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Student Advocacy Seminar


Courage to Think

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Robert Quinn
Executive Director

Rob QuinnRobert Quinn is the founding Executive Director of the Scholars at Risk Network, based at New York University.  Mr. Quinn currently serves on the  Council of the Magna Charta Observatory, based in Bologna, Italy; the Scientific Committee of Pax Academica, an online journal on academic freedom in Africa published by CODESRIA from Dakar, Senegal; and as a fellow with the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows Program in Washington, DC. He previously served as Executive Director of the Institute of International Education’s Scholar Rescue Fund; on the Steering Committee of the Network for Education and Academic Rights (NEAR), based in London, UK; a member of the Committee on Scientific Freedom and Responsibility of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; a member of the Human Rights Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York; and Joseph Crowley Fellow in International Human Rights and adjunct professor of law at Fordham Law School.  He received an A.B. cum laude from Princeton in 1988, a J.D. cum laude from Fordham in 1994, and an honorary doctorate from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2010. In 2012, Mr. Quinn and Scholars at Risk received the University of Oslo's human rights award, the Lisl and Leo Eitinger Prize, for "relentless work to protect the human rights of academics and for having inspired and engaged others to stress the importance of academic freedom."

Lauren Crain
Senior Program Officer

Lauren Crain is Senior Program Officer at Scholars at Risk, where she coordinates SAR's protection efforts on behalf of threatened scholars and works on SAR’s academic freedom monitoring project. Prior to joining SAR, she was the Program Coordinator for the Aspen Institute’s Justice and Society Program, and a Consultant for the National Council for Research on Women (NCRW). She serves as Co-Chair of NCRW’s Emerging Leaders Network, a skills-building and networking group for entry and mid-level nonprofit professionals. She holds an MA in Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures from Columbia University and a BA in Politics from New York University.


Jesse Levine
Advocacy Officer

Jesse Levine is a consultant serving as Advocacy Officer at Scholars at Risk. Mr. Levine manages the work of SAR's new Academic Freedom Advocacy Team initiative, including the development of research and advocacy projects focusing on discrete academic freedom concerns. He is an experienced US litigator and has a wide range of human rights experience including, most recently, as associate counsel at Human Rights Watch. He holds a JD from Fordham University Law School and a BA from University of Michigan.           

Bryan Chonto
Program Assistant

Bryan Chonto is the Program Assistant at Scholars at Risk. Prior to joining SAR, Bryan worked as a consultant for the development division of Human Rights Watch, where he contributed to grant writing and prospect research. He received a BA from Columbia University, where he focused on sociology and human rights, and was active in the human rights community on campus. Before moving to New York, Bryan also served in the United States Army as a member of the infantry.



Sinead O'Gorman
European Director

Sinead O'Gorman is European Director at Scholars at Risk. Based in the UK, Ms. O’Gorman leads SAR’s international outreach efforts, including the design and implementation of SAR’s strategy for Europe, establishing national and regional SAR sections and increasing global participation in SAR’s protection and prevention activities. Ms. O’Gorman previously served as Deputy Executive Director at Scholars at Risks' New York office, and has over 12 years’ experience in higher education, development cooperation and human rights. Prior to joining SAR, Ms. O'Gorman served as Program Officer-Africa at the Institute of International Education (IIE) and held program and research positions at the Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (CARA) in London and at the Irish Council for International Students (ICOS) in Dublin. She holds an MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics, an MA in French from the Université de Montréal, a BA in English and French from Trinity College Dublin and was a pensionnaire étranger at the Ecole normale supérieure (ENS), rue d'Ulm.

Clare Robinson
Director, Protection Services

Clare RobinsonClare Robinson is Director of Protection Services at Scholars at Risk, where she leads SAR's efforts to offer direct assistance and protection to at-risk scholars worldwide. Ms. Robinson manages advocacy efforts on behalf of imprisoned scholars through the Scholars in Prison project, oversees SAR's domestic network development and organizes SAR activities within North America. She holds an MA in Politics/International Relations from NYU, where her research focused on human rights, nationalism and ethnic conflict in South East Asia. Prior to moving to New York, Ms. Robinson was Public Information Officer in the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. Ms. Robinson is a founding editor of the NYU Department of Politics journal, Journal of Political Inquiry, and is an active alumna of UCLA.

Denise LiGreci
Program Officer

As Program Officer, Denise coordinates the review of scholars' applications and assists in placing scholars at universities within the SAR Network. Prior to joining SAR, Denise held positions at NYU School of Law and NYU Office of Global Services, and worked as a grant writer for non-profit organizations in New York and Connecticut. Denise received her M.A. in International Education from New York University, where she was a Provost’s Global Research Fellow and an intern at the US Embassy in Prague. She received her B.A. in English and International Studies from Fairfield University.

Chris Tatara
GCPEA-HEWG Coordinator

Chris Tatara is a consultant with the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack. Working out of the SAR office, Chris coordinates the activities of the coalition's Higher Education Working Group, of which Scholars at Risk is a part. Chris previously worked as an intern with SAR's Academic Freedom Monitoring project and Scholars in Prison project. He is a recent graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University, where he received his B.A. in History, and a Minor in International Studies, with a concentration in Diplomatic Studies. At Illinois Wesleyan, Chris also studied Russian, and was an active participant in the SAR Advocacy Seminar and Center for Human Rights and Social Justice.

Emma Rinaldi

Emma Rinaldi is a casework intern at Scholars at Risk and a current graduate student at NYU Steinhardt studying International Education. Prior to joining SAR, she worked for an international volunteer organization and has traveled overseas extensively, especially on the African continent. She received her bachelor’s degree in International Relations and French from Bennington College.

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