As lawyers, we have long considered the obligations that corporations have as players in the world economy and have individually contemplated the incredible power that businesses have to affect local and global communities. For most of our history, businesses have been solely profit seeking enterprises, while civil society has focused on social impacts. This traditional divisiveness has left little room for shared understanding, even as corporate social policies have begun to evolve with technological innovation and widespread dissemination of information. Our team of diverse legal and policy professionals hopes to bridge the dialogue between the various stakeholders involved and ensure that human rights concerns are given the right respect in business activities.
Founders and Executive Directors
Amol Mehra is an international human rights lawyer with a particular focus on corporate accountability for human rights violations, and corporate social responsibility. Amol’s background on business and human rights issues has been developed through his work with the STAR-Vietnam Project, the United States Court of International Trade, as a Legal Advisor to Human Rights Advocates and from his extensive experience in advocacy at the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Amol has submitted reports and delivered interventions to the United Nations Human Rights Council on the issue of corporate accountability in the 10th, 11th, 14th and 15th Sessions as well as the Consultation with the Special Representative on Transnational Corporations, Prof. John Ruggie.
In April 2008, Amol hosted a Symposium entitled “The Future of Corporate Accountability and Oversight” with a keynote delivered by California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno. In September 2010, Amol hosted a panel at the 15th Session of the UN Human Rights Council featuring the South African Ambassador to the UN and the Chairperson of the Working Group on Mercenaries.
Amol graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Commerce, concentrating his study on Global Strategic Management and the Social Context of Business. He later completed his legal education with the receipt of his Juris Doctorate Degree with an Honors Certificate in International and Comparative Law from the University of San Francisco School of Law. He was admitted to the California Bar with admission pending for the New York Bar.
He now serves as a Board Member to the international NGO Human Rights Advocates and as a Coordinating Member and Thematic Specialist for Amnesty International USA.
His interventions to the United Nations can be seen here:Hide this bio
Ifeoma Ajunwa obtained her undergraduate degree in Political Science and Sociology at the University of California, Davis where she was a McNair Scholar. In 2007, She earned her law degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law where she also completed a Certificate in International and Comparative Law, served as an editor for two law journals and was a Case Counsel for the Moot Court Honors Program. She is admitted to the Bar in California (2007) and New York (2008).
The High Environmental and Human Costs of Oil Exploitation on Friday, May 7th, 2010
In Honor of Earth Day: Ideas for Preserving our Planet on Friday, April 23rd, 2010
“Food Deserts”: Fertile Ground for Socially-minded Entrepreneurs on Wednesday, April 14th, 2010
Tariff-Free Export Zones in Haiti: Enabling Enterprise and Financial Independence on Wednesday, March 17th, 2010
Will a Marshall Plan Save Haiti? Lessons in Rebuilding an Economy on Monday, March 15th, 2010
Sun Kim is an attorney currently pursuing an Advanced LL.M. degree in public international law with a focus on international criminal law at Leiden University in the Netherlands. She graduated from USF Law School in 2008 where she participated in the Frank C. Newman International Human Rights law clinic. During law school, she was a judicial extern in the federal district court for the Northern District of California. She has also worked in private law, mainly in intellectual property for a video game publishing company in San Francisco. She was admitted to the California Bar in 2008.
Sun's work is focuses on the intersection of human rights law and international criminal law. Sun has worked in Phnom Penh, Cambodia for the judges of the Pre-Trial Chambers at the United Nations assisted Khmer Rouge tribunal. After Cambodia, she worked in Berlin for the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, on strategic litigation related to accountability post-9/11 and the US "war on terror." She has a Masters degree from Harvard and a Bachelor of Arts degree from UC Berkeley.
Human Trafficking: A Best Practices Study on How Corporations Can Help on Wednesday, April 21st, 2010
Alexander H. Tuzin, B.A., J.D.
Alexander H. Tuzin, Attorney at Law, graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a B.A. Double Major in Economics and Cognitive Science, specializing in Computational Modeling, and earned his J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law. During law school, Mr. Tuzin completed a Business Law Certificate, served as the Associate Publishing Editor and as an Articles Editor for the Journal of Law and Social Challenges, and earned a CALI Award for Public International Law. He was admitted to the California State Bar in 2009 and the New York State Bar in 2010.
