A woman smiles at the camera. She has glasses on and white hair.

Carolyn Patty Blum

Advisory Board Member, Senior Research Fellow


Carolyn Patty Blum is an Advisory Board Member and Senior Research Fellow with the Human Rights Center. She 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 forty-plus 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.