Janet Benshoof is internationally recognized for her human rights and constitutional law expertise. She established landmark legal precedents in the U.S. Supreme Court and international forums. Ms. Benshoof spearheaded several successful legal efforts from the approval of emergency contraception for women by the FDA, to the application of international rape law to ensure the rights of women in the Iraq High Tribunal prosecutions of Saddam-era war crimes. She lectures and trains women leaders, judges, parliamentarians, and various UN bodies on implementing international human rights laws, such as CEDAW, and international humanitarian law, including women's rights to criminal accountability under Security Council Resolutions and by the International Criminal Court.
Ms. Benshoof is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the National Law Journal as one of the "100 Most Influential Lawyers in America," the prestigious MacArthur Foundation "Genius Award" in recognition of her legal work, the Gloria Steinem Women of Vision Award, the Edith Spivack Award for Outstanding New York Women Lawyers, and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America Margaret Sanger Award.
Ms. Benshoof previously served as Director of the American Civil Liberties Reproductive Freedom Project where she spearheaded national litigation shaping Supreme Court law on gender equality, free speech, and reproductive choice. In 1992, Ms. Benshoof founded the first international human rights organization focused on women's rights to reproductive choice and equality, now the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), and served as its first President.
Ms. Benshoof published numerous articles in respected publications such as the Harvard Law Review and The Journal of the American Medical Association, The New York University Journal of International Law and Policy, and Law Ka Pala, a Journal of The Burma Lawyers' Council. Her forthcoming publications include "Global Justice for the Twenty-First Century: International Legal Issues" for the Encyclopedia of Global Studies, "US Ratification of CEDAW: An Opportunity to Revisit and Reframe the Right to Equality Accorded Women under the US Constitution" for the NYU Review of Law and Social Change, and "The Upcoming Elections in Burma: Increasing Risks to Global Security by Constitutionalizing a Military Monopoly on Nuclear Development" with the Burma Lawyers' Council. She has appeared on the BBC, CBS evening news, Good Morning America, ABC evening news, Nightline, and McNeil /Lehr. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and served on its Burma Task Force.
Ms. Benshoof received her Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School and taught at Harvard Law School and Bard College.
Phyu Phyu Sann carries out a wide range of research on Burma on legal, political, constitutional and gender related issues. She collaborates with key partners, including Burmese and ethnic groups, women's groups, UN agencies, and Human Rights NGOs as part of the GJC's project on Criminal Accountability for Heinous Crimes in Burma, which aims to uphold international commitments to the rule of law.
Ms. Sann joined the Global Justice Center in 2006 as a research intern. Prior, Ms. Sann earned her Master of Arts in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management at the School for International Training (SIT) in Brattleboro, Vermont. Prior to her studies at SIT, Ms. Sann has also worked in the field of social, economic and project related research for local and international NGOs in Burma.
Ms. Sann received her MBA from the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand and her BA from Yangon University with a concentration in International Relations. She was also a recipient of the scholarship from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) for her MBA degree and Fujitsu Asia Pacific Scholarship for Intercultural Management Program at the Japan American Institute of Management Sciences, Honolulu, Hawaii. Ms. Sann is a native of Rakhine (Arakan), in the western part of Burma.
Akila Radhakrishnan is the Legal Director at the Global Justice Center. In her role, she works to ensure justice, accountability and equal rights to people in conflict and in post-conflict situations, and to establish global legal precedents protecting human rights and ensuring gender equality. She has published articles in The Atlantic, Women Under Siege, RH Reality Check, the Denver Journal of International Law and Policy and Reproductive Laws for the Twenty First Century. Prior to the Global Justice Center, she has worked at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, DPK Consulting and Drinker, Biddle & Reath, LLP. Akila received her J.D. with a concentration in International Law from the University of California, Hastings and holds a B.A. in Political Science and Art History from the University of California, Davis.
Stephanie Johanssen is the Advocacy and Outreach Associate at the Global Justice Center. Born and raised in Germany she has worked for the Center for European Integration Studies as a student assistant. After graduating from law school at the University of Bonn, she started working for a law firm in Bonn focusing on public law. During her practical legal training Stephanie was an assistant to two judges at the Higher Court of Koblenz and worked for several law firms. Furthermore she absolved a legal internship at the Environment Protection Agency in New York. Before becoming a Communications Fellow at the GJC, Stephanie was an outreach officer for the International Criminal Court in The Hague, where she was responsible for implementing the campaign Calling African Female Lawyers, a campaign aimed at increasing the number of female counsel practicing before the Court.
Sarah Vaughan is the Senior Communications and Development Officer at the Global Justice Center. She previously worked for three years in non-profit programming before serving as a Congressional intern at the US House of Representatives, where she monitored committee hearings, floor debates and legislative votes. She also participated in the Truman National Security Project’s program aimed at developing young progressive leaders working in foreign policy fields. Sarah graduated from New York University, where she was a Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholar, and earned her B.A. in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. A former film student, she became interested in human rights advocacy while organizing campus documentary screenings and campaigning outside the United Nations to raise awareness about Ugandan youth forced into child soldiering. She also previously worked with Priority Films’ Red Light Children Campaign in efforts to counter global child trafficking.
Stephanie Olszewski is the Operations Manager at the Global Justice Center. She spent three years assistant managing an art gallery in Brooklyn before moving to the non-profit world. Originally from Pittsburgh, Stephanie graduated from New York University with a B.A. double majoring in Art History and Journalism with a minor in Spanish.
Tiffany Ommundsen is the Program and Executive Coordinator for the Global Justice Center. She previously served as an Adjunct Professor and Coordinator of Global Studies at St. Joseph’s College. Before that, Tiffany worked as Social Media and Outreach Office for Femin Ijtihad, online, a woman’s right’s organization designed to bridge the gap between academic scholarship and activism. There she created and coordinated online media, outreach and viral campaigns to promote the mission and increase the awareness of the organization. Prior to that she worked for the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center conducting research on human rights events in Iran.
Jocelyn Brooks is a Legal Fellow at the Global Justice Center. She graduated from Fordham University School of Law in May 2012, where she was a Stein Scholar for the Public Interest. In the summer of 2011, Jocelyn was an Ella Baker Law Intern with the Center for Constitutional Rights, based in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where she worked on the right to housing. The prior summer she was a law intern at the Global Justice Center, supporting its August 12th Campaign. At Fordham, Jocelyn took part in the International Human Rights Clinic, in which she helped design and implement a mobile legal aid clinic in rural Malawi, and the Housing Rights Clinic.
Michelle Onello is an attorney serving as a consultant to the Global Justice Center on international human rights issues. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School and The Johns Hopkins University, including its SAIS Bologna Center. Following law school, she was a Luce Scholar working for the Phuket Provincial Governor in Thailand. Michelle was an Associate in the New York office of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, where she focused on international financial transactions. Michelle left everyday law practice to become a full-time caretaker for her four children.