- Director, Guatemala City Office
Isabel Solis is a Mayan activist who has been working for over 20 years as a grassroots community organizer. Isabel specializes in communal land rights, indigenous rights, the impacts of international extractive industries, and defense of human rights. She studied legal and social science at the University of San Carlos in Guatemala and joined GHRC in July 2017 as the Director of our Guatemala City office.
- Advocacy Director, Washington Office
Corie Welch is a human rights activist whose work focuses on Central America. She recently served as the Director of the Honduras Program with the Witness for Peace Solidarity Collective, providing protective human rights accompaniment to defenders and documenting the role of US policy on human rights in the region. Rooted in principles of participatory and popular education, she lived with and learned from communities in Guatemala and El Salvador directly impacted by US policy with the Center for Global Education and Experience, as well as Foundation Cristosal. Her studies at Clark University, where she received her undergraduate and Masters degrees, focused on land rights in the context of international and community development.
- Director of Outreach & Development, Washington Office
Jon Pattee began his career as an organizer for the national peace and justice network Neighbor to Neighbor, and went on to organize for the Nicaragua Solidarity Committee. A Spanish speaker, he later was trained as a community organizer by the Gamaliel Foundation and worked with Latino communities in Chicago. After living and working as a journalist in Vietnam and Jordan, he settled in Washington, D.C., where he managed communications and PR for Boat People SOS, the national organization of Vietnamese refugees. He subsequently served as senior editor of the Migration Policy Institute and managed the communications and web platforms of the Center for Financial Inclusion. Most recently, he led the five-person communications department of Coptic Orphans, a 111-employee international development organization with offices on three continents. There, he directed digital fundraising, direct mail, and social media marketing. Over the course of his career, Jon has raised tens of millions of dollars for nonprofits. He has written articles and earned media in more than 50 outlets including CNN, the Washington Post, and Newsweek, as well as in the Vietnamese- and Spanish-language press.
Board of Directors
Pat Davis is a writer and long-time human rights activist and currently works as US Advocacy Director for Peace Brigades International. She began her involvement with GHRC as Communications Director from 1992 to 1998. With GHRC colleague Sister Dianna Ortiz, she wrote Ortiz’ story (The Blindfold’s Eyes: My Journey from Torture to Truth, published by Orbis Books in 2002). Pat returned to GHRC as Interim Director in 2003 and has served on the board at various points throughout the organization’s history. She has written on Guatemala for The Nation, Counter Punch, Common Dreams, and Foreign Policy in Focus. Her work has also been published by the North American Congress on Latin America, the Copenhagen Initiative for Central America and Mexico, and the Center for International Policy.
Carlos Salinas is founding director of Healing Bridges, a nonprofit organization that focuses on ensuring the rights of the Kofan indigenous people in Colombia. He is a former human rights lobbyist and Washington director of Amnesty International USA who has spoken and written widely on Latin America. His opinion pieces have appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, the Miami Herald, and the Washington Post. He holds degrees in Latin American Studies and Economics from Georgetown University and the University of Pennsylvania. Long a supporter of GHRC’s work, he has served previous terms on the board of directors.
Rob Mercatante has been working closely with human rights defenders in Guatemala since the late 1980s. He led GHRC’s work on behalf of defenders from our Guatemala City office for several years before founding his own organization, the Human Rights Defenders Project.
Carmen Valenzuela-Dall is Co-Founder and Partner of Maternal and Child Health and is an international consultant at Human Facets Internal, SCL (Costa Rica). A public health physician and pediatrician trained in Guatemala and the United States, she specializes in maternal and child health; health and communications training; and health monitoring and evaluation. Other specialties include the planning, development, implementation, management, and evaluation of health programs/projects. Her involvement with the Guatemala Human Rights Commission began in 1992, and she has regularly supported GHRC’s efforts. She earned degrees in Public Health from Columbia University and Johns Hopkins.
We are always grateful for the dedicated work of our interns who bring their energy, creativity and talents to the work of GHRC.