Professor Mahmoud Braima balances his roles as President of the Darfur Association and as Chair of Mass Communications at Southern University.
Dr. Braima was born in El Fasher, North Darfur where he worked as a middle school teacher. He received a scholarship to study Journalism at a Saudi university and then earned his Ph.D. in the United States.
Dr. Braima is now married to his graduate school sweetheart. They live with their two children in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Mr. Freeman leads Calvert's Sustainability Research Department and oversees its company research and analysis as well as its policy and advocacy work. From 2003 until early 2006, he led Burson-Marsteller's Global Corporate Responsibility practice advising multinationals on policy development, stakeholder engagement and communications strategies related to human rights, labor rights and sustainable development.
During the Clinton Administration he served in three positions as a presidential appointee in the State Department, most recently as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor from 1999 to early 2001. In that capacity, he led the development of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, the first human rights standard forged by governments, companies and NGOs for the extractive sectors. Earlier in his career he was Manager-Corporate Affairs for General Electric and a presidential campaign aide to former Vice President Walter Mondale.
Mr. Freeman serves on the Boards of Oxfam America, the Institute for Business and Human Rights, the Revenue Watch Institute, the Global Network Initiative (GNI), the Genocide Intervention Network and EG Justice. From 2006-09 he served on the Board of the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) representing Oxfam. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations as well as a frequent speaker and media commentator on sustainable investment, corporate responsibility, human rights and U.S. foreign policy.
Mr. Freeman received an MA in Modern History from the University of Oxford, where he studied as an English Speaking Union Churchill Scholar at Balliol College, and an AB in History from the University of California at Berkeley.
Harold I. Freilich is a partner in the Washington office of Steptoe & Johnson LLP, where he is a member of the Corporate, Securities and Finance practice group and focuses on international and domestic financing transactions. He advises equity investors and project lenders in some of the world’s most challenging emerging markets, including Russia and other republics of the former Soviet Union, Eastern and Central Europe, South America, and Asia.
Mr. Freilich also counsels industrial, high-technology, natural resources, and financial services firms (including broker-dealers, banks, and venture capital providers) in domestic and cross-border securities offerings. He also advises clients in general corporate and business transactions, securities regulatory, enforcement, and litigation matters, mergers and acquisitions, and commercial real estate matters.
David Emmanuel Goatley
David Emmanuel Goatley is the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention, an international Christian missions agency founded in 1897 that helps churches extend their witness to the ends of the earth. He is also the Executive Director of Lott Carey International, a global relief and development agency that helps improve the quality of life in marginalized communities around the world. As the chief executive officer of these two agencies, Dr. Goatley oversees vision, administration, and development efforts to invest in indigenous leadership and programs in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, North America, Oceania, and South America.
An ordained Baptist minister who has been a pastor, university professor, and seminary professor, Dr. Goatley earned degrees from the University of Louisville, KY (AAS and BS) and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, KY (MDiv and PhD). In addition to journal articles and book chapters, Dr. Goatley is the author of Were You There?: Godforsakenness in Slave Religion and the editor of Black Religion, Black Theology: Selected Writings of J. Deotis Roberts.
In July 2006, Dr. Goatley was elected as a member of the 64-seat national Board of Directors of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the oldest civil rights organization in the United States. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Save Darfur Coalition and the President of the North American Baptist Fellowship, the regional body of 21 Baptist denominations and organizations affiliated with the Baptist World Alliance, with membership of more than 20 million Baptists in Canada and North America.
Rabbi Steve Gutow
Rabbi Steve Gutow is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the public policy and community relations agency of the American Jewish community. He has advocated that the government end genocide in Darfur, reform immigration policy, support Israel, protect individual rights, enhance anti-poverty programs, and create a sustainable environment. He has also promoted stronger bonds among the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths, and has been named among the 20 most influential American rabbis by Newsweek and the 50 most influential American Jews by The Forward.
Under Mr. Gutows’s leadership, the JCPA has become central in combating hunger in America through initiatives such as the 2008 “food stamp challenge.” His environmental campaigning includes “A Light Unto the Nations,” and his commitment to interfaith bridges led to milestones such as a joint prayer with major Christian and Muslim leaders during the Gaza War. A community organizer at heart, Mr. Gutow has helped build national grassroots coalitions on issues including interfaith relations, judicial independence, and the security of Israel.
Previously, Mr. Gutow practiced law in his native Texas, where he served as chair of the Dallas Jewish Community Relations Council and was the founding regional director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s Southwest Region. He also became the founding executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council.
