Steering Committee


Daniel L. Appelman (IHRC ROL & Policy) is a partner in the Silicon Valley law firm Montgomery & Hansen LLP. His law practice focuses on complex technology-related commercial transactions and strategic alliances, and he represents both early stage and established companies in licensing, joint ventures, technology transfers, outsourcing, system acquisitions and other commercial and strategic transactions in the United States and abroad and in establishing intellectual property rights related to his clients’ inventions. He also counsels clients on emerging legal and regulatory technology-related compliance issues, including privacy, export control, data security and digital content rights management.

Dan’s interest in human rights law focuses on the impact of technology on human rights, particularly on the use of social media and other information technologies to promote free speech, democratic reform movements within civil society and the rule of law.

Dan is a member of the State Bar of California. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the UCLA School of Law and a PhD. in Communications from Temple University. In-between his undergraduate and graduate studies, he lived and worked in Bogota, Colombia and Mexico, and he has traveled extensively in Latin America. In addition to his work with the International Human Rights Committee, he serves as a Vice Chair of the Privacy and Information Protection Committee of the ABA’s Section on Civil Rights and Social Justice and is a member of that Section’s Economic Justice Committee.

Sara Blackwell (IHRC Programs & Special Projects) is an international human rights lawyer, admitted to practice in the state of New York. She currently serves as the Legal and Policy Coordinator of the Frameworks Programs at the International Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR), where she leads ICAR’s initiatives to build and implement frameworks to prevent business-related human rights harms. In this role, Sara co-authored ICAR's seminal report, National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights: A Toolkit for the Development, Implementation, and Review of State Commitments to Business and Human Rights Frameworks.

Sara is a 2013 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, where she served as a Human Rights Institute Associate, a Public Interest Fellow, a Senior Legal Research and Writing Fellow, Managing Editor of the Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy, and a leader within the Georgetown human rights community. She also served as a Student Attorney with the law school's International Women's Human Rights Clinic, advocating for the protection of reproductive rights in Uganda. Sara has previously worked with the Fair Labor Association, EarthRights International, the Center for International Environmental Law, and Green Advocates International in Liberia. 

Prior to attending law school, Sara served for over two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia, where she lived and worked with rural agrarian communities to enhance food security and improve natural resource management. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science and human rights from Barnard College of Columbia University, where she graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Within the ABA Section of International Law, Sara is the incoming Chair of the Corporate Social Responsibility Committee and an incoming Vice Chair of the Young Lawyers Interest Network. She is proficient in Bemba, a Bantu language spoken primarily in northern Zambia, and conversant in Swahili.

Tim Burns (IHRC ROL & Policy) is a partner at Perkins Coie LLP. He serves on the Board of Directors of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy.

Michele Curtis, MD, MPH, MML (IHRC Publications/ YIR) received her medical degree from the Texas Tech Regional Academic Health Science Center at Lubbock, and then completed her Ob/Gyn Residency at Akron General Medical Center in Akron, Ohio. She is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

In 2001, she earned her Masters in Public Health from the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston where she focused on health policy. Following this, she worked Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow from 2003-2004 in in the office of US Senator Jeff Bingaman. During that time, she was actively involved in healthcare and maternal health and child health policies and legislative proposals. She has worked at the state and national level on various issues related to health care policy and women’s health.

She earned her Master’s in Medical Law from the University of Glasgow School of Law in Glasgow Scotland in 2011, focusing on the intersection of law and bioethics. Her thesis centered on issues around informed consent and the burgeoning growth of biobanking for research and clinical trial purposes.

She served as a Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Texas Houston Medical School and worked at a major teaching hospital in Houston Texas. She has extensive experience in medical education, clinical research, and administrative healthcare. She is an accomplished public speaker and has published on a variety of topics in peer-reviewed journals.Additionally, she has served as a consultant in industry as an Associate Director for Novartis from 2005-2009 and worked full time as VP, Medical Affairs, Masimo Corporation, 2012-2013.

She is currently working as a locum tenens Ob/Gyn, is the president and CEO of CeeShell Healthcare Consulting, works with Physicians’ for Human Rights on a project that seeks to address sexual based violence during times of conflict, and is attending law school full time at the University of Houston Law Center.

