Kate Weckesser English, Executive Director
Kate became Executive Director for the Educators’ Institute for Human Rights in July, 2016. A recent graduate of Georgetown University's Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Management program through the McCourt School of Public Policy, she has served as Deputy Executive Director, on staff, and on the board of directors with EIHR since 2011. In 2007, she was recognized as District-wide Teacher of the Year for Colchester Public Schools in Connecticut, and received the Joseph Zola Holocaust Educator award from the University of Hartford’s Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies. She is a Museum Teacher Fellow for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, where she received two Advanced Project Grants to complete projects in collaboration with the Center for the Prevention of Genocide and the Levine Institute for Holocaust Education. In 2009, she was honored to accept an invitation to participate in Echoes and Reflections' inaugural Charlotte and Jacques Wolf Holocaust Education Conference, held at Columbia Teacher's College. Kate attended Summer University Srebrenica in 2011, and in 2008 served as a Teaching Excellence and Achievement (TEA) Fellow in Ukraine through IREX and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Kate is a dual-citizen of the U.S. and the Republic of Ireland Northern Ireland, where her family roots first fostered her commitment to human rights. Currently, she is pursuing a second Master's degree in Education Leadership at George Mason University. Kate completed her first Master's degree in Gifted and Talented Education at the University of Connecticut, and she continues to teach full time in Virginia.
Jessica Bylo Chacon, Deputy Executive Director
Jessica is an educator with a passion for quality history teaching and the inclusion of human rights in the curriculum. Her work with EIHR supports efforts in Rwanda and Bosnia, and our organization as a whole, particularly strategic planning, outreach, and technology. She recently earned her Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Management at Georgetown University. While teaching for nearly a decade in the San Francisco Bay Area, she was selected to travel with the Holocaust & Jewish Resistance Teachers Program and in 2006 she traveled to Rwanda to study genocide and its effects. She is a Teacher Fellow with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as well as the National World War I Museum, earned a masters degree in modern world history and is currently working on a masters in Human Rights Education. Since leaving the classroom to take care of her young daughter, she has created the website bylochacon.com, a clearinghouse of more than 350 pages of resources for world history teachers and students, a project that is the foundation of her work for the Woven Teaching project, which supports human rights and critical thinking education by weaving it throughout the history and social science curriculum and providing human rights lesson modules for educators abroad. Jessica is an active board member for the small non-profit Running Chicken, devoted to development and the support of a children's home in rural Kenya as well as wraparound services to enable children of families in need in rural Rwanda to be able to complete primary school. She lives in Berkeley, California with her family.
Aimable Mpayimana, Director of Education, Rwanda
Aimable holds a Master’s degree in Development Studies from Mount Kenya University, Kigali campus. He also holds Bachelor’s degree in Arts with Education from the University of Rwanda/ College of Education. As Director of Education in Rwanda, Aimable is responsible for coordinating and facilitating workshops across Rwanda, and led EIHR's recent successful extension of programming to Rwanda's rural provinces. Aimable has taught in Rwandan secondary schools and tutored at the University of Rwanda/College of Education. His approach exposed his students to the study of prominent people that all people should look up to and emulate. Apart from this class experience, he has participated in the trainings organized by the Anne Frank House, USC Shoah Foundation, and with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's Conference for International Holocaust Education. In addition to this practical experience, he is a member of the Association of Teachers of English in Rwanda. Aimable is happily married to Jeanne d’Arc Uwamahoro, and they are blessed with their favorite daughter, Dorea; they all live in Kigali, capital city of Rwanda.
