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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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Email: chr@nas.edu

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H.R. Network Executive Committee

Arjuna Aluwihare, Sri Lanka
A.P.R. Aluwihare is Emeritus Professor of Surgery at the University of Peradeniya. After attending Trinity College, he obtained his basic medical degree at Kings College, Cambridge and the London Hospital. He did his postgraduate work in Sri Lanka and England, FRCS(Eng) in 1966 and obtained his M.Chir (Cambridge) in 1970 at the Royal College of Surgeons London and St. Marks Hospital. He joined the University in 1971. He was vice chancellor, chairman of the University Grants Commission, a member of the Human Rights Commission, and chairman of the Board of Study in Surgery of Sri Lanka, amongst other posts. He has examined in the Final Fellowships in London, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. He was on the Editorial Board of the British Journal of Surgery. He was founder and president of the SAARC Surgical Care Society and past president of the College of Surgeons of Sri Lanka (amongst others). He has traveled and worked widely, including a Hunterian Professorship at the RCS England. He has honorary fellowships at the Royal College of Surgeons of England and the Bangladesh College of Physicians and Surgeons, ad hominem fellowships at the College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, a DSc from his university, and other honors. He has written widely, including a Chapter in Oxford Text Book of Surgery, and a Disc Book updating the London FRCS STEP course. The Sri Lankan government honored him in 1998 with the title “Vidya Jothi” for outstanding contributions to science.

Dorairajan Balasubramanian, India
Dorairajan Balasubramanian is a biological scientist and, currently, Director of Research Emeritus and Distinguished Scientist at the LV Prasad Eye Institutein Hyderabad, India. In addition, he is currently the chair of India’s Inter-Academy Panel on Ethics. He has been the secretary general of the Academy of Sciences of the Developing World (TWAS) in Trieste, Italy and a past president of the Indian Academy of Sciences in Bangalore, India. He is a fellow of all three science academies in India, the Indian Academy of Social Sciences, the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, TWAS, the African Academy of Sciences, the Mauritian Academy of Sciences & Technology, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He has been 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 Brézin is a French theoretical physicist who has made contributions to condensed matter and high energy physics. He has been a member of the theory division of the École Normale Supérieure since 1986 and is now professor emeritus. He pioneered the modern theory of critical behavior and developed methods for extracting testable predictions for critical exponents. He has also made contributions to string theory. He was elected a member of the French Academy of Sciences in 1991 and served as president of the academy in 2005-2006. He also is a foreign associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a foreign member of the Royal Society (U.K.), 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 University Professor and former chair of the Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia University. In 2008 he shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 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 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. He is a neurogeneticist who uses the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to study nerve cell differentiation and mechanosensation. In addition to his membership in the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Medicines, 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 chairs the Committee on Human Rights of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Carol Corillon, United States of America
Carol Corillon is former director of the Committee on Human Rights (CHR) of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and former 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. From 1980 to 1984 she worked for the National Research Council's Committee on the Sahel and, from 1970 to 1980, as a freelance print and broadcast journalist in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, working for BBC radio, The Economist, and other publications. 

Abdallah S. Daar, Oman/Canada
Abdallah S. Daar is professor of clinical public health, global health, and surgery at the University of Toronto. His work has encompassed surgery, organ transplantation, bioethics, and global health. 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 life saving technologies and interventions can be rapidly taken from “lab to village.” He is a fellow of TWAS, the African Academy of Sciences, the Islamic World Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society (Canada), and the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study. He is on the board of the World Diabetes Foundation and chairs the Scientific Advisory Boards of Grand Challenges Africa and the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence of Science in Africa, under which a new research funding organization, Grand Challenges Africa, has been created. He is the holder of UNESCO's 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. She is also a L’Oréal UNESCO 2005 Laureate for Women in Physical Sciences.

