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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 holds the WSD-HANDA Professorship in Human Rights and International Justice at Stanford University. Previously, 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 Handa Center for Human Rights and International Justice.

  • 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.