Mr. Tuzin’s work has focused on the intersection of economic development, trade, and human rights. He has worked in Southeast Asia on issues of labor law at the Cambodian Legal Education Center and on issues of trade law and legal development at STAR-Vietnam. While in Cambodia, he also analyzed obstacles to prosecuting Khmer Rouge leaders in the Cambodian Tribunal under the legal definition of genocide, and presented his analysis to the Documentation Center of Cambodia. Last year, Mr. Tuzin lobbied for better-defined international standards for the protection of free and fair elections at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva. He prepared a report for the UNHRC, presented it to the entire assembly, and proposed a draft resolution. Recently, he published a paper in the Loyola University Chicago International Law Review on Vietnam’s eligibility for U.S. GSP trade benefits.
Vietnam, Trade Benefits and the Lacking Labor Protections Standing in their Way on Wednesday, April 28th, 2010
Shilpa Thakur is currently pursuing her Juris Doctor degree with a certificate in Business Law at the University of San Francisco School of Law. Shilpa graduated from the University of San Francisco in 2007 with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. She is interested in global human rights compliance and has tailored her law school coursework and internships to meet that end.
Water: Commodity or Public Trust? Impact of UN Recognition of the Right to Water and Sanitation on Tuesday, August 24th, 2010
Right Respect Best Practices: Timberland on Thursday, July 29th, 2010
Shannon Mackenzie Orr is an associate with the law firm of St. Ledger-Roty Neuman & Olson in Washington D.C., where her work focuses on privacy and data security law and its connection to e-commerce, the Internet, the media and emerging technologies. Shannon’s transactional and compliance work assists both domestic and international clients in navigating the constantly evolving legal landscape surrounding the issues presented by the expanding digital world and its effect on the privacy rights of individuals, corporations, organizations and government agencies.
Shannon graduated magna cum laude from The University of Colorado with majors in Art History and Japanese and is a 2009 graduate of the University of San Francisco School of Law. During law school, Shannon held a wide variety of legal positions, focusing on transactional legal work including: working as a summer associate with Reed Smith LLP in the firm’s Falls Church, Virginia office and as a law clerk for the General Counsel of Crystal Geyser Water/CG Roxane, LLC in San Francisco, California. In addition, as a real estate development associate at the Virginia-based real estate development corporation Orr Partners, Shannon worked on a number of complex commercial transactions, including developing tax structure initiatives for a large government agency proposal, which simultaneously used Native American community energy developments to revitalize the local Native American economies while providing the agency with the sustainable energy sufficient to meet its federally mandated environmental requirements.
Shannon has also been actively involved with several public service organizations. Prior to law school, Shannon traveled to Accra, Ghana to conduct legal and field research on maternal mortality issues for the African Women Lawyers Association. During law school, Shannon worked with the San Francisco Bay Area’s largest legal aid organization, Bay Area Legal Aid, and acted as an advocate for legal aid clients on issues relating to child support and family matters, drivers license concerns, refugee cash assistance programs and government welfare programs.
Shannon successfully passed the July 2009 California Bar Exam and is awaiting Bar Admission in both California and the District of Columbia
Right Respect Report: The State Secrets Privilege and the Supreme Court on Tuesday, November 9th, 2010
Alexandra Wong obtained her Bachelor's degree from the U.C. Davis in 2005. She worked for the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, D.C. for a few years and recently graduated from the University of San Francisco School of Law. Her professionals interests lie in the area of International human rights and global justice. Alexandra's legal experience has included creating a data bank on international standards for juvenile justice, assisting in the preparation of an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court that overturned life without parole for minors, and engaging in advocacy for youth at the United Nations Human Right Council. She also participated in and student coached for the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.
Right Respect: Business and Human Rights Legislation Survey on Monday, November 15th, 2010
Nicole is a lawyer and policy thought leader in the field of social innovation and corporate social responsibility. Policy work has been an integral part of Nicole’s training as a lawyer. She has advocated and drafted resolutions for United Nations treaty bodies including the Human Rights Council and the Committee on the Convention of the Elimination of Race Discrimination (CERD), as well as for the General Assembly.
She also co-authored an amicus brief to the California Supreme Court on the role of treaty law in a challenged San Francisco Minority/Women/Local Business Utilization Ordinance and has published one law review to date, “The US-Korea Free Trade Agreement: The Evolution of Fair Trade in the Free Trade System.”
Nicole has worked with the Gap to strategize ways to improve the labor provisions in textile trade bills, and more recently has counseled for profit and non profit clients on incorporating human rights into their operations, creating strategic social change and creative revenue generation. She proudly brings the passion of a social entrepreneur and the technical skills of a lawyer to all of her endeavors.
Nicole graduated with honors from the University of California at Berkeley, with a Bachelor in Political Sciences and a major in International Relations and Development. She received her Juris Doctorate, graduating cum laude, from the University of San Francisco School of Law. Nicole was admitted to the California Bar in 2008 and in New York in 2010.Hide this bio