Defending Human Rights
February 21st – 22nd, 2014
Douglas A. Johnson
Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and a Lecturer in Public Policy. Former Executive Director of the Center for Victims of Torture based in St. Paul, MN.
Douglas Johnson became the first Executive Director of the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT) in 1988 after a series of acting directors; he was tasked by the Board to build the organization to the stature merited by Governor Perpich’s founding vision for the first treatment center in the United States for torture survivors. Johnson stepped down January 31, 2012, after nearly 24 years heading the organization, During his tenure, CVT provided healing services to over 23,000 torture survivor in its clinical sites in Minnesota, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Jordan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or Kenya.
Johnson has a lengthy record working in the human rights arena, having launched the Nestle Boycott in 1977 and having co-founded the Infant Formula Action Coalition (INFACT) the same year. He served as INFACT’s first Executive Director until 1984. He also cofounded the International Nestle Boycott Committee (INBC) and the International Baby Food Action Network (IBAN). The latter organization played a critical role in developing and passing the United Nations’ first code to control the marketing practices of international companies.
Douglas Johnson was named faculty director of Harvard Kennedy School’s (HKS) Carr Center for Human Rights Policy in July of 2013 and is a lecturer in public policy at HKS.
Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute and Ryan Family Professor of Human Rights Policy at Harvard Kennedy School.
A political scientist working in the area of international relations, particularly human rights issues, Sikkink is the author of The Justice Cascade: How Human Rights Prosecutions Are Changing World Politics (W. W. Norton, 2012), which won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award and the WOLA-Duke Book Award for Human Rights in Latin America. The findings she presents in the book show that holding state officials accountable for human rights violations can in fact contribute to the improvement of human rights. At Radcliffe, Sikkink will work on a book about Latin America and international human rights.Sikkink earned a BA in international relations from the University of Minnesota and holds an MA and PhD from Columbia University. She has been a Fulbright Scholar in Argentina and a Guggenheim fellow. Sikkink is a fellow of the American Philosophical Society, the American Association for Arts and Sciences, and the Council on Foreign Relations and is a member of the editorial board of the International Studies Quarterly, International Organization, and the American Political Science Review.