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Committee on Human Rights
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
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Phone: (202) 334-3043
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H.R. Network Executive Committee

Arjuna Aluwihare, Sri Lanka
Arjuna Aluwihare is emeritus professor of surgery at the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka.  He was vice chancellor of the University from 1988 to 1989 and then chairman of the University Grants Commission of Sri Lanka from 1989 to 1993.  He is the immediate past president of the National Academy of Sciences of Sri Lanka.  Dr. Aluwihare was a member of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka from 1997 to 2000.

Dorairajan Balasubramanian, India
Dorairajan Balasubramanian is a biological scientist, and currently Director of Research at the LV Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, India. In addition, he is the Secretary General of the Academy of Sciences of the Developing World (TWAS), Trieste, Italy, and the Immediate Past President of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, India. He is Fellow of all the 3 science academies of India, of the Indian Academy of Social Sciences, German Academy of Sciences, TWAS, Mauritian Academy of Sciences & Technology and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He is a member of UNESCO’s International Basic Sciences Panel. A winner of UNESCO’s Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science, he writes a fortnightly column on science in the national English language newspaper of India, “The Hindu,” and is engaged in the area of public understanding of science.

Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, France
Claude Cohen-Tannoudji is research scientist at the Department of Physics of the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris.  In 1973 he became professor of atomic and molecular physics at the Collège de France.  Professor Cohen-Tannoudji is a member of the French Academy of Sciences and chairman of its Committee for the Defense of Scientists.  He is a member of the International Scientific Council of the Israeli-Palestinian Science Organization.  In 1997 Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, Steven Chu, and William D. Phillips were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics “for their development of techniques that use laser light to cool atoms to extremely low temperatures.”

Abdallah S. Daar, Oman/Canada
Abdallah S. Daar is professor of public health sciences and of surgery at the University of Toronto.  He is also senior scientist and director of the Program on Ethics and Commercialization at McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health and director of ethics and policy at the University of Toronto’s McLaughlin Centre for Molecular Medicine.  His major research focus is on the use of life sciences to ameliorate global health inequities, with a particular focus on building scientific capacity and increasing innovation in developing countries, in addition to studying how technologies can be rapidly taken from “lab to village.”  In 2005 he was awarded the UNESCO Avicenna Prize for Ethics of Science.

Felton Earls, United States of America
Felton Earls is Professor of Human Development at the Harvard School of Public Health, a position he has held since 1990. From 1990 to 2012 he was Professor of Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He served as Director of the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods from 1990-2005, and was Principal Investigator of Ecology of HIV/AIDS and Child Mental Health in Tanzania from 2002-2009. From 1983-1989, he served as the Ittleson Professor of Child Psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Earls is the recipient of the Distinguished Psychiatrist Award, the Blanch F. Ittelson Award from the American Psychiatric Association, and the Dale Richmond Award from the Academy of Pediatrics. He is a member of the U.S. Institute of Medicine and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Belita Koiller, Brazil
Belita Koiller is professor of physics at the Instituto de Fisica, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro.  She is the first woman to be elected a full member to the Brazilian Academy of Sciences in physical sciences, and she has been a research fellow of the Brazilian National Research Council since 1985.  In 1982 she received a Guggenheim Fellowship and, in 1994, she served as a member of the International Council for Science’s Committee on Capacity Building in Science.  She was decorated “Comendador da Ordem Nacional do Mérito Científico” by the Presidency of Brazil in 2002. Professor Koiller is a L’Oréal UNESCO 2005 Laureate for Women in Physical Sciences.

Pedro León Azofeifa, Costa Rica

Pedro León Azofeifa, a biologist, is director of the Center for Advanced Studies at the University of Costa Rica.  He established, in collaboration with Gabriel Macaya and Rodrigo Gámez, the first molecular biology lab in Costa Rica, in which he conducted research in genetics and molecular biology for 25 years.  His communication skills were recognized by the medical students of the San Juan de Dios Hospital in 2002 with the "Quijote" award for teaching.  He serves as scientific advisor to former Costa Rican President, Oscar Arias Sánchez, and was instrumental in establishing the National Park system of Costa Rica.  Dr. León is a founding member of the National Academy of Sciences--Costa Rica, foreign associate of the Latin American Academy of Sciences (ACAL), and foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States since 2004. 

Dong-Pil Min, Republic of Korea
Dong-Pil Min is professor emeritus of physics and astronomy at Seoul National University, and ambassador-at-large for scientific and technical cooperation in the Republic of Korea. He was appointed to his current position in 2011 by the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to recruit scientific talent and to promote international cooperation in constructing heavy ion accelerators. Prior to his current appointment, Professor Min served for 3 years as chair of the Korea Research Council of Fundamental Science and Technology. He has held leadership positions including vice president of the Korean Physical Society, chair of the National Information Research Center, and director-general of the Korea Research Foundation. Professor Min earned a Ph.D. (1976) and Doctor of Science (1980) in theoretical physics from the University of Paris. 

Ida Nicolaisen, Denmark
Ida Nicolaisen is a senior research fellow at Copenhagen University.  She has conducted extensive anthropological research among the pastoral Tuareg of North Africa, the Haddad of Chad, and the Punan Bah of Central Borneo.  She is the editor-in-chief of the Carlsberg Foundation Nomad Research.  Ida Nicolaisen has been vice-chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the Board of the Danish Development Collaboration.  She serves on various international boards, including the World Diabetes Foundation, Humanity in Action, Israeli-Palestinian ScienceOrganization, All European Academies’ Ethical Commission, the Chittagong Hill Tract Commission, and the Soeren Kierkegaard Research Centre.  She is a member of the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters.

John Polanyi, Canada
John Polanyi is professor of chemistry at the University of Toronto.  He is a member of the Royal Society of Canada.  In 1960 he was the founding chair of the Canadian Pugwash Group, where he remained chair until 1978.  He has published over 100 articles on peace and human rights and is currently president of a human rights organization, the Canadian Committee of Scientists and Scholars.  In 1986 John Polanyi, Dudley Herschbach, and Yuan T. Lee were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry “for their contributions concerning the dynamics of chemical elementary processes.”

Alenka Šelih, Slovenia
Alenka Šelih is professor emeritus at the Faculty of Law of the University of Ljubljana where she taught criminal law, criminal law for juveniles, victimology, and criminology.  She has lectured at the universities of Brussels, Graz, Cracow, Munich, Novi Sad, Sarajevo, Warsaw, and Zagreb, among others.  As author or co-author, she has published 8 books and over 300 articles, research reports, and reviews in Slovenian, English, French, German, Polish, and Serbo-Croatian.  In 1990 she was Fulbright visiting professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Law.  Professor Šelih is a member of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts and served as its vice-president from 2005 to 2008.

Carol Corillon, Executive Director
Carol Corillon is former director of the Committee on Human Rights (CHR) of the National Academies in Washington, D.C. and, since 1993, executive director of the International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies. She was executive director of Friends of the Israeli-Palestinian Science Organization, USA and is a member of Human Rights Watch/Africa and the International Council for Science’s Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in Science. From 1980-1984 she worked for the National Research Council's Committee on the Sahel and, from 1970-1980, as a freelance print and broadcast journalist in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, working for BBC radio, The Economist, and other publications.