Pedro León Azofeifa, Costa Rica

Pedro León is a biologist. He received his undergraduate degree from Baylor University and his doctorate from the University of Oregon. He has recently retired from the Medical School of the University of Costa Rica, where he was involved in teaching and research, promoting the creation of the first cell and molecular biology center in his Costa Rica. He was very active with the environmental movement for the creation of the national parks and with the peace movement committed to keeping Costa Rica as one of the only demilitarized countries in the world. His scientific contribution has been recognized by his election as a founding member of the National Academy of Sciences of Costa Rican Academy of Science and is currently the Academy’s president. He is also a foreign associate of the Latin American Academy of Science (ACAL) and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu, Ghana
Henrietta Mensa-Bonsu is the director of the Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy (LECIAD) and a Full Professor of Law at the University of Ghana, Legon’s Faculty of Law. 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 U.N. Secretary-General for Rule of Law in Liberia from 2007 to 2011. In this position, 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 U.N. Mission in Liberia, she twice served as a member of the Committee of Eminent Jurists on the Lockerbie Case and Hissene Habre Case for the Organization of African Unity and the African Union respectively. She has recently served as a civilian mentor to the ECOWAS Senior Mission Leadership Course at the National Defence College, Abuja, Nigeria (3rd-14 September 2012).

Dong-Pil Min, Republic of Korea
Dong-Pil Min is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board to the U.N. Secretary General and the president of the Korean Association of the Advancement of Scientific Culture. He is a professor emeritus in physics at Seoul National University. In 2011 he was appointed ambassador-at-large of the Republic of Korea for science and technology international cooperation. Serving as chairman of the Korea Research Council of Fundamental Science and Technology from 2008 to 2011, he launched the Seoul Science and Technology Forum aiming at building the platform and the network for appropriate technology transfer to and collaboration with developing countries. He has served as chair of the Association of National Information Research Centers and director general of the Korea Research Foundation. He also serves as chair of the Asian Nuclear Physics Association (ANPhA). He earned a Ph.D. (1976) and Doctor of Science (1980) in nuclear and theoretical physics, respectively, from the University of Paris. He received national medals for his contribution to the progress of science and science education from the Korean government in 2012 and from the French government in 2010. He was also given a medal by the President of Korea for his original contribution to the establishment of the International Science Business Belt program in 2016.

Ida Nicolaisen, Denmark
Ida Nicolaisen is professor emeritus of cultural sociology at Copenhagen University’s Nordic Institute of Asian Studies. She is author and co-author of more than 20 scientific books and numerous scientific articles, editor-in-chief of the Carlsberg Nomad Research Project, and former vice-chair of the Danish Development Agency. She previously served as vice-chair of the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and chair of the Soeren Kierkegaard Research Center. She serves on various international boards, including the International Chittagong Hill Tract Commission, WorldWide Fund for Nature-Denmark, the All European Academies’ Ethical Commission, the World Diabetes Foundation, the Royal Danish Geographical Society, Humanity in Action International, and the Israeli-Palestinian Science Organization. She has conducted extended anthropological research among indigenous peoples in West Africa and in Southeast Asia, in particular Borneo. She is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, and the Palestinian Academy of Science and Technology. She is a Knight of the Order of Dannebrog.

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 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 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
Ovid J. L. Tzeng is chancellor of the University System of Taiwan (UST) and a distinguished research fellow and academician of the 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 UST chancellor since 2012. Prior to the chancellorship, Professor Tzeng was vice president of the Academia Sinica in Taiwan, in charge of the International Scholarly Exchange Program as well as developments in Taiwan’s International Graduate Program (TIGP). Not only did he create TIGP, he also ensured that the program has well served 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 Pennsylvania State University in the United States and the First-class Professional Education-Culture Medal from the Ministry of Education in 2011 and 2012, respectively.


Rebecca Everly, Executive Director
Rebecca Everly is the Director of the Committee on Human Rights of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Dr. Everly, an international human rights lawyer, received her Ph.D. from the Cambridge University Centre of International Studies (U.K.). She also received a Juris Doctor and Masters in International Law from Duke University (U.S.). Her prior experience includes work for the International Development Law Organization (India), the Centre for Promotion of Human Rights Teaching and Research at Jawaharlal Nehru University (India), International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (Malaysia), the Office of the High Representative (Bosnia and Herzegovina), and the U.S. State Department.