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Handa Center Staff, Affiliates, and Students

  • David Cohen, Director

    David Cohen is a leading expert in the fields of human rights, international law and transitional justice.  Cohen taught at UC Berkeley from 1979-2012 as the Ancker Distinguished Professor for the Humanities, and served as the founding Director of the Berkeley War Crimes Studies Center, which moved to Stanford at the end of 2013 and became the WSD Handa Center for Human Rights and International Justice. Cohen is now a visiting professor at Stanford, Professor in the Graduate School at UC Berkeley, and Professor of Law at the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawai`i.

  • Jessie Brunner, Program Manager

    With a master's degree in International Policy Studies from Stanford University, Jessie Brunner brings policy expertise focused on human rights, democracy, rule of law, and global justice to her position as Program Manager at the Handa Center. Here she manages student programs, including the new Minor in Human Rights, as well as Center collaborations and several research activities. Jessie's research is currently focused on human trafficking prevalence data and the use of prolonged solitary confinement in the U.S. prison system.

  • Meredith Miller Vostrejs, Program Manager

    Meredith works on strategic development, communications, and events management for the Handa Center. She has twenty years of US and overseas experience in global health and development to increase underserved populations’ access to services. Meredith received her M.A. in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Prior to graduate school she was a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer and recently served on the Board of Directors for the Northern California Peace Corps Association.  

  • Dian Rositawati, AIJI Indonesia Program Director

    Dian Rositawati has been engaged in the judicial reform sector in Indonesia since 2000. She was involved in the drafting of the Supreme Court Blueprints that have become the foundation of judicial reform in Indonesia and has played an important role in their implementation efforts ever since. As Program Director for Indonesia she coordinates the development and implementation of human rights, rule of law, and justice sector projects and liaises with partner governmental and non-governmental institutions.

  • Leng Xinyu, Visiting Scholar

    Leng Xinyu is a international law professor at the China University of Political Science and Law. He has authored numerous publications, specifically focusing on international criminal law and overseas investment protection. He recieved his PhD and LLM from the Law School of Renmin University of China. Professor Leng is conducting research on sentencing practices in international criminal law (in particular at the International Criminal Court). He has expertise in Chinese criminal justice and application of international law in China. 

  • Richard Steinberg, Research Fellow

    Richard Steinberg writes and teaches in the areas of international law and international relations. He currently teaches International Trade Law, International Business Transactions, and Theories of International Law, and directs Law School clinics that work with the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and conduct research in conflict and post-conflict zones. He is also Director of the Sanela Diana Jenkins Human Rights Project, and Editor-in-Chief of the award-winning

  • Xue Ru, Visiting Scholar

    Xue Ru is a Visiting Scholar at the Handa Center. She is a law professor at the Xi'an Academy of Political Science of Peoples Liberation Army's Department of Military Law, where her research focuses on International Humanitarian Law, the Law of Sea, International Criminal Law and the Law of Treaties. Xue has authored numerous publications on international law and the International Criminal Court.

  • Angana Chatterji, Research Fellow

    Angana P. Chatterji is Founding Co-chair, Political Conflict, Gender and People’s Rights Project and Visiting Research Anthropologist at the Center for Race and Gender at University of California, Berkeley. A cultural anthropologist, Professor Chatterji’s scholarly work spans issues of political conflict and gendered violence, majoritarian nationalism and minoritization, religion in the public sphere, and human rights, reparatory justice and cultural survival. Her scholarship bears witness to post/colonial, decolonial conditions of grief, dispossession and agency.

  • Sarah Chynoweth, Research Fellow

    Sarah Chynoweth is an independent researcher, writer, and adviser who has worked in human rights and humanitarian affairs for 15 years. She has pioneered research relating to reproductive health, sexual violence, and accountability in complex emergencies, and recently led a multi-country study on sexual violence against men and boys in the Syria crisis for UNHCR. She conducted the first fact-finding mission on reproductive health and sexual violence (MISP) among Iraqi refugees in Jordan in 2007 and after the Haiti earthquake in 2010 as part of an inter-agency team.

  • Alison Colwell, Research Fellow

    Alison Colwell has over 12 years of experience working on business and human rights issues across the private, public, and civil society sectors globally and in the U.S. At Stanford, Alison is the Director of the Investment Responsibility Stakeholder Relations Office. She serves as a central point of contact for the Stanford community on questions related to responsible investment of the university’s endowment.

  • Desiree Desierto, Research Fellow

    Desiree A. Desierto specializes in the political economy of development. After obtaining an MSc in Development Economics from the University of Oxford and a PhD in Economics from the University of Nottingham, she became Robert M. Solow Postdoctoral Fellow at the Cournot Centre in Economic Studies in France, Visiting Scholar at the University of Cambridge, and Associate Professor at the University of the Philippines. Desiree is currently a PhD candidate in Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

  • Natasha Dolby, Research Fellow

    Natasha Dolby has spent over a decade in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors in San Francisco, New York, and Washington, D.C., specializing in financial and programmatic analysis, marketing and communications, volunteer engagement, and corporate development, in several organizations including The Robin Hood Foundation, Education Sector (now American Institutes for Research), and Pacific Foundation Services. Dolby is currently a Board Member of Beyond 12, a national nonprofit whose mission is to increase the number of low-income, first-generation and historically underrepresented student

  • Mark Hanis, Research Fellow

    Mark Hanis is a Research Fellow with the Handa Center. He is founding member of Action Map, a centralized citizen-centric platform for easy and effective action across multiple issues. He most recently helped found the Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation at Georgetown University.  Previously, he co-founded the Organ Alliance (now Organize) to address the unnecessary deaths due to a shortage of transplantable organs.

