Back to top

International Advisory Council

Michel ForstMichel Forst
Michel Forst is the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders and Secretary General of the French National Consultative Commission on Human Rights. He was the UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Haiti from 2008 to 2013. He was Secretary General of the Paris Summit of Human Rights Defenders and Director of the French Section of Amnesty International.

Hina JilaniHina Jilani
Hina Jilani is an internationally known human rights lawyer and advocate for human rights defenders. She was the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General on the situation of human rights defenders from 2000 to 2008. She and her sister Asma Jahangir co-founded the first all female legal practice in Pakistan and she is also one of the founders of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. She is a member of The Elders.

Maina KiaiMaina Kiai
Maina Kiai completed his term as UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association in April 2017. He is now the co-director of InformAction, a community organising NGO in Kenya. A lawyer trained at Nairobi and Harvard Universities, he has spent the last 20 years campaigning for human rights and constitutional reform in Kenya – as founder and Executive Director of the NGO Kenya Human Rights Commission, and then as Chairman of Kenya’s National Human Rights Commission (2003-2008).

James CavallaroJames L. Cavallaro
James (Jim) Cavallaro is President of the University Network for Human Rights. He has taught human rights law and practice for nearly a quarter century, most recently at Stanford Law School (2011-2019) and Harvard Law School (2002-2011). At both Harvard and Stanford, he established and directed human rights clinics and ran human rights centers.  In 2014, Cavallaro introduced human rights advocacy into the undergraduate curriculum at Stanford.  Cavallaro has overseen dozens of projects with scores of students in over twenty countries. In June 2013, Cavallaro was elected to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. He served as President of that body from 2016-2017.

Maryam ElahiMaryam Elahi
Maryam Elahi is President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut. For more than 25 years, she has served in positions of leadership in the international human rights community as an advocate, teacher, and grantmaker. She was previously the director of the International Women's Programme at the Open Society Foundations.