Professional and Biographical Information

James (Jim) Cavallaro is President of the University Network for Human Rights. He has taught human rights law and practice for nearly a quarter century, most recently at Stanford Law School (2011-2019) and Harvard Law School (2002-2011). At both Harvard and Stanford, he established and directed human rights clinics and ran human rights centers.  In 2014, Cavallaro introduced human rights advocacy into the undergraduate curriculum at Stanford.  Cavallaro has overseen dozens of projects with scores of students in over twenty countries. In June 2013, Cavallaro was elected to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. He served as President of that body from 2016-2017.

Prof. Cavallaro has dedicated his thirty-year career to human rights advocacy. He has been actively involved in the defense of rights, critical reflection on the human rights movement, and the promotion of accountability at the international level. A prolific scholar and sought-after voice on international human rights issues, he is frequently called upon by the media and civil society to offer his expertise. Cavallaro received his BA from Harvard University and his JD from Berkeley Law School. He also holds a doctorate in human rights and development (Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Seville, Spain). In 1994, he opened a joint office for Human Rights Watch and the Center for Justice and International Law in Rio de Janeiro and served as director, overseeing research, reporting, and litigation before the Inter-American system’s human rights bodies. In 1999, he founded the Global Justice Center, a leading Brazilian human rights NGO. Cavallaro has authored or co-authored dozens of books, reports, and articles on human rights issues, a list of which is available below. He is fluent in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.