Letter from the Director

Courtney Hillebrecht

Courtney Hillebrecht
July 19, 2017

Welcome to the Forsythe Family Program on Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs (HRHA) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Although the warm temps and sunny skies are clear signs of summer, the start of the 2017-2018 academic year is right around the corner, and I am looking forward to an exciting year for human rights teaching and research at Nebraska.

I am honored to serve as the new director of the Forsythe Family Program on Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs. Being new to the post, I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself to you and to introduce the program to our new and prospective students, faculty and friends.

Before doing so, however, I'd like to thank Ari Kohen, Schlesinger Associate Professor of Political Science and the outgoing director, for his many years of service to the program. Under Ari's leadership and with the campus community's commitments and contributions to HRHA, human rights scholarship and teaching at Nebraska is on a very exciting trajectory.

By way of introduction, I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science. I joined the UNL faculty in 2010 after completing my Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and holding pre-doctoral fellowships at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and the School of Human Rights Research at Utrecht University. My research and teaching interests are at the intersection of international human rights institutions and domestic politics and the nexus between human rights and public opinion.

I am excited to serve as the director of the Forsythe Family Program on Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs and to build on the excellent undergraduate human rights education we provide, to foster interdisciplinary and cutting edge human rights research, and to connect with other human rights programs around the country and around the world.

If you are new to this university or to the human rights community, please come take a look at all that HRHA has to offer.

  • For undergraduate students, we offer an undergraduate minor, as well as experiential learning opportunities, whether that's volunteering at a civic organization in Lincoln, working side-by-side with a professor on a human rights-related research project, or pursuing your passion for human rights while studying abroad.
  • For graduate students, we provide a graduate specialization in human rights and the chance to work with leading human rights scholars in a range of disciplines, from law to journalism, history to English.

Our students go on to exciting careers in international relations, business, government service, education and more. Regardless of their career path, HRHA alumni carry with them the curiosity for learning and passion for human rights that we foster at the University of Nebraska and in this program.

As you will see, our website is under construction, but we will be working on it throughout the summer and fall semester, so please check back often. In the meantime, I wish you all the best for the rest of the summer and for the coming academic year.

Best wishes,

Courtney Hillebrecht
Director, Forsythe Family Program on Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs
Associate Professor, Department of Political Science