Press Release

IACHR Elects New Board

March 21, 2011

Washington, D.C. — The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) today elected its new board. The board of officers is composed of Dinah Shelton (United States), Chair; José de Jesús Orozco Henríquez (Mexico), First Vice-Chair; and Rodrigo Escobar (Colombia), Second Vice-Chair. The election was held, in accordance with the IACHR rules of procedure, at the beginning of the Commission’s 141st regular period of sessions. The other members of the IACHR are Commissioners Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro (Brazil), Felipe González (Chile), Luz Patricia Mejía (Venezuela), and María Silvia Guillén (El Salvador). The Executive Secretary is Santiago A. Canton (Argentina).

Dinah Shelton is a citizen of the United States and began her term at the IACHR on January 1, 2010. She is the Manatt/Ahn Professor of International Law at the George Washington University Law School. Previously, she was Professor of Law at the University of Notre Dame Law School. She also has been a Visiting Professor at various law schools in the United States and France. Commissioner Shelton also directed the Office of Staff Attorneys at the United States Court of Appeals of the Ninth Circuit and was Director of Studies at the International Institute of Human Rights. She studied law at the University of California, Berkeley, and at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. She has been an international law consultant for the World Health Organization, the United Nations Environment Programme, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and the UN Institute for Training and Research, among others. She has written, co-written, or edited 19 books and authored dozens of book chapters and articles on human rights and international law.

Commissioner José de Jesús Orozco Henríquez is a citizen of Mexico and began his term at the IACHR on January 1, 2010. He is a researcher in constitutional law, human rights, the judiciary, and comparative law, among other areas, at the Legal Research Institute of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Previously, he served for 16 years as a Magistrate on Mexico's highest electoral courts, first in the Central Chamber of the Federal Electoral Court and then in the Higher Chamber of the Electoral Court of the Judiciary. He earned a Doctor of Law degree with honors from UNAM, and a Master of Comparative Law from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author or co-author of 8 books and the coordinator or editor of another 15, and he has written more than 100 articles for academic publications.

Commissioner Rodrigo Escobar Gil is a citizen of Colombia and began his term at the IACHR on January 1, 2010. He was a Justice of the Constitutional Court of Colombia in the 2001-2009 period and was its President from February 2007 to February 2008. He was General Director of the Rotating Fund of the Ministry of Justice, as well as a consultant attorney and legal representative for various private companies and public entities for 16 years. He has also been Professor of Public Law at the Pontifical Javeriana University and Sergio Arboleda University, among other universities in Colombia. He serves on the Sergio Arboleda University School of Law's Human Rights Committee and the organizing committee for the university's Institute of Human Rights. He studied law at Javeriana University in Bogotá and earned his doctorate at Complutense University in Madrid. He has written three books and dozens of academic articles, and has given seminars and conferences on human rights and other topics.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this matter. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in a personal capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 23/11