Academic Staff

Core Academic Staff

Professor Damien Short
Co-director, Human Rights Consortium

Professor Damien Short is co-director of the Human Rights Consortium (HRC) and a Reader in Human Rights at the School of Advanced Study. He has spent his entire professional career working in the field of human rights, both as a scholar and human rights advocate. He has researched and published extensively in the areas of indigenous peoples’ rights, genocide studies, reconciliation projects and environmental human rights. He is currently researching the human rights impacts of extreme energy processes (e.g Tar Sands and Fracking - see our designated HRC website). Professor Short is a regular academic contributor to the United Nation’s ‘Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ and an academic consultant for the ‘Ethical Trade Task Force’ of the Soil Association. He is also Assistant Editor of the International Journal of Human Rights (Taylor and Francis) and Editor-in-chief of the Journal of Human Rights in the Commonwealth (University of London) and convenor of the British Sociological Association’s Sociology of Rights Study Group and an active member of the International Network of Genocide Scholars. Professor Short has also worked with a variety of NGOs including Amnesty International, War on Want, Survival International, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs; and with a range of campaign groups including Eradicating Ecocide, Biofuelwatch, Climate Justice Collective and the UK Tar Sands Network. He currently advises local anti-fracking groups in the UK and county councils on the human rights implications of unconventional (extreme) energy extraction processes such as fracking. 

Dr. Corinne Lennox
Co-director, Human Rights Consortium

Dr. Corinne Lennox is the co-director of the Human Rights Consortium. She is a Senior Lecturer in Human Rights at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies and convenes the MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights. Her research focuses on issues of minority and indigenous rights protection, civil society mobilisation for human rights, and human rights and development. She has worked for many years as a human rights consultant and trainer, including at Minority Rights Group International, the UNDP and the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Her research interests include: human rights of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities and indigenous peoples; civil society mobilisation; human rights and development; social mobilisation of Afro-descendants in Latin America; Dalits and caste-based discrimination; international relations and human rights; the role of international organisations in the protection of minority and indigenous rights.

Dr Karen Bennett
Lecturer in Human Rights

Dr. Karen Bennett received her PhD in Human Rights at London Metropolitan University; MA in International Communication and International Development at the American University School of International Service, Washington DC; and BA in International Communications at Webster University. Karen is the former Director of the Human Rights and Social Justice Research Institute (2013 -2017), and has worked as an academic in both the UK and US since 2003. Her research interests are in human rights, cosmopolitanism, human security, and civil society activism, and she provides training and consultancy in these areas. Her recent research has been concerned with European Union diplomacy and the protection of human rights defenders, and her most recent action research project focused on approaches to support civil society in situations of armed-conflict (with lawyers in Darfur Sudan on the protection of women’s rights in internally displaced person communities). Karen has worked with multilateral organisations, research institutes, government and non-governmental organisations on a range of thematic issues in the field of human rights, including field work as a human rights expert with the United Nations and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe for six years in post-conflict Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Dr Julian Burger
Lecturer in Human Rights of Latin America

Dr. Julian Burger has spoken at numerous international conferences and symposia both as an academic and a practitioner of human rights, and published extensively in the field of indigenous peoples’ rights in multiple languages. Dr. Burger has significant experience working for the UN on human rights issues and for twenty years was the Head of the Indigenous Peoples and Minorities Programme at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Prior to this, he was Deputy Director of the Independent Commission on Humanitarian Issues (ICIHI), a think tank established by the UN General Assembly to propose new approaches on humanitarian issues. He also held a position as Director of Research at Anti-Slavery International.

Administrative Staff

Jane Vassiliadis
Programme Support Officer, Institute of Commonwealth Studies

Jane Vassiliadis has worked in higher education for over 15 years providing frontline student and academic support at several universities including SOAS, King's College London and Birkbeck, University of London.