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Tom and Andi Bernstein Human Rights Fellowship

The Tom and Andi Bernstein Fund for Human Rights was designed to further human rights scholarship and activism at Yale Law School and to allow human rights advocates and scholars to have time away from the demands of their work while engaging with the intellectual life of the Law School. 

Tom and Andi Bernstein Human Rights Fellows spend time meeting and working with students, giving lectures and workshops, bringing others to the law school to participate in panels and conferences, and otherwise enriching the Law School with their human rights expertise.  For younger practitioners and scholars, the Fellowship can be a time to think and study before starting new phases of their careers. 

Members of the Yale Law School community may nominate candidates for the Tom and Andi Bernstein Fellowships.  The Schell Center does not accept unsolicited applications.  

                                                                    Current Fellow

Kajal Bhardwaj (Fall 2014) is a global leader in the access-to-medicines movement. She is a lawyer who has been working on health and human rights for more than a decade. She has worked particularly closely with the Lawyers Collective HIV/AIDS Unit, Medecins Sans Frontieres (India office), and the Delhi Network of Positive People. Kajal’s engagement with health and HIV started in 2002 with her involvement in the drafting of India’s HIV/AIDS Bill, including intensive research and consultations on the Bill’s drafting, capacity building related to the Bill, and advocacy with law and policy makers. Since 2005, she has been working extensively on developing legal and advocacy approaches to improve HIV/AIDS treatment access in light of India’s new patent law. Since 2009, she has also been working regionally in South Asia, including on capacity building for government officials and civil society groups in Nepal, Myannmar and Cambodia. In 2012, she designed and coordinated an eight-country U.N. capacity-building workshop on the use and adoption of TRIPS flexibilities.


Past Tom and Andi Bernstein Human Rights Fellows

Michael Posner (Spring 2009) is currently a Professor of Business and Society at NYU’s Stern School of Business, working to launch the first center on business and human rights at a business school. Prior to joining NYU Stern, he served from 2009 to 2013 as Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.  From 1978 to 2009, he led Human Rights First (formerly the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights), a New York-based human rights advocacy organization. He played a key role in proposing and campaigning for the first U.S. law providing for political asylum, which became part of the Refugee Act of 1980, as well as the Torture Victim Protection Act, which was adopted in 1992. He also led the Human Rights First delegation to the 1992 Rome conference, at which the statute of the International Criminal Court was adopted. 

Saad Eddin Ibrahim (Fall 2010) is currently the Wallerstein Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Drew University Center on Religion, Culture & Conflict. A professor of sociology at the American University in Cairo for most of his career, Ibrahim was the founder of both the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies in Cairo and the Arab Organization for Human Rights. He is credited for playing a leading role in the revival of Egypt’s contemporary research-based civil society movement.

Shadi Sadr (Spring 2011) is an Iranian lawyer, human rights defender and journalist. As a practicing lawyer, she has successfully defended several women activists and journalists in court. She is the founder of Justice for Iran, which promotes and defends women's rights in Iran, and of the website, Women in Iran. She has been involved in the campaign to eradicate the practice of capital punishment by stoning, particularly of women, in a campaign known as End Stoning Forever.

John Prendergast (Fall 2011) is the co-founder of the Enough Project, an initiative affiliated with the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. In the past, he has worked for the Clinton White House, the State Department, two members of Congress, the National Intelligence Council, UNICEF, Human Rights Watch, the International Crisis Group, and the U.S. Institute of Peace.?He is also the author or co-author of ten books, has appeared in several documentaries and four episodes of?60 Minutes, and has traveled to Africa with NBC’s?Dateline,?ABC’s Nightline,?The PBS NewsHour, CNN’s?Inside Africa, Newsweek/The Daily Beast, and The New York Times Magazine. His work has been profiled in?The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Men's Vogue, Time,?Entertainment Weekly,?GQ,?Oprah Magazine, Capitol File,?Arrive, Interview,?The Washington Post,?The Los Angeles Times,?The Philadelphia Inquirer, and the?Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

Octovianus Mote (Spring 2012) is an activist for Papuan human rights.  Before moving to the United States in 1999, he was Bureau Chief of Kompas in Indonesia’s Papua Province. At Yale University, he has been affiliated with the Genocide Studies Program, the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School, and the Yale Indonesia Forum of the Council on Southeast Asia Studies. He has lobbied the U.S. Congress and State Department, has testified before the U.S. Congress on the issue of Papua and has participated in the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network / ETAN and the West Papua Advocacy Team. In 2011, he was elected by the Papuan people in Jayapura, the capital of Papua Province, as one of five Papuans to represent the Papuan people in possible future dialogue with the Indonesian Government to resolve 50 years of conflict.

Fatima Hassan (Fall 2012) is a human rights lawyer and social justice activist from South Africa. She has worked at the University of Cape Town’s Institute for Development and Labor Law on a project that seeks to reform discriminatory compensation practices for mine workers in Southern Africa. She is a former research fellow with the Constitutional Court of South Africa under Justice O’Regan and worked as Special Adviser to Minister Barbara Hogan in the Health Ministry and Public Enterprises Ministry.  She previously served as co-director of Ndifuna Ukwazi (Dare to Know), a South African organization addressing social justice issues.

Wan Yanhai (Spring and Fall 2013) is one of the most prominent leaders in the global campaign against HIV/AIDS. He launched China's first HIV/AIDS counseling hotline in 1992 while working for China's National Health Education Institute. In 1994, he founded AIZHI Action Project, an NGO that uses health education, research, publishing, and conferences to confront the growing HIV/AIDS crisis in China. He directs the Beijing Aizhixing Institute, the largest AIDS NGO in China. The institute works on HIV/AIDS and public health related policy, legal aid and human rights, and community outreach among the most vulnerable population. He organized several challenging campaigns in China including a national compensation campaign for the victims of HIV infection caused by blood transfusion or blood products, a national working group for the educational rights of people with HIV, hepatitis or other health problems, and a China HIV/AIDS NGO Network.