  • Leigh-Ashley Lipscomb, Adjunct Research Fellow

    Leigh-Ashley Lipscomb is an independent researcher specializing in the history and culture of East and Southeast Asia, with a particular interest in human rights, transitional justice, and gender issues. She is currently collaborating with Professor David Cohen on a project analyzing the politics of justice in East Timor, with a specific focus on access to justice for vulnerable groups.

  • Julian Bava, Student

    Julian is a junior majoring in Political Science with concentrations in International Relations and Justice and Law. Originally from Puerto Rico, Julian has developed a passion for issues of global justice after fulfilling coursework in topics of international criminal law. He has applied this academic interest in The Hague, where he monitored the Special Tribunal for Lebanon for a Dutch law firm. When not in Encina Hall, Julian can usually be found rehearsing on clarinet for the Stanford Wind Symphony or giving music lessons in East Palo Alto.

  • Ibrahim Bharmal, Student

    Ibrahim Bharmal is a Handa Human Rights Fellowship fellow. He is based in Athens, Greece where he worked with a Norwegian NGO called A Drop in the Ocean. In Athens, Ibrahim was a lead coordinator for children's activities in a refugee camp located in the Skaramagas Shipping Harbor. He additionally taught English to camp residents in the morning and offered Arabic and Urdu translation services to functioning organizations like the Danish Refugee Council, the Hellenic and Spanish Red Cross, and the International Rescue Committee.

  • Olina Chau, Student

    Britni Olina Chau is currently a student at Stanford University studying Human Biology and English. She staffs at Stanford’s community resource center, and is a member of the WSD HANDA Center for Human Rights and International Justice Student Advisory Board. She was part of the Handa Center's trial monitoring team in Cambodia during the summer of 2016.

  • Kaylana Sara Mueller-Hsia, Student

    Kaylana Mueller-Hsia is a sophomore studying International Relations. This past summer she used a HANDA Center fellowship to intern for the International Labor Rights Forum, where she focused on the garment industry in Bangladesh. During the year she is a student staff member at The Markaz, a resource center for engagement with the Muslim world, as well as a coordinator for the annual conference held by AMENDS, the American Middle Eastern Network for Dialogue at Stanford.

  • John Lacurom Rafael, Student

    John Rafael is currently serving as an intern for the Filipino Women's Council (FWC) from the United States. He is based in Rome, Italy, in the summer of 2016, working with the FWC to empower and integrate Filipino migrants into the Italian cultural landscape. John is an undergraduate student who grew up in South Texas and is currently a Human Biology major at Stanford. Although interested in medicine, he has always been mindful of his Filipino-American identity and hopes to work with the Filipino diaspora in the future.

  • Christina Schiciano, Student

    Christina Schiciano is a senior majoring in Political Science with minors in Arabic and Human Rights. With the support of the Handa Center, she worked as an intern at the State Department this past summer, conducting research on gender-based violence and human trafficking patterns around the world. She hopes she can one day combine her interests in the law and human rights issues by pursuing a career in international criminal law.

  • Zhi Ping Teo, Student

    As an intern at the United Nations Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, Zhi Ping Teo has worked closely with the Legal Team of the Immediate Office of the Registrar. She was based in Arusha, Tanzania in the Summer of 2016, working on issues and challenges in international criminal justice. A junior majoring in Political Science, she has worked with her inspiring mentors researching on areas such as ASEAN's rule of law, regional economic integration, its impacts on marginalized populations, gender-based violence public health interventions in East Africa, and U.S.

  • Quito Tsui, Student

    Quito Tsui is a trial monitor from London, England who grew up in the Middle East. Currently a junior at Stanford, she is majoring in Political Science with a focus on international relations, political economy and global development. In the summer of 2016, she interned at the Tuol Sleng Prison museum through the WSD Handa Center. Prior to her internship, she has spent time researching American domestic and foreign policy. 

  • Isaac Daniel Webb, Student

    Isaac Webb worked at Global Rights Compliance LLP in Kyiv in the summer of 2016 on a Human Rights Fellowship. He recieved his MA at the Center for Russian, European, and Eastern European Studies at Stanford. Isaac moved to Kyiv, Ukraine on a Fulbright Fellowship after graduating from Washington & Lee University in 2013. There, he studied the relationship between the Ukrainian government and the country’s disabled population. He also worked as a journalist, covering the EuroMaidan Revolution and ensuing conflict in eastern Ukraine for a variety of publications.