HRI’s mission is to promote understanding of and respect for human rights and the practice of human rights law, and to develop Georgetown Law’s place as a global leader in human rights. To carry out its mission, HRI works closely with the broad range of human rights faculty and staff experts at the Law Center as well as leaders in the global human rights movement, and manages programs and projects to generate and advance the research, writing, and advocacy work of students, alumni, and faculty.
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Professor From Practice
Andrew I. Schoenholtz, a scholar, teacher and practitioner of human rights law, is the Director of the Human Rights Institute. Additionally, he directs the Certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies and the Center for Applied Legal Studies (the asylum clinic) at the Law Center. Professor Schoenholtz also serves as the Deputy Director of Georgetown University's Institute for the Study of International Migration.
He has worked closely with students for many years helping connect them to internships and positions with advocacy organizations, government agencies, and international organizations. He also advises the Global Law Scholar students and alumni who are advancing the rights of international migrants through the development of the International Migrants Bill of Rights Initiative.
Professor Schoenholtz has represented the UN High Commissioner for Refugees as well as human rights organizations in U.S. Supreme Court litigation, published scholarship that advances the rights of refugees as well as immigrant children under global human rights treaties, and taught refugee law courses abroad. Prior to teaching at Georgetown, Professor Schoenholtz served as Deputy Director of the US Commission on Immigration Reform. He also practiced immigration, asylum, and international law with the Washington, DC law firm of Covington & Burling. He has conducted fact-finding missions in Haiti, Cuba, Ecuador, Germany, Croatia, Bosnia, Malawi, and Zambia to study the root causes of forced migration, refugee protection, long-term solutions to mass migration emergencies, and humanitarian relief operations. Dr. Schoenholtz holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a Ph.D. from Brown University. Please click here for his full biography.
Professor Schoenholtz was appointed Director of the Human Rights Institute in the summer of 2013. However, his history with the Human Rights Institute goes back to its origins; he served as the faculty advisor who accompanied students on the first human rights fact-finding mission to Ecuador in the spring of 2006 to interview Colombian refugees in need of protection.
Ian M. Kysel
Adjunct Professor of Law
Ian Kysel is the Dash/Muse Fellow with the Human Rights Institute and an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Law Center. Before joining the Institute, he was the Aryeh Neier Fellow with the Human Rights Program of the American Civil Liberties Union and the US Program of Human Rights Watch and contributed to the organizations' legal and advocacy work related to the solitary confinement of children. He is an author or co-author of human rights reports on the solitary confinement of children in prisons and jails in the United States; prison conditions for youth offenders serving life without parole sentences in the United States; and, with the Human Rights Institute, on the resettlement of Iraqi refugees to the United States. He has also published on the rights of international migrants and is a co-chair of the steering committee of the International Migrants Bill of Rights Initiative, which is based at Georgetown. His academic research interests include children's rights, the human rights of international migrants and the intersection of U.S. constitutional law and the enforcement of human rights obligations.
Ian has testified before state, federal and international bodies and his human rights work has regularly been the subject of reporting, editorials and opinion pieces in the press, including in The New York Times and The Washington Post, as well as television news magazines and public radio. He has worked on a range of constitutional, international, human rights and migration law issues with non-profit organizations, the U.S. federal government, international organizations, and in the private sector.
Ian graduated magna cum laude from Georgetown, where he was a Global Law Scholar and received a J.D., a Certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies and the Bettina Pruckmayr Award. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Swarthmore College.
Paulette Smith, Administrative Assistant, manages all financial, human resources and administrative activities for the Institute, and organizes and coordinates events and meetings. She also assists the Center for National Security and the Law, the Center for the Study of the Legal Profession, and the Center on Poverty and Inequality. She previously assisted the Dean's Office for a short time before joining the Human Rights Institute. Prior to joining the Georgetown University Law Center, Paulette worked with the American Diabetes Association where she served as executive assistant with Shaping America's Health, and with the Points of Light Foundation, the world's leading nonprofit volunteer organization. She also served many years with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, as a management assistant, in the Records Management Branch.