, including various pesticides, herbicides, dioxin, lead, and tobacco. His work has varied from serving as lead counsel for Vietnam veterans exposed to the defoliant Agent Orange, fighting against health fraud misrepresentations made by tobacco companies, and predatory banking practices,   Dr. Smoger served as lead counsel for the evacuated residents of the dioxin-laden town of Times Beach, and for the lead-contaminated children of Herculaneum, the location of North America’s largest lead smelter.  In 2012, he was named by the Public Justice Foundation as national Trial Lawyer of the Year. Dr. Smoger has long been involved in human rights and access to justice issues.  In addition to serving on the Berkeley Human Rights Center Advisory Board, he currently serves as Secretary of Physicians for Human Rights, Secretary of the Pound Civil Justice Institute, and on the boards of the Public Justice Foundation (as a Past-President), the Civil Justice Research Initiative, and Public Citizen.  For many years he served as Chair of Legal Affairs for the American Association for Justice, Vice-Chair of the ABA’s  Toxic Torts, Hazardous Substances and Environmental Law committee, and on the advisory board of the Ethics and Professional Policy Committee of the American College of Medical Quality.  He has long co-sponsored  a national law school competition, the “Hogan/Smoger Access to Justice Essay Contest” under the auspices of Public Citizen. Dr. Smoger has been a frequent lecturer at national and international legal, scientific and medical conferences.. Always on a pro bono basis, he has frequently represented scientists, health professionals, and public interest organizations before the U.S. Supreme Court, including, among many others, the American Medical Association (AMA) regarding tobacco, the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) regarding the accountability of pharmaceutical manufacturers, and many of the world’s leading marine biologists regarding the Exxon Valdez oil spill. 

Darian Weltman Swig

Darian is deeply engaged in the field of international human rights. She is founder of Article 3 Advisors, a not-for-profit consultancy that works at the nexus of human rights and strategic philanthropy; and co-founder of Article3.Org, which works to strengthen the human rights philanthropy ecosystem. Prior to A3A, Darian worked for over a decade in the field of international protocol. Darian’s heart and mind continues to be inspired and shaped by exposure to courageous human rights activists as well as through extensive global travel with NGO led missions. Her philanthropic interests support universal human rights advocacy and U.S. criminal justice reform. Currently, Darian serves on the International Board of Human Rights Watch and as chairperson of the HRW U.S. Program Advisory Committee. In addition, she serves on the advisory boards of the Human Rights Center at the University of California at Berkeley; WSD Handa Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Stanford; Coalition for the International Criminal Court and the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect.  Darian is an alumna and founding board member of The Philanthropy Workshop. Darian holds dual master’s degrees in Political Science and International Area studies with an emphasis on human rights from the University of California at Berkeley. She resides in San Francisco with her husband, Rick Swig. 

Hon. Rebecca Westerfield 

Rebecca Westerfield is a former judge (Ky. Circuit Court 1987-1992) and founding member of JAMS (Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services). She has been recognized by the National Law Journal as an ADR Champion and by SuperLawyers and Best Lawyers in the field of ADR. Rebecca has consistently been ranked as one of the top 50 Best Neutrals in California, was named Mediator of the Year by the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, and identified as one of the top three mediators in the Bay Area. Rebecca has been named to the Board of JAMS, Board of Trustees of the Town School for Boys, the World Affairs Council of No. CA, the Foundation for Sustainable Rule of Law, Convergence, the Weinstein Family Foundation, and to the Advisory Board of the American Bar Association’s International Human Rights Center. She serves on the Advisory Board of Facing History and Ourselves and the International Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley School of Law. Rebecca has taught as an adjunct professor at UC Berkeley School of Law and a lecturer at Stanford University School of Law. Rebecca is a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law, holds a Master in Liberal Arts from Stanford University and participated in the human rights program at New College, Oxford University. She has also provided mediation training for the Supreme Court of India, and the Bangalore Chamber of Commerce as well as the International Business Mediation Summer School in Austria.

Tom WhiteThomas J. White (ret.), Chief Scientific Officer, Celera

Dr. White received his B.A. in Chemistry from Johns Hopkins University and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley. His postdoctoral research was carried out at the University of California Medical Center in San Francisco and at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. From 1978-1989, White was employed at the biotechnology firm Cetus Corporation where he held the positions of Vice President of Research and Associate Director of Research and Development. He worked on the discovery, research and development of human proteins and monoclonal antibodies as therapeutics, such as Betaseron for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, and on diagnostic tests using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology. From 1989-2000 he was Sr. Vice President of Research and Development at Roche Molecular Systems, a diagnostics division of Hoffmann-La Roche. He was responsible for Roche’s R & D program on the AMPLICOR line of PCR- based tests and the COBAS instruments for the medical diagnosis of infectious disease, genetic disease and cancer, and in developing new applications of PCR for basic research, forensics and the human genome project. From 2000-2011, White was Chief Scientific Officer at Celera. His work involved the discovery of new genotyping, expression and proteomic biomarkers and the development of molecular diagnostic products for complex common diseases (cardiovascular, autoimmune, cancer and neurological) as well as host response to infectious diseases. Since retiring, Dr. White was the Regents Lecturer at UC Berkeley in 2012-13 and has been an advisor to the Human Rights Center, the College of Natural Resources, a Trustee of the UC Press Foundation, the SAGE Scholars Program, the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) in Geneva, and Compassion & Choices - a nonprofit organization that provides support, education and advocacy for people with a terminal illness.

Liz Lutz (In Memoriam)

We are deeply sorry to announce the passing of Liz Lutz on June 18, 2023. Liz was an advisory board member and supporter of the Human Rights Center since 2006.  She and her husband Greg had one clear objective: to support the Center so we could increase our visibility, prominence, and national and worldwide impact. Liz graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Slavic Languages and Literature in 1964. She later served the campus as a founding trustee, former board chair, and board member of Cal Performances and the UC Berkeley Foundation. She was also a recipient of the Wheeler Oak Meritorious Award, a Berkeley honor that recognizes alumni and friends whose excellent leadership contributed greatly to one or more fundraising programs. She will be dearly missed.

Joan R. Platt (In Memoriam)

With great sadness, we announce the passing of our advisory board member Joan Platt on November 23, 2020. Ms. Platt was the founder and president of the Joan and Lewis Platt foundation whose mission is to support organizations that advocate for human rights with a focus on women and children. She served on the International Board of Human Rights Watch as well as the executive committee of Northern California HRW.  Please find a memorium from Human Rights Watch here. 

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