Board of Directors


Sareta Ashraph, B.A., LL.M.  

Chair of the Board of Directors  

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.  


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.  


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.  


Kaveh Khoshnood, PhD, MPH

Kaveh Khoshnood, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies at the Yale School of Public Health and an affiliated faculty member of the Yale Council on Middle East Studies.  He is co-founder of Yale Violence and Health Study Group and a Steering Committee member of the Program on Conflict, Resiliency and Health at the Yale McMillan Center.  Dr. Khoshnood is trained as an infectious disease epidemiologist and has more than two decades of domestic and international experience in HIV prevention research among drug users and other at risk populations, including its ethical aspects.  Dr. Khoshnood is the Principal Investigator of a NIH/Fogarty International Center Research Ethics Training and Curriculum Development Program with China. Dr. Khoshnood is actively engaged with several research projects in Lebanon with a broad focus on the epidemiology and prevention of HIV/AIDS and substance use among Lebanese-born and displaced populations.  Dr. Khoshnood is also involved in a new multi-university project (Collaboration for Health Education in Conflict, CHEC) which provides free, online, academic health science and intensive English language courses to over 500 Syrian medical students inside Syria who live in opposition controlled areas.  Dr. Khoshnood teaches a course at Yale School of Public Health entitled: "Responding to Violent Conflict: Epidemiological Methods & Public Health Interventions” which focuses on how epidemiological methods are applied to understand specific health consequences of violent conflicts, including infectious diseases, mental health, maternal/child health, and chronic health problems.   The course has a focus on the Middle East and North Africa region.




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.

Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr., B.A., J.D.  

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.  

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.


Marietje Schaake (Member of the European Parliament)

Marietje Schaake (www.marietjeschaake.eu, Twitter: @MarietjeD66) has been serving as a Member of the European Parliament for the Dutch Democratic Party (D66) with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) political group since 2009.

Marietje Schaake is the ALDE Coordinator of the International Trade committee (INTA). She is the spokesperson for the ALDE Group on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Marietje additionally serves on the committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET), where she focuses on strengthening Europe as a global player. She works on the EU’s neighbourhood policy, notably Turkey, Iran and North Africa and the broader Middle East. In the subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) she speaks on human rights and coordinates the monthly human rights resolutions for ALDE. Her work has sought to include digital freedoms in EU foreign policy.

Furthermore, she is a Vice-President of the delegation for relations with the United States and a substitute member on the delegation with Iran.

Marietje has pushed for completing Europe’s digital single market and copyright reform. She is strongly committed to an open internet in discussions about internet governance and digital (human) rights.

In addition to her parliamentary work, Marietje Schaake is, amongst others, Member of the European Council on Foreign Relations, a Commissioner on the Global Commission on Internet Governance and a WEF Young Global Leader in the class of 2014. She serves as vice-president of the supervisory board of Free Press Unlimited.



Shahin Milani, J.D., LL.M  (LEGAL DIRECTOR)

Shahin Milani obtained his J.D. from Howard University School of Law and his LL.M. from Vermont Law School. He joined IHRDC in 2012, and he is the principal author of four IHRDC reports entitled Denied Identity: Human Rights Abuses against Iran’s LGBT CommunityApostasy in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Restrictions on Freedom of Expression in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Excluded from the Public Sphere


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