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Staff

Donna McKay

Donna McKay, MS

Executive Director, New York

Donna McKay joined PHR as executive director in February 2012. A committed human rights activist, McKay brings more than 20 years of international and domestic nonprofit experience to PHR. As executive director, McKay provides overall leadership and strategic direction for the organization and manages its staff and volunteers globally. Learn More »

Christine Alai

Christine Alai, LLM

Kenya Coordinator, Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones, Kenya

Christine Alai is responsible for the advancement of the Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones in Kenya. She represents PHR to government, local, and international partners; develops and manages partnerships with individual and institutional collaborators; conducts advocacy; and coordinates and leads forensic trainings to influence collaboration among medical, legal, and law enforcement personnel with the goal of enhancing prosecutions and accountability for sexual violence in Kenya. Learn More »

Kelly Bienhoff

Kelly Bienhoff, MA

Program Associate, Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones, Boston

Kelly Bienhoff oversees curriculum development for forensic training workshops and monitoring and evaluation for the Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones. She also provides logistical and administrative programmatic support. Learn More »

Marissa Brodney

Marissa Brodney

Senior Program Associate, Washington, DC

Marissa Brodney conducts research, manages logistics, and contributes to the development of programming for PHR’s Emergency Investigation and Response department. Learn More »

Widney Brown

Widney Brown

Director of Programs, New York

Widney Brown oversees PHR’s research, investigations, monitoring and evaluation, documentation, advocacy, and capacity-building projects. Learn More »

Haymee Cancio-Medina

Finance Manager, New York

Haymee Cancio-Medina is directly responsible for the organization’s budget, finance, and operations-related activities. She assists in developing fiscal strategies, creating projections and reports, and managing payroll, accounts payables/receivables, cash disbursements, and the general ledger. Learn More »

Hannah Chotiner-Gardner

Hannah Chotiner-Gardner

Senior Manager of Institutional Development, New York

Hannah Chotiner-Gardner is responsible for designing and implementing a comprehensive strategy to obtain institutional support for PHR projects and operations. To that end, she cultivates and maintains relationships with private foundations, corporations, government agencies, and other institutions. She is responsible for communicating information about PHR’s mission and accomplishments to current and prospective funders and identifying opportunities for them to help finance projects and initiatives that further their own missions and objectives. Learn More »

Sarah Dougherty, JD, MPH

Senior Fellow, U.S. Anti-Torture Program, New York

Sarah Dougherty coordinates PHR’s U.S. Anti-Torture Program, which seeks to end torture in the United States, advance transparency and accountability for violations, and ensure that all detainees are treated in accordance with domestic and international laws. Learn More »

DeDe Dunevant

DeDe Dunevant

Director of Communications, New York

DeDe Dunevant oversees all communications efforts at PHR, including publications, media relations, and internet communications. Her communications career spans more than fifteen years and includes experience in the fields of drug policy reform, education, international volunteerism, and global public health. Learn More »

Christy Fujio

Christy Carnegie Fujio, JD, MA

Director of MENA Training and Legal Advisor, Boston

Christy Carnegie Fujio oversees all training, mentoring, and network building activities for PHR in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region. She consults with PHR partner organizations on regional and international advocacy initiatives and works with the medical and legal communities on the documentation of war crimes. Learn More »

Erin Gallagher

Erin Gallagher, MA

Director of Emergency Investigations & Response, New York

Erin Gallagher leads PHR’s emergency investigations and response team. Prior to joining PHR, Gallagher worked as an investigator with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) since 2006, focusing on the Srebrenica genocide. She participated in three genocide trials at the ICTY: Prosecutor v. Popovic et al, Prosecutor v. General Tolimir, and Prosecutor v. General Ratko Mladic. Learn More »

Andrea Gittleman

Andrea Gittleman, JD

Interim Director of U.S. Policy, Washington, DC

Andrea Gittleman works on a broad range of human rights issues for PHR, and is responsible for helping implement advocacy strategies and advancing rights-based policies. Learn More »

Grace Gohlke

Grace Gohlke

Program Assistant, Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones, Boston

Grace Gohlke provides administrative, logistical, and programmatic support for the Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones. She handles logistics for trainings conducted by Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) on the documentation of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Kenya, and provides translation support for the program. Learn More »

Ninwa Hanna

Ninwa Hanna

MENA Program Assistant, New York

Ninwa Hanna’s role at PHR primarily focuses on our work in Syria. Previously, Hanna was the youth chairperson and a national board member of the Syrian American Alliance, where she focused on foreign policy and humanitarian aid related to the ongoing Syrian conflict. Learn More »

Vincent Iacopino, MD

Vincent Iacopino, MD, PhD

Senior Medical Advisor

During his 18 years with PHR, Dr. Vincent Iacopino has conducted medical fact-finding investigations and documented a wide range of human rights violations all over the world, including in Afghanistan, Botswana, Burma, Chad, Chechyna, Iraq, Kosovo, Mexico, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Thailand, Turkey, the United States, and Zimbabwe. Learn More »

Vesna Jaksic

Vesna Jaksic Lowe, MS

Media Relations Manager, New York

Vesna Jaksic Lowe leads PHR’s work with the media and works with journalists globally. Prior to joining PHR, Jaksic Lowe was a media strategist at the national office of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), where she focused her communications work on immigrants’ rights, racial justice, and voting rights. Learn More »

