Human Rights Policy and Nonprofit Organizational Development



I’m a social justice worker serving as Director of Social Services for a community health agency primarily serving the Latino community.  I previously worked for an abortion rights policy advocacy organization in Mexico City.  My primary research interest is health as a human right with a focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights.





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Certificate in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law with coursework in International Humanitarian Law, Women and International Law, and Human Rights and Development

Certificate awarded by the American University’s Washington College of Law

About the coursework: International Humanitarian Law is a study of international principles and rules regulating the conduct of international and otherarmed conflicts; the complimentary nature of human rights and humanitarian law in the historical development of restraints in armed conflict; the distinction between rules governing recourse to armed coercion and those governing the conduct of armed hostilities; the protections afforded by the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the 1977 Protocols to combatants and noncombatants, including civilians, POWs, the wounded and the sick; the role of the International Committee of the Red Cross; and key decisions of international bodies finding criminal responsibility for humanitarian law violations.

Women and International Law addresses the challenges of achieving the international legal protection of the human rights of women. It reviews how international and regional human rights conventions, especially the American Convention on Human Rights, have been applied to prevent, punish and remedy the violations of women’s rights in different tribunals. It examines how the norm of the prohibition of all forms of discrimination against women has been applied, and how it might be more effectively applied in particular sectors. It explores how feminist theories, empirical data and narratives might be used to expose women’s experiences of injustice. The course aims to go beyond a formalistic understanding of international legal obligations in order to examine different approaches to fostering compliance with the human rights of women in different cultures and religious traditions.

The Human Rights and Development course provides an overview of present debates on the inter- linkages and will attempt to provide both theoretical and practical guidance in getting development ‘right’. The course assists in internalizing the intrinsic values of human rights in development programming, and seeks to demonstrate the usefulness of the human rights framework in mitigating power excess and elite capture. A substantive part of the coursework is devoted  to the application of the human rights-based approach to programming in respect of ‘regular’ development programs such as micro-finance programs, decentralization processes, and/or poverty reduction strategies.

Master’s Degree in Public Administration with a Dual Concentration in International Affairs and Nonprofit Management

Awarded by the University of Washington’s Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs

About the degree: The Evans School’s Master of Public Administration program emphasizes broad-based fundamentals in policy analysis and management with a strong basis in statistics and micro- and macro-economics.  By hosting research centers and international fellowships, the Evans School has secured its role as a leader in international policy research and thinking.

About the concentrations: The International Affairs focus area allows students to engage with the Evans School’s research centers, take classes from other graduate departments, and engage in an international practicum experience.  The Nonprofit administration concentration focuses on building the tools necessary to effectively manage a nonprofit administration, building skills in areas such as managing organizational change and teaching tools including environment and policy mapping and budgeting.

Graduate Certificate in International Development and Humanitarian Relief, with Dual Concentration in Development and Relief

Certificate awarded by the University of Washington Graduate School

About the certificate: The Development Certificate Program equips graduate and professional students from a wide range of disciplines with the conceptual framework and practical tools to become effective practitioners in international development and humanitarian relief work.  The curriculum includes a strong interdisciplinary core with flexible elective options in departments including the Jackson School, the Information School, and the School of Engineering. The program prepares students to understand theories of development; combine professional skills with policy expertise; assess the impact of development programs and strategies; and analyze, plan and participate in economic, social and political change. Certificate program students are required to complete an International Development Practicum in an international development agency, NGO or project.

Master’s Degree in Social Work with a Concentration in Administration

Awarded by the University of Washington School of Social Work


About the degree program: The University of Washington’s top-ranked MSW degree prepares graduates for positions in a variety of areas and settings, including health and mental health, chemical dependencies, anti-poverty programs, child and family services, schools, multi-ethnic practice, social work administration, and policy practice. Social work practice objectives encompass the prevention and resolution of societal, organizational, situational, and interpersonal problems, as well as the development and dissemination of knowledge regarding such problems.

About the concentration: The Administration concentration at UW’s School of Social Work encompasses the process of transforming social policy into social services through a cooperative and coordinated endeavor, involving all members of an organization, each of whom contributes variously to the processes or goals formulation, planning, implementation, change and evaluation. More specifically, social work administration is a practice intervention used by social workers to achieve service effectiveness and organizational change.


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