In 2003, Mr. Gutow was ordained by the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and served as a pulpit rabbi at the Reconstructionist Minyan of St. Louis, where he represented the St. Louis Rabbinical Association on the Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis. While there, he also taught as Adjunct Professor of Law at St. Louis University Law School.
Mr. Gutow’s work has also addressed racial harmony, religious pluralism and civil liberties, poverty and healthcare. His publications and awards include “Tikkun Olam: A Public Policy Focus” (The Reconstructionist, Fall 2001), the 2001 Reconstructionist Student Association Prize for Social Action within RRC, and the Rabbi Devora Bartnoff Memorial Prize for Spiritually Motivated Social Action.
Omer Ismail was born in the Darfur region of Sudan. He has spent over 20 years working both independently and with international organizations on relief efforts and human rights.
Mr. Ismail fled Sudan in 1989 as a result of his political views. He helped found the Sudan Democratic Forum, a think tank of Sudanese intellectuals working for the advancement of democracy in Sudan. He also co-founded the Darfur Peace and Development organization to raise awareness about the crisis in his troubled region.
Mr. Ismail currently works as Policy Advisor to several agencies working in crisis management and conflict resolution in Africa. He was a Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.
Dr. Antonios Kireopoulos is Senior Program Director for Faith and Order and Interfaith Relations of the National Council of Churches USA.
Dr. Kireopoulos most recently served as NCC Associate General Secretary for International Affairs and Peace. Previously, his responsibilities included helping the NCC formulate its position on international issues and U.S. foreign policy, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Iraq War, and Darfur. In the last four years he was extensively involved in initiatives of the Interfaith Relations Commission.
Previously, Dr. Kireopoulos served as executive director of the U.S. Conference of Religions for Peace, which promotes multi-religious collaboration and religious-secular partnerships on issues cutting across community lines. He also served as advisor to the secretary general of the World Conference on Religion and Peace, the USCRP’s global parent organization.
Dr. Kireopoulos has been closely associated with the Faith and Order Commission, where he represented the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and spent most of the last 20 years in ecumenical dialogue.
Previous to leading the USCRP, Dr. Kireopoulos was Special Assistant to the Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, representing the Greek Orthodox Church at the United Nations and at the US State Department, and as the Assistant to the Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America.
Dr. Kireopoulos holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in theology from Fordham University; a Master of Divinity degree from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary; a Master of International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management; and a Bachelor of Science degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. He has almost 15 years of experience in non-profit management, including administration, board relations, budgeting, development, program direction and public relations. Among his affiliations, he is the past president of the United Nations NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief.
Ruth W. Messinger is president of American Jewish World Service, a faith-based international human rights organization that alleviates poverty, hunger and disease in the developing world. In addition to supporting over 400 grassroots projects around the world, AJWS promotes global citizenship and social justice through activism, volunteer service and education within the American Jewish community. Her role at AJWS follows 20 years in public service in New York City, where she served on the New York City Council for 12 years and as Manhattan borough president for 8 years. She was the first woman to secure the Democratic Party’s nomination for mayor in 1997.
A national leader in the movement to end genocide in Sudan, Ms. Messinger was among the leading anti-genocide, peace and human rights advocates called upon to advise President Obama and special envoy General J. Scott Gration in March 2009. In recognition of her leadership, she was recently appointed to the Obama administration’s Task Force on Global Poverty and Development.
Ms. Messinger has received honorary degrees and awards from The Jewish Theological Seminary, Hebrew Union College, Hebrew College and Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, and awards for service from the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the Women’s Funding Network, Union for Reform Judaism, and the American Jewish Committee. For seven consecutive years, she was among The Forward’s 50 most influential Jews of the year.
Ms. Messinger lectures widely on diverse social and global justice issues, and has served as a visiting professor at Hunter College and Hebrew Union College. She is an active member of the Society for the Advancement of Judaism, and serves as a board member and past president of Surprise Lake Camp. She also sits on the boards of the Jewish Foundation for Education of Women and Hazon.
Ms. Messinger graduated from Radcliffe College in 1962 and received a Master of Social Work from the University of Oklahoma in 1964. She began her professional public service career running a child-welfare agency in Oklahoma. Her husband, Andrew Lachman, directs an educational foundation in Connecticut, and she has three children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Ms. Platt is a philanthropist and community volunteer whose focal interests are human rights, education and international development.
She is the Founder and President of the Joan and Lewis Platt Foundation whose mission is to support organizations that advocate for the human rights of women and children; design and implement programs for women and children in war-torn and post-conflict regions; combat human trafficking and seek to expose and address root causes of all forms of trafficking; promote economic opportunity and civil society in developing nations.