Tarek Kamal

Tarek Kamal

Project Manager, Amman, Jordan

Tarek Kamal manages logistics, security, training support, network-building activities, and communications with participants in relation to PHR’s trainings in and around Jordan. Learn More »

Molly Kenah

Molly Kenah, MA

Major Gifts Officer, New York

Molly Kenah is responsible for identifying, cultivating, and stewarding PHR’s individual donor relationships. As major gifts officer, she works with board members, staff leadership, and development colleagues to develop the organization’s major donor program. Learn More »

Lisa Manrique

Lisa Manrique

Asylum Program Assistant, Boston

Lisa Manrique coordinates case placement of forensic evaluations for survivors of torture and other human rights abuses who are seeking asylum in the United States. Manrique assigns cases to PHR’s nationwide network of volunteers, coordinates logistics of training seminars, provides general support for the asylum program, and is responsible for recruiting clinicians. Learn More »

Karen Naimer

Karen Naimer, JD, LLM, MA

Director of the Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones, Boston

Karen Naimer is responsible for spearheading PHR's Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones, a forensic training and advocacy initiative that helps to forge networks of collaboration among medical, legal, and law enforcement personnel to support prosecutions and accountability for sexual violence in East and Central Africa. Learn More »

Robyn Overman, MA, SPHR

Human Resources Manager, New York

A seasoned professional with over 20 years of experience in human resource (HR) management and organizational development, Robyn Overman is responsible for recruitment of staff and interns, staff training and development, total rewards, employee relations, legal compliance, and all aspects of supporting PHR’s most precious asset: its people. Learn More »

Deborah Prayag, MPA

Program Fellow, Strategic Partnerships, New York

Deborah Prayag provides critical support for the development of PHR’s Partnership Program, including developing and supporting strategies to manage and multiply PHR’s global partnerships with NGOs, medical institutions, and universities. Learn More »

Simran Sachdev

Simran Sachdev, MS

Internet Communications Coordinator, New York

Simran Sachdev spearheads PHR’s online advocacy and communication efforts. Sachdev is a writer and activist with a passion for human rights and gender equality. She has contributed articles to various online news sources, including The Daily Beast, Women's eNews, AlterNet, and Lipstick & Politics. Learn More »

Stefan Schmitt

Stefan Schmitt, MS

Director of the International Forensic Program

Stefan Schmitt directs PHR’s International Forensic Program. Most recently, Schmitt documented a massacre by Qaddafi forces in Tripoli for Libyan authorities and the International Criminal Court. Subsequently, the authorities asked him to assemble a team of forensic and legal experts to conduct a human identification needs assessment and gap analysis to advise on identifying the dead from Libya’s revolution. Learn More »

Beth Scully

Grant Writer, New York

Beth Scully communicates with governments and institutional funders to garner financial support for PHR’s work around the world. Learn More »

Susannah Sirkin

Susannah Sirkin, MEd

Director of International Policy and Partnerships/Senior Advisor, Boston and New York

Susannah Sirkin oversees PHR’s international policy engagement including our work with the United Nations, domestic and international justice systems, and human rights coalitions. Sirkin is also responsible for managing and multiplying PHR’s strategic partnerships globally, expanding our volunteers from the medical and scientific community, and increasing our partnerships with NGOs, medical institutions, and other relationships that can enhance PHR’s effectiveness and grow the field of human rights activists. Learn More »

Sandra Sjögren

Sandra Sjögren, MA

DRC Coordinator, Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones, DRC

Sandra Sjögren is responsible for coordinating the Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), based in Bukavu, South Kivu. In addition to leadership and programmatic support, Sjögren develops new international and in-country partnerships. Learn More »

Jillian Tuck

Jillian Tuck, JD

Asylum Program Manager, Boston

Jillian Tuck oversees and ensures effective operation of PHR’s Asylum Program, including a network of hundreds of health professionals who offer pro bono forensic psychological and physical evaluations to document evidence of torture and persecution for asylum seekers. Learn More »

Sucharita Varanasi

Sucharita S.K. Varanasi, JD

Senior Program Officer, Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones, Boston

Sucharita S.K. Varanasi provides leadership, management, and programmatic support for PHR’s Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones – a forensic training and advocacy initiative that helps forge networks of collaboration among medical, legal, and law enforcement personnel to support prosecutions and accountability for sexual violence in East and Central Africa. Learn More »

Jenna Watson

Executive Assistant and Office Manager

Jenna Watson is responsible for providing administrative support to the executive director at Physicians for Human Rights (PHR). She assists the director in various capacities, including scheduling meetings, arranging travel, and tracking expenses. Learn More »

Helen Wong, LLM

Policy Advisor, Washington, DC

Helen Wong creates and implements advocacy strategies to integrate protection of human rights into broader U.S. policy. Before joining PHR, Wong served as a Foreign Affairs Officer at the U.S. Department of State focused on advancing human rights and democracy in the Middle East. Learn More »

Eliza B. Young

Eliza B. Young, MA

Publications Coordinator, New York

Eliza B. Young manages the production of all PHR printed materials, including investigative reports, newsletters, program fact sheets, and organizational brochures. Young also contributes to the writing and editing of PHR communication products. Learn More »