Advisory Council

Michael J. Abramowitz

Michael J. Abramowitz is president of Freedom House, which seeks to promote democratic change through research, advocacy and action. Before joining Freedom House in February 2017, he was director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Levine Institute for Holocaust Education, which oversees the Museum’s education and exhibition programs. He previously led the museum’s genocide prevention efforts. Abramowitz also had a long career in journalism, serving in a variety of roles at the Washington Post, including National Editor and White House correspondent. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, former Marshall Memorial fellow at the German Marshall Fund and former media fellow at the Hoover Institution. A graduate of Harvard College, he is also a board member of the National Security Archive.

T. Alexander Aleinikoff

Professor Alex Aleinikoff has served as Director of the Zolberg Institute at The New School since January 2017. He received a J.D. from the Yale Law School and a B.A. from Swarthmore College.

Alex has written widely in the areas of immigration and refugee law and policy, transnational law, citizenship, race, and constitutional law. He is currently at work on a book tentatively titled, The Arc of Protection: Reforming the International Refugee Regime. His book Semblances of Sovereignty: The Constitution, the State, and American Citizenship was published by Harvard University Press in 2002. Alex is a co-author of leading legal casebooks on immigration law and forced migration.

Before coming to The New School, Alex served as United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees (2010-15) and was a professor at Georgetown University Law Center, where he also served as dean and Executive Vice President of Georgetown University. He was co-chair of the Immigration Task Force for President Barack Obama’s transition team in 2008. From 1994 to 1997, he served as the general counsel, and then executive associate commissioner for programs, at the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).

Alex was inducted into the American Academy of Arts of Sciences in 2014.

Elizabeth Andersen

Elizabeth Andersen is the Director of the ABA Rule of Law Initiative. She joined the ABA ROLI in September 2014. She has more than 20 years of experience in international law, international human rights and rule of law development.

She previously served for eight years as Executive Director and executive vice president of the American Society of International Law; for three years as director of ABA ROLI’s Europe and Eurasia Division (previously known as ABA CEELI); and for eight years at Human Rights Watch, as a researcher, as director of advocacy and, ultimately, as executive director of its Europe and Central Asia Division. Andersen began her legal career in clerkships with Judge Kimba M. Wood of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and with Judge Georges Abi-Saab of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. She is an expert in international human rights law, international humanitarian law and international criminal law,and has taught these subjects as an adjunct professor at the American University Washington College of Law.

Neil Boothby

Neil Boothby is a Professor of Population and Family Health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. He is the former director of the Program on Forced Migration and Health.

His research focuses on the long-term consequences of deprivation and danger on child development, and the comparative efficacy of interventions that aim to strengthen the capacities of families and communities to protect young children from harm. In 2012-2014 Boothby took a leave of absence from Columbia University to serve as the US Government Special Adviser and Senior Coordinator to the USAID Administrator for Children in Adversity. During this time, he led the development of the USG Action Plan for Children in Adversity, which was launched at the White House to guide the government’s foreign assistance for vulnerable children in low- and middle-income countries. Boothby has held senior positions with UNHCR and Save the Children, working in low-income, disaster and conflict affected countries, and is also the founding director of the CPC Learning Network, which, through Columbia University, supports a range of research programs and training projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and the Columbia Group for Children in Adversity, a non-profit that provides technical support to local groups in Africa and Asia.

He has published extensively on risk and resilience among war and disaster affected children, and is also the recipient of a number of awards for his field work, including the International Red Cross Humanitarian of the Year Award for his work on child soldiers; the Mickey Leland Award for his work with refugee children; the United Nation’s Golden Achievement Award for Excellence in the Social Sector; and the United States Agency for International Development Award for Outstanding Group Achievement for his intergovernmental leadership on the USG Action Plan for Children in Adversity.

Judge Judith C. Chirlin

Judge Judith C. Chirlin (Ret’d), was appointed to the Los Angeles Superior Court in 1985; she retired in 2009. As of November 2011, she became Executive Director of the Western Justice Center (“WJC”) in Pasadena, California. WJC is a non-profit organization dedicated to building a more civil, peaceful society where differences are valued. It designs and implements creative programs that change the way people think about and respond to differences and conflict.