She currently serves on the boards of Human Rights Watch, Genocide Intervention Network, the Global Fund for Children, World affairs Council of Northern California and the East Palo Alto YMCA.
Ms. Platt owns and manages the Platt Vineyard (Bodega, California). She is a member of the Board of Visitors and Fellows at UC Davis (advising and supporting the oenology department) and a member of the Advisory Board of Winery Exchange, Inc. (Novato, California).
Her early career included several years of management experience in computer systems analysis.
Bethany Robertson is an experienced social entrepreneur with a track record of starting and running innovative nonprofit organizations. As the co-founder of the I Do Foundation, Bethany created the opportunity for hundreds of thousands of engaged couples to share some of their wedding spending with charity. Bethany's work with the I Do Foundation has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, USA Today, Parade, the CBS Early Show, NPR and major bridal magazines.
In 2003, Bethany was part of a team that launched the Center for Progressive Leadership (CPL), a national political training institute that develops diverse leaders who can advance progressive political and policy change. Prior to her work with the I Do Foundation and CPL, Bethany was the Executive Director of College Bound and a consultant for the Community Technology Foundation of California and the Federal Head Start Program.
A teacher by training, Bethany earned a Masters in Public Policy from the University of California at Berkeley and a B.A. in Education and Psychology from the University of Michigan.
William F. Schulz is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress specializing in human rights and has served as a consultant to a variety of foundations, including the UN Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation, and Humanity United of the Omidyar Network, regarding field surveys and evaluation, coalition building, grantee leadership, governance and strategic planning and other issues. He is an Adjunct Professor of Public Administration at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service and an Affiliated Professor at Meadville Lombard Theological School at the University of Chicago.
From 1994-2006 Dr. Schulz served as Executive Director of Amnesty International USA. During his twelve years at Amnesty, Dr. Schulz led missions to Liberia, Tunisia, Northern Ireland, and Sudan. He also traveled tens of thousands miles in the United States promoting human rights causes and was frequently quoted in the media. He is the author of two books on human rights, In Our Own Best Interest: How Defending Human Rights Benefits Us All (2001, Beacon Press) and Tainted Legacy: 9/11 and the Ruin of Human Rights (2003, Nation Books); and the contributing editor of The Phenomenon of Torture: Readings and Commentary (2007, University of Pennsylvania Press) and The Future of Human Rights: US Policy for a New Era (2008, University of Pennsylvania Press). All of this prompted the New York Review of Books to say in 2002, "William Schulz…has done more than anyone in the American human rights movement to make human rights issues known in the United States."
An ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, Dr. Schulz came to Amnesty after eight years (1985-93) as President of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations. He has served on the boards of People for the American Way, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, and many other organizations.
Dr. Schulz is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Oberlin College, holds a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Chicago and the Doctor of Ministry degree from Meadville/Lombard Theological School (at the University of Chicago) as well as seven honorary degrees.
Following clerkships with U.S. Supreme Court Justices Stephen Breyer and Harry A. Blackmun (Retired) during the October 1994 Term of Court, Paul Schwartz has handled a wide variety of complex matters in trial and appellate courts and before arbitrators in Colorado and throughout the United States. Among other areas of law, Paul has successfully represented public and private companies and individuals in cases concerning commercial contracts, fraud, securities law (private actions and SEC investigations), corporate governance disputes, antitrust, internal investigations, white collar crime, Internet privacy, bankruptcy litigation, employment law, immigration, and constitutional law.
With a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Brown University, Paul graduated first in his class at the University of North Carolina School of Law, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif and served as editor-in-chief of the North Carolina Law Review. From 1992 to 1994, Paul served as law clerk to Judge Phyllis A. Kravitch of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Following his Supreme Court clerkship, Paul began his career in the private practice of law as an associate with a boutique litigation firm, Bondurant Mixson & Elmore, in Atlanta, Georgia. Before co-founding SGS, Paul worked for eleven years as a litigation associate and partner in a national law firm, Cooley Godward Kronish, based in Colorado.
Rev. Gloria E. White-Hammond, M.D. is the Co-Pastor of Bethel AME Church in Boston, MA, and Executive Director of My Sister’s Keeper. She is a retired pediatrician after 27 years at the South End Community Health Center.
In 1994, Dr. White-Hammond founded the church-based creative writing/mentoring ministry, “Do The Write Thing” for high-risk adolescent females. The project serves over 200 young women in Boston public schools, juvenile detention facilities and the Bethel AME Church.