Cindy Galway Buys (IHRC Publications/YIR) is a Professor of Law and the Director of International Law Programs at the Southern Illinois University (SIU) School of Law, where she teaches a variety of international law-related courses, as well as immigration law and constitutional law. Prior to joining the SIU School of Law in 2001, Professor Buys spent ten years in public and private practice in Washington, D.C. doing international business and trade work. Professor Buys earned an LL.M. in International and Comparative Law from Georgetown University School of Law in International and Comparative Law and earned a J.D. degree and a M.A. in International Relations from Syracuse University. Her portfolio area is Rule of Law. She has also served as co-editor of the ABA International Legal Developments Year in Review, and has held leadership positions in the American Society of International Law as well as the International Law Section of the American Association of Law Schools.

Lisa De Gray (IHRC ROL & Special Projects) is an attorney whose areas of professional experience and interest include human rights, international criminal law, and refugee law. She currently works for FSA, LLC as a contractor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York where she works with Assistant U.S. Attorneys to restrain and forfeit foreign assets linked to transnational crimes including money laundering and securities fraud. Previously, Lisa worked as a legal consultant for the Public International Law & Policy Group where she advised clients in the Middle East and North Africa on issues including transitional justice and drafting post-conflict constitutions. She has also worked with Human Rights First, the International Justice Resource Center, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, and the Department of Homeland Security.

Lisa received her Juris Doctor, as well as a certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies, from Georgetown University Law Center in 2012. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Communications with a minor in French from Boston College in 2009.

Lisa is currently admitted to practice law in New York. In addition to the ABA, Lisa is a member of the International Law Section of the New York State Bar Association and the American Society of International Law.

Mr. Garry Farley (IHRC Programs & Special Projects) is an AARP Experience Corps Volunteer in Baltimore, Maryland via the Americorp Volunteer Program. As a part of his new job, Mr. Farley teaches elementary students how to read. He worked in field of education for roughly ten years in various areas such as Tutorial Assistant, Special Education Substitute Teacher, 1:1 Aide in Adult Literacy, and Peace Corps Volunteer in Micoud, St. Lucia.

Mr. Farley received Bachelor’s of Art degrees in Criminal Justice and Health Systems Management. He received a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Baltimore. He subsequently completed an internship at the Baltimore City Hall's Department of Legislative Reference, Maryland Attorney General's Office Consumer Protection Division and field work with the Baltimore City Police Department's Mobile Crime Lab.

In his spare time, Mr. Farley volunteers as symphony usher for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He has also served a Financial Secretary for the Ancient Order of Hibernians Irish organization and the SS. Philip and James Knights of Columbus of Baltimore, Maryland.

Mr. Farley is an Associate member of the American Bar Association, Association of Fraud Examiners, American Federation of Teachers, National Coalition against Domestic Violence, and National Peace Corps Association. He is deeply committed to the protection human rights and looks forward to contributing to the IHRC’s Steering Committee. 

Alejandra "Alex" Franco (IHRC Diversity & Membership) is an Associate at Zavala Law Group P.C. in midtown Manhattan, specializing in immigration law and international human rights. Prior to joining Zavala Law Group, she was the Garifuna Representation Project Legal Fellow at UnLocal, Inc., where she worked on asylum cases for alien mothers with children, particularly in the Garifuna community in the Bronx. She has worked with Legal Services NYC-Bronx in the Family and Immigration Unit where she prepared VAWA petitions and U Visa applications. In her private practice, she has worked in criminal defense, family law, small business and employment law. 

Alex is a graduate of CUNY School of Law, where she was very active in school affairs as the President of Student Government, Vice President of the International Law Society, and steering committee member of the school’s National Lawyers Guild chapter. She was also the founder and President of the Inter-American Law Students Association, where she organized a delegation of 12 students to spend two weeks in Oaxaca, Mexico providing legal support to grassroots human rights groups. During her second year, she interned with the New Orleans Public Defenders Office and Tequio Juridico, an indigenous legal collective in Oaxaca, Mexico. During her 3rd year, she went on a fact-finding mission in Haiti and co-authored a report on the findings while at the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic. She received a B.A. in psychology with an emphasis in cognitive neuroscience from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to attending law school, Alex was a community organizer in the immigrant rights and drug policy reform movements in the Bay Area of California.