Over the years, Judge Chirlin has been involved in numerous efforts to improve the legal system and the administration of justice in California, throughout the nation and around the world. She is a past Chair of the Board of the American Judicature Society, a national organization dedicated to improving the justice system. She has held numerous positions in the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, California Women Lawyers, National Association of Women Judges and the International Association of Women Judges. She also served as Vice Chair of the California Gender Bias Task Force, as a member of a Blue Ribbon Panel Investigating the Problems of Women in Prison, and as a member of a commission evaluating the administration of justice in California, all by virtue of appointment by Chief Justices of California. She is a member of the Board of the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative (“ROLI”) and is Chair of the Asia Council of ROLI. She is also a member of the International Advisory Board of the CEELI Institute in Prague, the Czech Republic. Judge Chirlin has traveled extensively, consulting on court reform and teaching programs for foreign judges, lawyers, police officers and other legal professionals in more than 20 countries. Since 2003 to the present, she has worked with various groups from Iraq, including both male and female judges and women who lead civil society organizations that address the problems of women in Iraq, in cooperation with ROLI or the U.S. State Department’s Office of Global Women’s Issues.

She is a graduate of The George Washington University (BA in Political Science), Rutgers University (MA in Politics from the Eagleton Institute of Politics) and the University of Southern California Law School (J.D.).

Katharine M. Donato

Katharine Donato, holds the Donald G. Herzberg Chair in International Migration and is Director of the Institute for the Study of International Migration in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Prior to joining the Georgetown faculty, she was on the faculty of Vanderbilt and Rice Universities. She has examined many research questions related to migration, including the economic consequences of U.S. immigration policy; health effects of Mexico-U.S. migration; immigrant parent involvement in schools in New York, Chicago, and Nashville; deportation and its effects for immigrants; the great recession and its consequences for Mexican workers; and gender and migration. Her recent book is Gender and International Migration: From Slavery to Present, published by the Russell Sage Foundation (with Donna Gabaccia at the University of Toronto). In July 2016, together with Douglas Massey (Princeton), she published Undocumented Migration in a Global Economy: Twenty-First-Century Globalization and Illegal Migration, a special issue of The Annals of The Political and Social Science. In the last few years, she has been a co-Principal Investigator on two externally funded projects (with colleagues from Vanderbilt University). The first examines how environmental stressors affect out-migration from communities in southwestern Bangladesh, and the second analyzes data from the Vanderbilt Inpatient Cohort Study to understand how social support affects the health of patients admitted to the hospital with coronary heart disease at the time of hospitalization and after discharge.

Mark Hetfield

Mark Hetfield was appointed President and CEO of HIAS after a 25-year career, much of it served at HIAS, most recently as the agency’s senior vice president of policy and programs. An expert in refugee and immigration law, policy, and programs, Mark has led HIAS’ transformation from an organization focused on Jewish immigrants to a global agency assisting refugees of all faiths and ethnicities. As a result, HIAS currently is a major implementing partner of the United Nations Refugee Agency and the U.S. Department of State.

Under Mark’s leadership, HIAS has gained international prominence and recognition as the pre-eminent voice of the American Jewish community on refugee and immigration issues. Passionate about the organization’s mission to help all who flee ethnic cleansing, violence, and other forms of persecution, Mark has said, “HIAS doesn’t help people because they are Jewish but because we are Jewish.”

Between his roles at HIAS, Mark served as senior advisor on refugee issues at the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, where he directed a congressionally-authorized study on the treatment of asylum seekers. Released in 2005 and still widely used, it is the most comprehensive study on expedited removal to date. Mark and his team were recognized for their work with the Arthur C. Helton Award for the Advancement of Human Rights, presented by the American Immigration Lawyers Association. The award itself was named for a leader in the field of refugee protection.

He graduated cum laude with a juris doctor degree from Georgetown University, from which he also holds a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service.

Rev. John L. McCullough

The Rev. John L. McCullough is President and CEO of Church World Service, the global humanitarian agency with programs in development and humanitarian affairs, refugee assistance, and advocacy for social justice. Under his leadership, CWS is known as an innovative and adaptive leader in its programmatic fields, engaged in transformative relationships.