Dr. White-Hammond has worked as a medical missionary in Botswana, Cote D’Ivoire and South Africa. Since 2001, she has made numerous trips into war-torn southern Sudan where she helped to obtain the freedom of 10,000 women and children enslaved during two decades of civil war. In 2002, she co-founded My Sister’s Keeper, a humanitarian women’s group that partners with Sudanese women to advance community reconciliation and reconstruction. Current and past projects include two grinding mills, a permanent campus for the Kunyuk School for Girls where 1000 are enrolled, the Women’s Peace School, a literacy project for 200, and the Sisterhood for Peace project, which supports a global network Sudanese women collaborating across traditional barriers for peace throughout all Sudan.
In February 2005, Dr. White-Hammond traveled into Darfur, Sudan to learn from female victims of genocide in Internally Displaced Persons camps. In 2006, she served as the National Chairperson of the Million Voices for Darfur campaign and became the Co-Founder of the Massachusetts Coalition to Save Darfur. In 2008-2009, she was the national Chairwoman of the Save Darfur Coalition. She currently serves on the boards of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Tufts University, and Darfur Peace and Development Organization. She was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from Boston University, a Doctorate of Medicine from Tufts Medical School and a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School.
In 1973, Dr. White-Hammond married Rev. Ray A. Hammond, M.D., who is the founding pastor of Bethel AME Church, the Chairman of the Boston Ten Point Coalition and the Chairman of the Boston Foundation. They are devoted to their daughters, Mariama and Adiya, “son-in-love”, Turahn Dorsey, and granddaughter, “Ella Bella Boo.”
Bradley D. Wine
Brad Wine is a partner in the Government Law and Strategy Group of the law firm of Dickstein Shapiro LLP where he represents clients in highly regulated industries. Mr. Wine’s practice focuses on regulatory compliance counseling, litigation, homeland security and defense issues, government ethics, protecting and preserving intellectual property rights, internal and government investigations, and complex transactional and financing matters.
In 2006, President Bush appointed Mr. Wine to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, the governing body of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Mr. Wine is the co-chair of the USHMM’s National and Greater Washington Next Generation Boards and Washington Lawyers’ Committee and a member of the USHMM’s Development and Governance Committees. He is a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Center for Excellence in Education and a current member of the Board of Directors of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington.
Ms. Burkhalter is a frequent witness before Congress, publishes articles and opinion pieces regularly, and writes a column on human rights law and policy for Legal Times, the quarterly legal newspaper. Ms. Burkhalter graduated from Iowa State University in 1978 (Phi Beta Kappa) and received the University's "Outstanding Young Alumnus" award in 1984. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the advisory committees of Mental Disability Rights International and of the International Justice Mission. She is a founding board member of the International Labor Rights Fund. Ms. Burkhalter was appointed by President Bill Clinton to become a member of the board of the U.S. Institute of Peace and was confirmed in that position by the U.S. Senate for a four-year term.
Shannon Sedgwick Davis
Shannon Sedgwick Davis is a partner at Bridgeway Foundation, the charitable giving arm of Bridgeway Capital Management, Inc. The Houston-based investment firm commits one-half of its annual profits towards philanthropic endeavors that focus on eliminating genocide as well as the promotion of peace, reconciliation, and human rights around the world.
Shannon has been a passionate advocate for social justice and international human rights her entire professional career. She previously served as vice-president of Geneva Global, an organization that invests in Third World communities, and as Director of Public Affairs at International Justice Mission, a human-rights organization in Washington, D.C. that focuses on ending slavery, forced prostitution, and illegal land seizures in the developing world. Shannon is on the advisory board for The Elders, a collective group of world leaders assembled to contribute their wisdom, independent leadership and integrity to tackling some of the world's toughest problems. Shannon also serves on the board of Humanity United, a foundation committed to building a world where modern-day slavery and mass atrocities are no longer possible.
An attorney, Shannon is an honors graduate of McMurry University and Baylor Law School. She currently resides in her hometown of San Antonio, Texas with her husband and 2 sons.
Juan E. Méndez
Juan E. Méndez is an Argentine lawyer and academic who served as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide from July 2004 until March 2007. He was the President of the International Center for Transitional Justice, located in New York City, between 2004 and 2009 and is currently its President Emeritus. In the summer of 2009 he was a Scholar-in-Residence at the Ford Foundation, and since August 2009 has been a Visiting Professor at the Washington College of Law, The American University in Washington, DC. He is currently a Special Advisor on Prevention to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, and Co-Chair of the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association. On September 29th, 2010, Mr. Méndez was approved by the United Nations Human Rights Council as Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment.