Julie Gharagouzloo (IHRC Special Projects & Special Projects) received her Master of Laws LL.M. from Northeastern University School of Law in 2014, and is admitted to the New York Bar. Originally from Paris, France, she graduated in Law and Non-Profit Management from La Sorbonne and the Catholic University of Paris. Previously, Julie worked at La Voix De l’Enfant in children’s rights advocacy, and in international cooperation at the International Criminal Court, Office of the Prosecutor, in The Hague, Netherlands. While at Northeastern, she interned at the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic of Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) to provide legal assistance to asylum seekers and vulnerable populations. Julie is a French native speaker, and speaks some Spanish.

Kimberly A. Goins, Esq. (IHRC Programs & Special Projects) is a 2011 graduate from The University of Alabama, where she was the first student at The University to graduate with a joint degree in law (Juris Doctor) and a Master of Arts in Political Science (concentrations: International Relations, Public Administration, and Political Theory). She possesses a Bachelor’s of Arts in Spanish and Political Science, also from The University of Alabama. She is a licensed attorney in good standing with the prestigious New York State Bar. She has worked in multiple areas of law, including civil and criminal law. In New York City and in Nashville, Tennessee, where she currently resides, she was selected for and worked on five different e-discovery projects for prominent law firms.

She has also worked as a law clerk for the Mobile County District Attorney's Office in her hometown, Mobile, Alabama; as a Research Assistant for Latham Moffatt, P.C., a position through which she wrote numerous trial briefs and appellate briefs; and as a law clerk for Retired Judge Penny Harrington, in Nashville, Tennessee. Additionally, she has served as a tutor for college students and taught high school students various courses, including criminal law and Spanish.

Ms. Groins has been active with the American Bar Association since law school, when she held the position of Lt. Gov. of Region IV (Alabama and Mississippi). Since 2013, Ms. Groins has served as the Vice Director of the Disaster Legal Services Team of the Young Lawyers Division. She has also served as a judge for ABA sponsored moot court competitions held in New York City. Looking forward, Ms. Groins plans on taking the Tennessee Bar Exam in February 2015 and pursuing a Master's degree in Theological Studies Degree (MTS) from Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville, Tennessee.

Tracy Hannan (IHRC ROL & Policy) has been practicing law since 2002, focused primarily on commercial litigation. She was a partner at Wildman Harrold (now Locke Lord) until December 2014, at which time she joined Exelon Corporation as an Assistant General Counsel in Litigation. Ms. Hannan has studied International Human Rights as an LLM student at DePaul and participated on the ABA’s Anti-Trafficking Task Force in 2014 as well as the Metropolitan Family Services Legal Aid Society’s Anti-Trafficking Committee. Additionally, Ms. Hannan often provides pro bono services in criminal law areas.

Paul E. Johnson (IHRC Programs & Special Projects) is a project fulfillment manager for Robert Half Legal eDiscovery Services. Previously, he held the titles of assistant general counsel, business development manager, content manager and advertising coordinator for Lakeshore Interactive and in Chicago. While earning his Master of Laws degree in information technology and privacy law at The John Marshall Law School, Mr. Johnson served as a privacy analyst for Aon Corporation, where he advised the company on privacy issues affecting its North American business units.

While attending law school, Mr. Johnson became highly involved in the American Bar Association's Section of International Law and co-founded the section's Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Issues Network, which was designed to expand educational opportunities and increase visibility of legal issues unique to the LGBT community.

Most recently, he co-authored a Report & Recommendation condemning anti-homosexuality laws around the world as clear violations of human rights principles; this report was passed unanimously by the ABA House of Delegates in August 2014. To this end, Paul is currently the Section's liaison to the ABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

Deepali V. Lugani (IHRC Programs & Special Projects) practices asylum and deportation law in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the principal attorney of Lugani Law Firm, which she founded to advocate for individuals fleeing persecution and seeking refuge in the United States. Deepali has represented indigenous Mam and Kiché Maya who were victims of the Guatemalan civil war, gay and transgender individuals escaping persecution on account of sexual orientation, children of victims killed in ethnic conflicts in Central America, women escaping domestic violence, and individuals fleeing labor trafficking. Her cases include appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the Board of Immigration Appeals, and trials at the San Francisco Immigration Court.

She has an LL.M. in international law from Georgetown University Law Center, Washington DC, and J.D. with concentration in international law from the University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada. Deepali interned at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, The Netherlands, on issues related to detention of individuals accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity. She is an Associate Editor of the California International Law Journal and Committee Member of the State Bar of California’s Public International Law Committee, which was founded to promote understanding of international human rights law in California.

