N° 30/10



Washington, D.C., March 15, 2010—The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) today elected its new board. The board of officers is composed of Felipe González (Chile), Chair; Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro (Brazil), First Vice-Chair; and Dinah Shelton (United States), Second Vice-Chair. The election was held, in accordance with the IACHR rules of procedure, at the beginning of the Commission’s 138th regular period of sessions. The other members of the IACHR are Commissioners Luz Patricia Mejía (Venezuela), María Silvia Guillén (El Salvador), Jesús Orozco Henríquez (México), and Rodrigo Escobar (Colombia). The Executive Secretary is Santiago A. Canton (Argentina).


Felipe González is a citizen of Chile and began his term on the Commission in January 2008. Commissioner González is Professor of International Human Rights Law and Constitutional Law at Chile’s Diego Portales University. He founded and directed that university’s Human Rights Center, where from 2002 through 2006 he led the effort to prepare and publish the Annual Report on Human Rights in Chile. He also founded and coordinated a Latin American Network of Legal Human Rights Clinics. He has a Master of Law degree from American University and a Master of Advanced Studies in Human Rights from the Carlos III University in Madrid. He is Professor at the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at American University and Visiting Professor at the Carlos III University in Madrid. Previously, he was a Visiting Professor at the University of Wisconsin, Lund University, the University of Deusto and the University of Alcalá de Henares. He also worked from 1991 to 2003 for the International Human Rights Law Group (now Global Rights), first in Washington, D.C., and then in Santiago, Chile.


Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro is a citizen of Brazil and began his term on the Commission in January 2004. Commissioner Pinheiro is Adjunct Professor of International Relations at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies. He was United Nations Special Rapporteur for Myanmar and for Burundi, and was appointed by the UN Secretary-General as an independent expert to prepare the Study on Violence against Children, presented in 2006. He also served as Vice-Chair of the Humanitarian International Verification Commission in Bern, Switzerland, and participated in human rights observation missions in Argentina, Chile, Haiti, Peru, Paraguay, Togo, and East Timor, among other countries. He has taught at a number of universities, including the University of São Paulo in Brazil; Oxford in Great Britain; Notre Dame and Columbia in the United States; and École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. He has published hundreds of essays, articles, and books on human rights.


Dinah Shelton is a citizen of the United States. 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.


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 Commission is composed of seven independent members who act in a personal capacity, without representing a particular country, and who are elected by the OAS General Assembly.


Useful links

IACHR Composition (Includes high resolution pictures of the Commissioners for publication)

IACHR Web site





Read this press release in Spanish / Lea este comunicado de prensa en español


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