Mr. Neilson is co-founder and partner at Global Philanthropy Group. He has served as an advisor to many of the world's leading figures in business, government and philanthropy, including Bill Gates, President Bill Clinton, Bono, Sir Richard Branson, Howard Buffett, and Shakira.
Mr. Neilson served on the national steering committee for Cleantech and Green Business Leaders for Obama, a constituency group of President Obama’s campaign. He also helped conceive and launch Make it Right, the green-building initiative in New Orleans that is widely considered to be the greenest housing development in the world. He has served as Executive Director of the Global Business Coalition (GBC), where he reported to Ambassador Richard Holbrooke. Prior to his work with GBC, Mr. Neilson served as the Director of Public Affairs and Director of Special Projects for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Mr. Neilson was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and is an active member of the Clinton Global Initiative.
John Prendergast is Co-Chair of ENOUGH. Previously, John worked at the White House and State Department during the Clinton administration, where he was involved in a number of peace processes throughout Africa. John also has worked for members of Congress, the United Nations, human rights organizations, and think tanks. He has authored eight books on Africa, the latest of which he co-authored with actor/activist Don Cheadle, entitled "Not on Our Watch." John travels regularly to Africa's war zones on fact-finding missions, peace-making initiatives, and awareness-raising trips involving network news programs, celebrities, and politicians.
Prior to joining Arent Fox LLP as an attorney, Ambassador Prosper served as the second United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005.
From 1989 to 1994, he served as the Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County, and, from 1994 to 1996, as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California in Los Angeles. Ambassador Prosper served as a war crimes prosecutor for the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda from 1996 to 1998.
Ambassador Prosper was a career prosecutor at the U.S. Department of Justice in 1999, where he was Special Assistant to the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division. From 1999 to 2001, he was detailed to the State Department where he served as the Special Counsel and Policy Adviser to the previous Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues.
Kenneth Roth is the executive director of Human Rights Watch, a post he has held since 1993. From 1987 to 1993, Mr. Roth served as deputy director of the organization. Previously, he was a federal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York and the Iran-Contra investigation in Washington.
A graduate of Yale Law School and Brown University, Mr. Roth was drawn to the human rights cause in part by his father's experience fleeing Nazi Germany in 1938. In his thirteen years leading Human Rights Watch, the organization has quadrupled in size, greatly expanding its geographic reach, and adding special programs devoted to refugees, children's rights, international justice, AIDS, gay and lesbian rights, human rights emergencies, terrorism and counterterrorism, and the human rights responsibilities of multinational corporations. Mr. Roth has published more than 100 articles and chapters on a range of human rights topics.
David Scheffer joined Northwestern Law as a faculty member holding an endowed professorship and serves as the new Director of the Center for International Human Rights. He was previously the U.S. Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues (1997-2001) and led the U.S. delegation in United Nations talks establishing the International Criminal Court. Mr. Scheffer also headed the Atrocities Prevention Inter-Agency Working Group.
During the first term of the Clinton Administration, Scheffer served as Senior Adviser and Counsel to the U.S. Representative to the United Nations, Dr. Madeleine Albright, and served from 1993 through 1996 on the Deputies Committee of the National Security Council.
Mr. Scheffer has published extensively on international legal and political issues and appears regularly in the national and international media, including as a CNN Legal Analyst. Scheffer is a member of the New York and District of Columbia Bars, the American Society of International Law (formerly serving on the Executive Council), and the Council on Foreign Relations, and is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the International Law Students Association.
John Clint Williamson
Ambassador Williamson, a career federal prosecutor, serves as the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues, a post to which he was confirmed by the U. S. Senate on June 29, 2006. Immediately prior to his appointment at the Department of State, Ambassador Williamson served as the Acting Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Relief, Stabilization, and Development at the National Security Council. From 2003 to early-2006, he served as the Director for Stability Operations on the NSC staff.
Early in his posting to the NSC, Ambassador Williamson served a rotation in Baghdad as the first Senior Adviser to the Iraqi Ministry of Justice. From late 2001 through 2002, he served in the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations as the Director of the Department of Justice for the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), overseeing the justice and prison systems for the UN-administered province.
From 1994 to 2001, he worked as a Trial Attorney at the International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague. Prior to joining the ICTY, Ambassador Williamson served as a Trial Attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice Organized Crime Section and as an Assistant District Attorney in New Orleans.