Leadership

Board of Directors

Kaveh Khoshnood, Ph.D. (Professor, Yale School of Public Health)
Chair of the Board of Directors

Dr. Khoshnood is an infectious disease epidemiologist and his primary research interests are the epidemiology, prevention and control of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis among drug users, prisoners and other at risk populations in United States and in resource-poor countries. Dr. Khoshnood's other interests are the examination of the links between violent conflict and health and the ethical dilemmas in research involving vulnerable populations. Dr. Khoshnood conducts research and mentors researchers from China and countries in the Middle East and teaches courses on HIV/AIDS, global health and research methods and ethics.

Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr., B.A., J.D.
Vice Chair of the Board of Directors

Elizabeth T. Gray, a consultant, poet, translator, and independent scholar, is a graduate of Radcliffe College and Harvard Law School. With Professor Roger Fisher, Director of the Harvard Negotiation Project and co-author of Getting to YES, she co-founded Conflict Management, Inc. and Conflict Management Group, small consulting firms that focused on the process by which individuals and organizations manage complex negotiations. Her global practice specialty was the formation and management of complex inter-corporate alliances. She also served as CEO and Managing Partner of Alliance Management Partners from 1999 until 2004. She has lived and traveled widely in the Middle East and South Asia, studied Urdu and Persian at Harvard, and was a research associate at the University of Isfahan, Iran, in 1975-1976. Her translations of Iran’s major mystic lyric poet, Hafiz-i Shirazi (d. 1389) were published by White Cloud Press in 1995, and have been performed at the Sackler Museum in Washington, D. C. and other venues.

Adriana Odice, B.S., CPA
Chair of the Finance Committee

Adriana Odice is the Chief Operating Officer of Business Management Resource Group, LLC in Danbury, Connecticut, a company that provides outsourced CFO, controller and bookkeeping services for small to mid-sized firms both on-site and remotely. She is a CPA, registered in the state of Connecticut and has more than 15 years experience in financial planning and budget work process analysis and financial accounting software applications training and development.

Ramin Ahmadi, MD, MPH (Clinical Professor of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine)

Dr. Ahmadi is associate clinical professor of medicine at the Yale School of Medicine, and the founder of Griffin Center for Health and Human Rights. He represented Physicians for Human Rights in Chechnya where he investigated and documented human rights violations. He has also participated in human rights and public health projects in East Timor, Nicaragua, Uganda, Sri Lanka and Guyana. Dr. Ahmadi is the author of two books of poetry, numerous articles and short stories in Persian and English. He has also published a book on Abbas Amir-Entezam, Iran's longest-held prisoner of conscience.

Payam Akhavan, LL.B., LL.M, S.J.D. (Professor, McGill University Faculty of Law)

Payam Akhavan is Professor of International Law at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He earned his Doctorate from Harvard Law School and was previously Senior Fellow at Yale Law School and Distinguished Visiting Professor at University of Toronto. He is the author of numerous publications and his 2001 article "Beyond Impunity" in the American Journal of International Law has been recognized as one of “the most significant published journal essays in contemporary legal studies.”

Professor Akhavan was the first United Nations war crimes prosecutor at The Hague, and played a key role in the trial of Yugoslav leaders such as President Milosevic. He also served with the UN in Bosnia, Cambodia, Guatemala, East Timor, and Rwanda, and has been appointed as legal counsel in leading cases before the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, and the European Court of Human Rights.

Sareta Ashraph, B.A., LL.M.

Sareta Ashraph is a lawyer specializing in international humanitarian and human rights law. A graduate of Oxford University and Harvard Law School, Sareta has worked as part of the legal teams on the United Nations International Commission of Inquiry on Libya (2012) and on the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (2009), also known as the Goldstone Report. From 2003 to 2009, she was Defence Counsel before the Special Court for Sierra Leone and more recently worked as a Legal Adviser in the Office of the Public Counsel for the Defence at the International Criminal Court. A barrister with Garden Court Chambers in London, Sareta is called to the Bar of England and Wales and the Bar of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Lawrence Douglas, A.B, M.A, J.D. (Professor of Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought, Amherst University)

Lawrence Douglas is the James J. Grosfeld Professor of Law, Jurisprudence & Social Thought, at Amherst College.  He holds degrees from Brown (A.B.), Columbia (M.A.), and Yale Law School (J.D.). He is the author of three books: The Memory of Judgment: Making Law and History in the Trials of the Holocaust (Yale University Press, 2001), a widely acclaimed study of war crimes trials; Sense and Nonsensibility (Simon and Schuster, 2004), a parodic look at contemporary culture co-authored with Alexander George; and The Catastrophist (Other Press, 2006; Harcourt, 2007), a novel. He has co-edited eight books on the law published by Stanford University Press. His articles have appeared in numerous journals and magazines including The Yale Law Journal, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times. He is regular contributor to the Chronicle of Higher Education and The Times Literary Supplement.  He is currently at work on a book on the cultural afterlife of war crimes trials to be published by Princeton University Press.

Owen M. Fiss, B.A, B. Phil, LL.B. (Sterling Professor, Yale University School of Law)

Owen Fiss was admitted to the New York bar in 1965, and has been a professor at Yale Law School since 1974. His areas of interest are procedure, the US Supreme Court, free speech, equality, distributive justice, legal theory, remedies, law and development and comparative constitutional law. Professor Fiss is author of numerous publications including most recently: The Law as It Could Be (2003), A Way Out: America's Ghettos and the Legacy of Racism (2003), and A Community of Equals (1999).?

