We are pleased to announce that Dr. Shyama Venkateswar will join us as Distinguished Lecturer and Director of the Public Policy Program at Hunter College.  Shyama has over fifteen years of experience in research, policy and advocacy focusing on social justice issues, both in the U.S. and globally.  Until recently, she worked at the National Council for Research on Women (NCRW), where she served as Director of Research & Programs, and helped provide the vision and strategic direction for the Council’s policy agenda on economic security for low-income women, diversity in higher education and the corporate arena, women’s leadership, and ending global violence against women.  She is co-author of two recent NCRW reports, Caring for Our Nation’s Future; and The Challenge and the Charge: Strategies for Retaining and Advancing Women of Color in addition to numerous commentary and opinion pieces on poverty, job creation, peace-building, and immigrant rights published in The Miami Herald, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Philadelphia Inquirer,Asia Times, The Indian Express, and the Chicago Sun-Times. She has given Congressional briefings, and presented her research findings to academic, policy, advocacy and corporate communities.

In addition to her work with NCRW, Shyama served as an Academic Adviser for Queens College, City University of New York, where she helped to shape the content and programs for a proposed Immigration Center, and design the structure and curriculum for the College’s Year of India Initiative. She also served as a consultant to the President of Queens College on strategies to advance gender diversity and multiculturalism among the College’s faculty and senior administration.

Shyama’s previous positions include: founding Executive Director of Mercy Corps’ Action Center to End World Hunger; Director of the Asian Social Issues Program at the Asia Society; and Program Officer at the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs.  She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University and is a graduate of Smith College.

In addition, we are pleased to announce that after a nationwide search, Lawrence Moss has been appointed as the Distinguished Lecturer and Rita E. Hauser Director of the Human Rights Program at Hunter College.

Lawrence first joined Roosevelt House in January 2013 as interim director of the Human Rights Program. Before coming to Hunter, he represented Human Rights Watch at the United Nations for seven years, administered the Hellman/Hammett grants for writers around the world facing persecution, served as a consultant for the Open Society Institute and the United Nations Association, and taught human rights advocacy at the New York University Center for Global Affairs.  He has been part of the human rights movement since travelling in Latin America in 1978 and returning to write the first reports of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights regarding El Salvador and Nicaragua.

Lawrence is a native New Yorker and a graduate of NYC public schools, Brown University and Stanford Law School. While practicing law in New York for many years, he served as founding Chair of the NYC Bar Association’s Special Committee on the UN and on the association’s human rights committee, and continues to represent the bar association at the UN.  He also chaired the New York State New Democratic Coalition, served as an elected member of the NY Democratic State Committee for 16 years, and chaired the Party’s Reform Caucus.

Lastly, Roosevelt House extends special thanks to the public policy director search committee, chaired by Professor Pamela Stone, and the human rights director search committee, chaired by Professor Manu Bhagavan.  The time and effort put forth by the search committee members throughout the hiring process was invaluable, and we look forward to seeing the human rights and public policy programs flourish under the leadership of Lawrence and Shyama.