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Our Team

The Team

Human Rights Connected draws upon the drive, expertise and creative energy of our team members and growing circle of independent international collaborators to fulfill our mission to make knowledge about strategic nonviolent action and human rights mechanisms more accessible to activists and human rights defenders. We also strive to foster a learning environment where our team and partners develop important skills while working toward our common vision. Join our team!

Nicola Barrach-Yousefi

Founder and Executive Director


Over a decade of experience working with and supporting movements and human rights defenders around the world designing and implementing field projects and programs including trainings, facilitation, curriculum design and translations. Senior Advisor for civic initiatives at the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC). Founded Human Rights Connected (HRC) in 2011. Passionate about civil resistance theory and practice, human rights education and how new and old technology can be leveraged to advance human rights movements.

Based in Paris, France

Matthew Parsons

Research & Operations Associate


Directs research strategy and curation of practical resources for HRC’s human rights library. Manages operations and communications for our international team of collaborators. Aspiring human rights lawyer interested in racial justice, LGBTQ+ equity, and government transparency and accountability. Accreditation and Curriculum Coordinator at Civic Works’ Baltimore Center for Green Careers, which works to make Baltimore’s economy more equitable and sustainable. Joined the HRC team in 2013 as a Research & Operations Intern.

Based in Baltimore, MD, USA

Sabrina Sanchez

Education & Communications Associate


Leads educational initiatives and supports implementation of communications techniques to inform human rights and civil resistance education to human rights defenders. Conducts research on the gaps of human rights education instruction. Educator, leader, and social justice advocate motivated by the power of youth resilience; Masters in international and multicultural education with human rights emphasis. Substantive experience working with nonprofit organizations. Joined HRC in 2015 as a Research & Operations Intern.

Based in Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Alannah Bonalos

Community Engagement Associate


Engages the HRC community and connects international human rights institutions with grassroots movements. Brand ambassador, increasing awareness of HRC’s mission and vision and encourages our community to utilize the resource library. Studied International Development Studies and Political Science at UCLA. Helps non-profits build capacity with lean programmatic strategy and successful development campaigns. An illustrator and designer with demonstrated interest in improving maternal health in underserved communities/conflict zones and protecting women's reproductive health rights.

Based in Sacremento, California, USA

Pouya Yousefi

Chief Technical Advisor


Provides technical direction, support, and guidance for the HRC team. Currently serving the Analytics Center of Excellence in IQVIA as their Lead Data Science Developer, Pouya's 20+ year tech career has spanned working as a software developer, team lead, and principal consultant to more recently as a machine learning engineer. Passionate about natural language processing algorithms and repurposing them for behavioral pattern recognition.

Based in Paris, France

Luke Chang

Web and Technology


Provides web support and development for HRC. Aims to utilize web technologies to spread HRC's mission throughout the digital world, to stimulate discussion and digital interaction, and to optimize user experience.

Based in Baltimore, MD, USA

Courteny Baez

Research and Operations


Senior at American University in Washington, D.C. Pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in communications, legal institutions, economics, and government as well as a Master's degree in terrorism and homeland security policy. Originally from New Jersey. Enjoys hiking, taekwondo, and reading. Her favorite author is Nelson Demille.

Based in Washington, D.C, USA

Rosalie Candau

Research and Operations


Passionate about human rights, with a focus on women’s rights and human trafficking, having done research on these topics. Recently completed a Master of Law at Universidad de Alcalá in Madrid, Spain, writing a thesis on how violence against women constitutes a human rights violation. Volunteers with her city’s rape crisis center as a victim advocate and currently is an interpreter and translator for refugees and immigrants in Cleveland, Ohio.

Based in Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Nnenna Mazi

Research and Operations Intern


Passionate about pro bono legal assistance for the vulnerable. Interested in human rights and public international law. Degree in Law from Madonna University, Okija and Masters degree in International Law from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Previous experiences include a year's service at the Legal Aid Council and a legal internship at the National Human Rights Commission, Nigeria. Enjoys travelling, gardening and trying out new cuisine.

Based in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria

Divya Korada

Research and Operations Intern


Senior at Johns Hopkins University majoring in International Studies and Political Science and minoring in Islamic Studies. Interested in food justice, migration, and community organizing. Involved in urban agriculture and sex workers’ rights in Baltimore

Based in Baltimore, MD, USA

Kyra Tessmann

Education & Communications Intern


I am a junior English Major (Spanish Minor) at Valparaiso University in Indiana, USA. I work as a writing consultant at my university, and I enjoy using my writing skills and knowledge to spread information and help others learn how to communicate more effectively. I studied abroad in Costa Rica from January to May of 2018, and I interned there at a non-profit organization called Fundación Mujer. I found HRC by using the library as a resource for my research at Fundación Mujer, and I am thrilled to now be a part of HRC as an Education and Communications intern.

Based in Indiana, USA

Byron Terry

Education & Communications Intern


Byron Terry is a Paducah, Kentucky native currently residing in Chicago, IL. He is completing his 2nd year as an AmeriCorps Vista and while working towards his Master’s degree in Inner City Studies from Northeastern Illinois University. He volunteers regularly with organizations such as Liberation Library and The DuSable Museum of African American history and has organized the creation of a library in Africa for children. After he completes his Master’s degree he plans on getting a PhD in the field of Psychology focusing his research on social justice and community.

Based in Chicago, Illinois, USA

Arianna Arquette

Community Engagement Intern


Arianna Arquette is a senior at The George Washington University majoring in International Affairs, specifically concentrating in Global Public Health and International Development. She's an aspiring human rights lawyer planning to attend law school after she completes her undergraduate studies. She's interested in international law, health rights and access to care, and human trafficking.

Based in Washington, D.C, USA

Laura Schroeder

Social Media Correspondent


Live tweets human rights and nonviolent resistance-related events for HRC. Finishing a graduate degree in international policy and development at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey with a focus on human rights and policy advocacy. Passionate about Latin America with work experience in Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, and Peru. Joined HRC in February 2017 as a Community Engagement Intern and continued as a Community Engagement Program Assistant and Podcast Producer.

Based in Washington, D.C, USA