Jonathan M. Freiman, B.A, J.D. (Partner, Wiggin and Dana)

Jonathan M. Freiman is a partner at Wiggin & Dana, LLP, where he litigates appellate matters and complex cases, including transnational disputes. He founded the National Litigation Project (NLP) of the Allard K. Lowenstein Clinic at Yale Law School in 2002 with Dean Harold H. Koh and directed its work in post-9/11 cases for several years. He has served as a lecturer at Yale and as a Senior Fellow in its Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for Human Rights. Jonathan has been selected for inclusion in the last six editions of The Best Lawyers in America for his work as an appellate lawyer, has recently been selected for inclusion in SuperLawyers, has received the Advocacy of the Law Award from the Connecticut Law Tribune, was the second lawyer ever to receive the McQuillan Public Service Award from the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Association, and has received awards from the Florida Supreme Court and the Cuban-American Bar Association. In addition to print and broadcast commentary, Jonathan has spoken on legal issues in Europe, Canada and the United States, at venues including the Federalist Society and a United Nations Expert Roundtable. He earned his J.D. in 1998 from Yale Law School.

Farnoosh Hashemian, M.P.H., J.D.

Farnoosh Hashemian is a legal clerk at the Constitutional Court of South Africa. She has extensive background in human rights investigation, analysis, and advocacy and has lead projects on the ground in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Philippines, Colombia as well as Iran. These projects involved prevention of torture and arbitrary detention, protection of health and civilians in conflict, access to justice and witness protection, global migration management, and police sector reform. Farnoosh’s publications include a two volume book published in Iran in 2001 entitled, “The Trial and Diary of Abbass Amir Entezam,” the longest-held prisoner of conscience in the Middle East; as well as two well-received reports on treatment of detainees in U.S. overseas detention facilities. In addition to her Juris Doctorate from UCLA School of Law, Farnoosh has completed a Masters of Public Health at Yale University, where her thesis on health and human rights consequences of Iran-Iraq conflict won the Dean’s Award for Outstanding thesis.

Christopher J. Klatell, B.A., J.D. (Member, Rabinowitz, Boudin, Standard, Krinsky & Lieberman, PC)

Christopher J. Klatell is a Member of the law firm Rabinowitz, Boudin, Standard, Krinsky & Lieberman, PC, where he litigates First Amendment and appellate matters and advises a variety of media, publishing and art clients. Mr. Klatell and his firm represent a number of foreign sovereigns and have particular expertise in the regulations that implement U.S. economic sanctions. Through his service on the Board of the Magnum Foundation, Mr. Klatell has gained significant policy experience related to the handling of archival materials that document human rights abuses. He earned his J.D. in 1999 from Yale Law School.

Marietje Schaake (Member of the European Parliament)

Marietje Schaake is a Dutch Member of the European Parliament of D66 political party, with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) political group.

She serves on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, where she focuses on neighborhood policy, human rights policies and Iran.

Marietje is a member of the delegation for relations with the United States and a substitute member on the delegation with the Balkan countries. She is also a founder of the European Parliament Intergroup on New Media and Technology. In the Committee on Culture, Media, Education, Youth and Sports she works on Europe's Digital Agenda.

Before joining the European Parliament, she worked as an independent advisor to governments, diplomats, businesses and NGO’s, on issues of transatlantic relations, diversity and pluralism, civil and human rights and integration.

Kaveh Shahrooz, B.A., J.D.

Kaveh Shahrooz is a lawyer based in Toronto. His current work focuses on corporate compliance with international human rights standards. He previously practiced as a transactional lawyer at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, an international law firm headquartered in New York. He also previously served as a senior policy advisor to Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, where his work focused on Canada's role at the UN Human Rights Council. Kaveh has a B.A. from the University of Toronto and a law degree from Harvard Law School, where he served as an editor-in-chief of the Harvard Human Rights Journal. His writing on human rights, in particular with respect to Iran's political prisoners, has been published in the Harvard Human Rights Journal and the BBC. He has appeared as a commentator on human rights issues in a variety of Canadian media and has appeared before the Foreign Affairs Committee of Canada's Senate to provide testimony regarding Canada-Iran relations.

Staff

Gissou Nia, B.A., J.D.
Executive Director

Gissou Nia brings her extensive experience in international criminal justice and knowledge of human rights issues in Iran and the greater Middle East to her post as Executive Director of IHRDC.

Prior to her tenure at IHRDC, Ms. Nia worked on war crimes trials at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) where she represented former government ministers from Bosnia and Kosovo in pre-trial, trial, and appellate proceedings. In that capacity, Ms. Nia conducted field investigations in the former Yugoslavia, and specialized in the doctrines of criminal enterprise and command responsibility liability. Most recently, Ms. Nia assisted in pre-trial proceedings before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in respect to allegations of crimes against humanity committed during the 2007/2008 post election violence in the Republic of Kenya.

In addition to her work at the international criminal tribunals, Ms. Nia has worked closely with different institutional actors in addressing on-going human rights violations in the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI). She has spoken to 200+ survivors of human rights abuses perpetrated by the IRI and produced comprehensive reports documenting these abuses. She has also advised governmental and regional bodies, policy makers and non-governmental organizations on the human rights situation in Iran and the larger region with a focus on the rights of women and ethnic and religious minorities.

Ms. Nia completed her undergraduate studies in political science at the University of California – Los Angeles and received her law degree from Rutgers University – Camden School of Law. She continues to lecture and publish widely on developments in international criminal justice at the ICTY, ICC and the Special Court for Sierra Leone, as well as the rule of law in post conflict and transitional societies, and the human rights situation in Iran.

Sign-up for updates