Advisory Board

Advisory Board


CPBlum headshotCarolyn Patty Blum 

Carolyn Patty Blum serves as Senior Legal Adviser to the Center for Justice and Accountability on the Spanish case concerning the 1989 massacre of six Jesuit priests in El Salvador. Professor Blum is a Clinical Professor of Law Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, where she founded and directed the International Human Rights Law Clinic. She is a Visiting Clinical Professor of Law at Cardozo School of Law, where she also serves as interim director of the Cardozo Law Institute in Holocaust and Human Rights, and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford. Her 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 asylum and human rights cases. She holds a JD from Northeastern University.

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.

Maryam Elahi

Maryam Elahi is President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut. She was the director of the International Women’s Program at the Open Society Foundations in NYC from 2007 until 2013. She had previously been the founding director of the Human Rights Program at Trinity College in Hartford, establishing the first undergraduate Human Rights Program in the United States. Elahi is a graduate of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, Boston College Law School, and Williams College. She currently serves on the advisory boards of numerous international human rights organizations, such as the International Human Rights Committee of the American Bar Association and the Center for Justice and Accountability. Elahi was honored in 2018 by the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund and is the recipient of the 2014 Boston College David S. Nelson Public Interest Law Award. She was also recognized as a Global Impact Honoree by the Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame in 2015.

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.

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.

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.

Kim Keller

Kim Keller is  the Executive Director of the David and Anita Keller Foundation. Keller holds degrees from Wellesley College and the London School of Economics. With a background in addiction and prevention research and public health, Keller brings with her many years of non-profit experience and a passion for human rights advocacy and policy. Keller leads a San Francisco-based family foundation committed to human rights as the cornerstone of peace and justice. She is a member of The Philanthropy Workshop and serves on the boards of Last Mile Health, Accountability Counsel, The New Media Advocacy Project, and Strongminds. She also formerly served on the advisory boards of the Human Rights Data Analysis Group and Mother Jones.

Bertrand Lubin

Bio to come. 

Liz Lutz

Liz Lutz graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Slavic Languages and Literature in 1964. She has served the campus in various capacities over many years, including as a founding trustee, former board chair, and current board member of Cal Performances and as a UC Berkeley Foundation trustee. She is a supporter of the International Human Rights Law Clinic at Berkeley Law and the Goldman School of Public Policy. Liz has served on the Human Rights Center's board since its inception. She is a recipient of the Wheeler Oak Meritorious Award and, with her husband Greg, is a "Builder of Berkeley."

Joan Platt

Platt is 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. Ms. Platt currently serves on the International Board of Human Rights Watch as well as the executive committee of Northern California HRW. She is a member of the advisory council of the Women’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch. In addition, she is a member of the boards of Global Fund for Children, the Fund for Global Human Rights, the Philanthropy Workshop West and the Lewis and Joan Platt East Palo Alto YMCA. Platt owns and manages the Platt Vineyard in Bodega, California.

Juan Méndez

Méndez is a Professor of Human Rights Law in residence at the American University – Washington College of Law and the co-author of Taking A Stand: The Evolution of Human Rights. Between 2010 and 2016, he served as the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Until May 2009 he was the President of the International Center for Transnational Justice (ICTJ) and in the summer of 2009 he was a Scholar-in-Residence at the Ford Foundation in New York.  Concurrent with his duties at ICTJ, the Honorable Kofi Annan named Mr. Méndez his Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide, a task he performed from 2004 to 2007. He was Special Advisor to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. He was also Co-Chair of the International Bar Association Human Rights Institute from 2010-2011. He has taught International Human Rights Law at Georgetown Law School and at the John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and he teaches regularly at the Oxford Masters Program in International Human Rights Law in the United Kingdom. He is the recipient of several human rights awards: the Rafael Lemkin Award for contributions to the prevention of genocide by the Auschwitz Institute on Peace and Reconciliation; the Goler T. Butcher Medal from the American Society of International Law (2010); the inaugural “Monsignor Oscar A. Romero Award for Leadership in Service to Human Rights,” by the University of Dayton (2000). His book Taking a Stand will be published in Spanish (and updated) by Fondo de Cultura Económica (Mexico) in 2019.

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.

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. 

Beth Van Schaack

Beth Van Schaack is the Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor in Human Rights at the Law School and a Visiting Scholar at the Center for International Security & Cooperation at Stanford University. Prior to coming to Stanford, Professor Van Schaack was Deputy to the Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues in the Office of Global Criminal Justice of the U.S. Department of State.  In that capacity, she helped to advise the Secretary of State and the Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights on the formulation of U.S. policy regarding the prevention of and accountability for mass atrocities, such as war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.  In this position, she worked extensively within the inter-agency to help coordinate the deployment of a range of diplomatic, legal, economic, military, and intelligence tools to help expose the truth, capture and judge those responsible, protect and assist victims, enable reconciliation, deter atrocities, and build the rule of law. Prior to her State Department appointment, Van Schaack was Professor of Law at Santa Clara University School of Law, where she taught and wrote in the areas of human rights, transitional justice, international criminal law, public international law, international humanitarian law, and civil procedure.  

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.