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.
Carmen Rodriguez, Office Manager/Bookkeeper, Washington, DC Office
Kathryn Johnson, Administrative and Development Consultant, Washington, DC Office
Board of Directors
Pat Davis is a writer and long-time human rights activist and currently work as US Advocacy Director for Peace Brigades International. She began her involvement with GHRC as Communications Director from 1992 to 1998. She left to help write GHRC colleague Sister Dianna Ortiz’s story (The Blindfold’s Eyes, published by Orbis Books in 2002). Pat returned to GHRC as Interim Director in 2004 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.
Jesse Franzblau is a researcher and policy analyst with a background investigating and publishing government archives on US foreign policy and human rights in Latin America. Jesse has worked on human rights documentation projects for the National Security Archive, and assembled archival evidence for lawyers and judges working to advance transitional justice cases within Guatemala, the Inter-American Human Rights Court and in Spain. He has worked closely with human rights defenders in Guatemala and carried out an investigative field assignment in Guatemala’s historical national police archive (AHPN) in 2008. He worked as a consultant with the Open Society Justice Initiative to help develop a report on the right to truth in Guatemala. He has written for The Nation, Al Jazeera, NACLA, Michigan Journal of Public Affairs, Animal Político and the Columbia Human Rights Law Review, among other publications. Jesse has a B.A. in International Affairs and Spanish from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and has a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Michigan, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.
Jennifer Harbury is a human rights lawyer and activist. She has fought for justice in the case of forced disappearance and torture of her Guatemalan husband, Efrain Bamaca Velazquez, for over 20 years, and is the author of a number of books, including Searching for Everardo: A Story of Love, War, and the CIA in Guatemala (Grand Central Publishing, 1997) and Truth, Torture and the American Way: The History and Consequences of U.S. Involvement in Torture (Beacon Press, 2005).
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.
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.
Kit Gage is the former President of the National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom, Former Executive Vice President of National Lawyers Guild, and Former Director of the Defending Dissent Foundation. She currently serves as Treasurer of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee.
Sister Dianna Ortiz is the founder and former Director of the Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition (TASSC), and author of the book The Blindfold’s Eyes: My Journey from Torture to Truth (Orbis Books, 2004).
Sister Alice Zachmann, SSND, is the founder of GHRC and served as Director from 1982-2002.
We are always grateful for the dedicated work of our interns who bring their energy, creativity and talents to the work of GHRC.