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Committee on Human Rights
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Committee on Human Rights
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
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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.

Édouard Brézin, France
Édouard is a French theoretical physicist who has made outstanding contributions to condensed matter and high energy physics. He is professor emeritus at Université Paris VI, working at the laboratory for theoretical physics of the École Normale Supérieure. Brézin studied at École polytechnique before completing his PhD at the Universite de Paris in 1970. He worked at the theory division of the Commissariat à l'énergie atomique in Saclay until 1986. Brezin pioneered the modern theory of critical behavior; he developed methods for extracting testable predictions for critical exponents. By applying field theoretic techniques to condensed matter, he made seminal contributions to the theory of magnetism and the quantum Hall effect. Brézin was elected a member of the French Academy of Sciences on February 18, 1991, and served as president of the academy in 2005-2006. He also is a foreign associate of the United States National Academy of Sciences, a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a foreign member of the Royal Society and a member of the Academia Europaea. In 2011, he was jointly awarded the prestigious Dirac Medal of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics.

Martin Chalfie, United States of America
Martin Chalfie is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Biological Sciences and former chair of the Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia University. In 2008 he shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Osamu Shimomura and Roger Y. Tsien for his introduction of Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) as a biological marker. Dr. Chalfie was born in Chicago, Illinois. He obtained both his A.B. and Ph.D. from Harvard University and then did postdoctoral research with Sydney Brenner at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, England. He has taught at Columbia University since 1982, when he joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor. In addition to his membership in the NAS and NAM, Dr. Chalfie is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Royal Society of Chemistry (Hon.). He shared the 2006 Lewis S. Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in Basic Medical Science from Brandeis University and the 2008 E. B. Wilson Medal from the American Society for Cell Biology with Roger Tsien.

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.

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. 

Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu, Ghana
Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu is the Director of Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy (LECIAD) and a Full Professor of Law at the Faculty of Law in the University of Ghana, Legon. With a distinguished career spanning over three decades and still counting, Professor Mensa-Bonsu has served in a number of high-level international capacities. A highpoint in these positions was her appointment as the Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Rule of Law in Liberia from 2007-2011. As a Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the Rule of Law Sector of the United Nations in Liberia, she had the privilege of leading the United Nations family on efforts to reconstruct the law-enforcement and judicial sectors of post-conflict Liberia. Prior to her appointment to the United Nations Mission in Liberia, she had twice served as a member of the Committee of Eminent Jurists on the Lockerbie Case and Hissene Habre Case for the OAU and AU respectively. She has recently served as a Civilian Mentor to the ECOWAS Senior Mission Leadership Course at the National Defence College, Abuja, Nigeria( 3rd-14th September, 2012).

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.”

Ovid Tzeng, Taiwan
Professor Ovid J. L. Tzeng is Chancellor of the University System of Taiwan (UST) and a distinguished research Fellow and an Academician of Academia Sinica. He was the Minister of Education, the Minister without Portfolio of the Executive Yuan, and the Minister of Council for Cultural Affairs. He is an outstanding researcher in cognitive neuroscience and neurolinguistics and an experienced administrator in academic institutions. He has established UST to oversee and integrate the research and teaching developments of Taiwan’s four top research universities, namely, Central-, Chiao Tung-, Tsing Hua- and Yang-Ming Universities and has been the Chancellor of the System since 2012. Prior to the Chancellorship, Professor Tzeng was Vice President of the Academia Sinica in Taiwan, in charge of International Scholarly Exchange Program as well the developments of Taiwan’s International Graduate Program (TIGP). Not only did he create TIGP, he also ensured that the program has well served the students from developing countries. Professor Tzeng was named a Fellow of the World Academy of Sciences in 2010. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Pennsylvania State University in the US and the First-class Professional Education-Culture Medal from the Ministry of Education in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

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.