Eva Nudd (IHRC ROL & Policy) is a human rights advocate with vast experience in gender issues and international criminal law. She is currently working as an immigration attorney assisting individuals from Middle East and Africa to obtain asylum status in the United States. Previously, Ms. Nudd spent summer in Kenya working on the police vetting, reparations and sexual and gender based crimes with the International Center for Transitional Justice in Kenya. She also worked as a fellow with the Open Society Justice Initiative where her portfolio included legal and technical assistance to the International Criminal Court and on a prosecution of Radovan Karadzic at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

She has a Juris Doctor degree from Fordham University School of Law and a Masters in International Relations, with a focus on Human Rights, from Seton Hall University and Ms. Nudd has published on international criminal law issues, including Case Watch: Peacekeepers, Liability and the Srebrenica Massacre on Open Society Foundations Voices, The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, ABA Year in Review, and Legal Aid Clinics: Can they be an Answer to Ending Impunity for Rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo? in Africa Law Today.

Charlotte Ricketts (IHRC Programs & Special Projects) is a third year law student attending New England Law in Boston, Massachusetts. A native of Windsor, CT. She is a current ABA Representative for her law school and involved in different ABA sections. Ms. Ricketts is a member of the United Nations and International Organizations Steering Committee. Her hobbies include hiking, traveling, and watching films.

Charlotte's thoughts on human rights: Unlike those that run from the truth, I do not fear it. The truth is that every living human being should be entitled to equal rights.

N. Kay Bridger-Riley (IHRC ROL & Policy) has been involved in ABA activities since 1976 when she attended her first Annual Meeting and was elected as an officer in the newly formed National Association of Student Bar Associations. The next year she was elected as Vice-President of the ABA’s Law Student Division. Subsequently, she served on the Executive Board of the Young Lawyers Division, the General Practice Section (now GPSSF Division), & the Dispute Resolution Section, and as a member of leadership team for the Litigation Section, GPSSF Division & Legal Education Division.

She served for 22 years as Liaison to the Commission on Women in the Profession, Chaired the Standing Committee on the Silver Gavel Award, and has served full terms on the Commission on Homelessness and Poverty, the Standing Committee on Membership, the Standing Committee on Public Education, and has been a screener for the Gavel Awards for 28 years. Currently Kay is one of 3 members of the Board of Elections for the ABA.

In 2006, Kay was appointed to the Executive Board of the ABA’s Center for Human Rights, which is what brought her to the Sections of International Law and Individual Rights and Responsibility. She has been a member of the African Law Committee for four years. Kay has been part of the Justice Defenders program through the Center for Human Rights and represented the Center on an international Human Rights investigation team in Guerro, Mexico sponsored by the Bar Human Rights Committee of England & Wales. She served a 3 year term as Chair of the Lawyers Committee on Human Rights, which is associated with Peace Brigades International.

In real life, Kay has been a litigator in Tulsa, Oklahoma for 35 years. Her bachelor’s degree in Southeast Asian Politics was obtained at Arizona State University in 1976, and she got her J.D. at University of Tulsa College of Law in 1979. She began her career with one of Tulsa’s larger firms, but started Bridger-Riley & Associates after a few years. For 25 years Bridger-Riley & Associates spent 80% of the lawyer time representing Plaintiffs in Civil Rights cases. In 2006 she began scaling down and now is a solo practitioner and still litigating. She is the proud mother of three (3) children, [one of which is staff at the ABA in Chicago], two (2) grandchildren, and fifteen (15) foreign exchange students. 

Stephanie Snow (IHRC Communications) is a 3L and a part-time evening student at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago, Illinois. She received an Associate’s degree in History from Prairie State College in December 2011, and a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a focus in History and International Affairs, from Governors State University in May 2013. Stephanie currently works full time as a legal assistant/paralegal at a civil litigation firm in downtown Chicago where she has been for the past twelve years. Stephanie is very active in school organizations and community service projects. She serves on the Executive Board of the SBA as the Evening Student Liaison and is Vice-Magister of the JMLS chapter of Phi Delta Phi Legal Honor Society. Stephanie enjoys reading biographies, historical non-fiction books and loves to travel; her favorite places on the planet are the United Kingdom (especially London), China, and British Columbia. Stephanie desires to practice as a civil rights and international human rights attorney after law school.