July 12, 2001
Vol. 20 No. 19

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    Lecturer Gzesh chosen to direct University Human Rights Program

    By William Harms
    News Office

    Susan Gzesh is the new director of the Human Rights Program.
    Susan Gzesh, Lecturer in the Law School, has been named Director of the Human Rights Program, succeeding Jacqueline Bhabha, founding Director of the program.

    “We believe that the appointment of Susan Gzesh will enable the Human Rights Program to build on its existing strengths and move it in a variety of new directions,” said Rashid Khalidi, Director of the Center for International Studies.

    “Susan’s energy, commitment and broad knowledge of both the human rights field and the University made her the right choice to follow the dynamic founding director of the program, Jackie Bhabha.”

    In addition to her academic experience, Gzesh has been active in the leadership of a number of organizations promoting human rights.

    Since 1996, she has been Director of the Mexico-U.S. Advocates Network and a founding member of the Regional Network of Civil Organizations for Migration, two innovative coalitions of civil society organizations from North America, Mexico and Central America that advocate bilateral and regional migration policy with governments of the region.

    Serving from 1986 to 1991, Gzesh was a member of the Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, a public interest law office that deals with immigration, hate crimes and racial discrimination cases.

    Gzesh also has worked in private practice and for federally funded legal services programs on immigrant and refugee rights, electoral issues, labor rights and other domestic civil rights matters. In her appointment at the Law School, which she has held since 1993, she has taught an annual course on immigration and nationality law.

    Her publications include “Immigration Advocacy and Cross-Border Organizing,” a chapter in the forthcoming book Cross Border Alliances: A Ten Year Perspective; “Advocacy for Human Rights in an Intergovernmental Forum: the Puebla Process from the Perspective of Non-Governmental Organizations,” published in the book In Defense of the Alien; and several other book chapters and articles. Most recently, she co-authored a study of human rights violations in processes of deportation in North America and Central America.

    Gzesh received an A.B. from the University in 1972 in philosophical psychology and a J.D. in 1977 from the University of Michigan Law School.

    The Human Rights Program was established by an interdisciplinary group of faculty in 1997. The program directs interdisciplinary research and teaching in the development of new approaches to human rights.

    The center also collaborates with practitioners to examine issues of human rights activism.