McCullough has been at the forefront of agency efforts to press for Enough for All – the needs of the hungry and the displaced, human rights and the empowerment of civil society. McCullough conceived of and implemented the long-term process of CWS 2020, to embolden the agency in times of sweeping change across international relations, ecumenical and interfaith landscapes, and in the church as it is transformed in the Global North and South.

McCullough has remained outspoken in support of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, DREAMers, and the rights of the displaced. As architect of the CWS Africa Initiative, he presented to members of the United Nations HABITAT community his vision to guide the establishment of School Safe Zones – secure, stimulating and nurturingenvironments for youth. The government of Kenya collaborated with CWS on the publication and distribution of a School Safe Zones Manual to extend the reach of the program to schools throughout the country.

A graduate of the Boston University School of Theology, McCullough was honored with its Distinguished Alumni award. An ordained minister in The United Methodist Church, he has served pastorates in the United States and Kenya and has held leadership positions at the denomination’s global mission agency before joining CWS in 2000.

The recipient of numerous awards and honors, McCullough is grateful for his recognition by the “Distinguished Alumnus Award” from Boston University, School of Theology 2003; the “Esther Smith International Mission Award” from the Progressive National Baptist Convention 2004; the “Peace and Justice Award” from Eastern Mennonite University 2005; named as “Outstanding Ecumenist” by the Council of Bishops, The United Methodist Church 2012; the “National Humanitarian Award” presented by Blue Wave NJ 2016; and the “Community Service Award” from The Interchurch Center 2017.

Marvin Pinkert

Marvin Pinkert has served as Executive Director of the Jewish Museum of Maryland since 2012. JMM seeks to connect the Maryland Jewish community to its roots and everyone else in Baltimore (local and visitor alike) to the Jewish experience. His original exhibits, including The A-Mazing Mendes Cohen and Beyond Chicken Soup: Jews and Medicine in America have won national recognition.

Before joining JMM, Pinkert spent 11 years as executive director of the National Archives Experience in Washington, DC and the previous 11 years as Vice President (Exhibits and Programs) at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. Across his 28 years in museums, Pinkert has led project teams that have created 21 permanent exhibits and more than 60 temporary installations.

He has a BA from Brandeis University, an MA in East Asian Studies from Yale University, and a Masters of Managementfrom Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.

British A. Robinson

Ms. British A. Robinson is the Chief Executive Officer of the Women’s Heart Alliance. She is a visionary leader with over 20 years of experience, leading initiatives in international and domestic health, corporate social responsibility, public-private partnerships, government relations, and advocacy and policy development. Much of her personal and professional experience has focused on improving the health, well-being and livelihood of women across the United States and around the world. She brings experience from the U.S. Jesuit Conference, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Susan G. Komen and Women for Women International to her role at the Women’s Heart Alliance. She also serves on the Mercy Health Clinic Board, a free, community-based primary health care provider serving uninsured, low-income adults in Montgomery County, Maryland. Ms. Robinson has an incredible passion for women’s issues and is a tireless advocate for the underserved. As CEO, she oversees all aspects of the Women’s Heart Alliance initiative.

Wendy Young

Wendy Young brings extensive immigration policy experience to her role at KIND. Most recently, she served as Chief Counsel on Immigration Policy in the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Refugees for Senator Edward M. Kennedy. She held prior immigration policy positions with organizations such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Women’s Refugee Commission, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the National Council of La Raza. She has also written numerous articles, reports and cutting-edge op-eds on the plight of unaccompanied children.

Wendy has received a number of awards and honors for her work on immigration rights including: 2017 Williams College Bicentennial Medal Award; 2016 Keepers of the American Dream Honoree by the National Immigration Forum; Women Inspiring Change 2015 Honoree at Harvard Law School’s 2nd Annual International Women’s Day Celebration; Foreign Policy’s Leading Global Thinker of 2014; Nominated as one of two NGO representatives to participate in Seminar XXI Program on U.S. Foreign Policy by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and National Defense University (2002); Honored by Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center for work on behalf of women and children detainees (2002); Child Advocacy National Certification of Recognition, American Bar Association, in recognition of contributions advancing the welfare of children (2001); Human Rights Award, American Immigration Lawyers Association, in recognition of the work of the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children on behalf of women and child asylum seekers (1999).

Wendy earned a joint law degree and master’s degree in international relations from American University in Washington, DC, and a bachelor’s degree from Williams College in Massachusetts.