Jim Fussell, Director of Human Rights Research & Social Media
Jim has conducted extensive research into the life and work of Raphael Lemkin in archives and libraries in the United States and Europe, and interviewed dozens of former associates, colleagues and family members of Dr. Lemkin. Jim has presented the results of this research at forums in locations including Galway, Ireland, Warsaw, Poland, and New York. A member of the International Association of Genocide Scholars since 1999, he co-founded the International Campaign to End Genocide, which worked with the United Nations to establish the position of Special Advisor for Genocide Prevention. Jim founded the popular genocide research website PreventGenocide.org, and his publications include "Group Classification on National ID Cards as a Factor in Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing” in National Identification Systems: Essays in Opposition, edited by Carl Watner. (McFarland, 2004), “Senator William Proxmire” in Encyclopedia of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity, edited by Dinah Shelton. (Macmillan, 2004) and the Analytical Index for the 2003 Harper Collins (paper) edition of Samantha Powers’ book The Problem of Hell: American in the Age of Genocide, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction. Jim also serves as both a Research Advisor and the North American Liaison Officer for the Budapest Centre for Mass Atrocities Prevention, where he contributes to research in the field of prevention of mass atrocities, with particular attention to the early stages of prevention.
Kim Klett, International Program Coordinator
Kim Klett is an English teacher who lives in Gilbert, Arizona. She has taught at Dobson High School since 1991, where she developed a semester-long Holocaust Literature course in 2001, teaching about the Holocaust and other genocides. Kim's work with EIHR currently focuses on US Teacher Initiatives, particularly developing lessons and materials pertaining to facilitating student advocacy. Kim became a Mandel Fellow (now "Museum Teacher Fellow") with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2003, and joined the museum's Regional Education Corps in 2005. She is also a trainer for Echoes and Reflections, a professional development program for teachers or the Holocaust. Kim became a Carl Wilkens' Fellow in 2010 and is an active member of the anti-genocide movement. She sponsors clubs at her school that support these efforts, including STAND and ADL's A World of Difference. In her community, Kim has worked with the East Valley Jewish Community Center, serving on many of their education committees, and is on the board of the Phoenix Holocaust Survivors' Association.
Kelly Watson, International Program Coordinator
Kelly is an 8th grade English teacher at Fishers Junior High in Fishers, Indiana. As a Program Coordinator for EIHR, she currently leads our work in Cambodia, and presents a Holocaust Education workshop in Battambang at the invitation of DC-Cam in October of 2016. She is a member of the Regional Education Corps for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, a Master Teacher with the USC Shoah Foundation Institute, and a 2013 participant of the Centropa Summer Academy in Berlin. Kelly has traveled throughout the US and Poland working with teachers on how to effectively teach about the Holocaust and other genocides. In 2001 she published a collection of testimonies with her students, entitled Indiana Voices of the Holocaust: Teens Talk to Survivors and Liberators, and in 2012 along with colleague Robert Hadley published an online curriculum for the USC Shoah Foundation called If You Survive, Be a Man: Teaching the 1994 Rwandan Genocide of the Tutsis and an Information Quest on the USC Shoah Foundation's IWitness page about survivor Kizito Kalima.
Jean-Damascene, Project Manager, Rwanda
Jean-Damascene is a life-long learner who pushes himself out of his comfort zones. He is more excited about the journey than the pay out. He also served as the primary school instructor over four years, and KIRYAMO Primary School Treasurer for two years. Prior to joining Educators Institute for Human Rights, EIHR, Jean-Damascene spent some time working with Umurenge Credits and Savings Cooperative (SACCO-Uzazurebe), Indego Africa Project, Generation Rwanda Inc., Rwanda Law Reform Commission.He is multi-lingual, task-oriented, quick problem solver, proactive and motivated to see social and economic change. He is currently serving as a Budget Administration Expert, National Budget Directorate, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN). Jean Damascene graduated With Honors from University of Rwanda-College of Business and Economics with a Bachelors in Finance wherehe was among the top performers of the 2014 graduates of the program. Additionally, he is a Kenyan CPA student.
Rob Hadley, United States Program Coordinator
Rob Hadley is a high school history teacher at Clackamas High School near Portland, Oregon. He holds a Masters in Secondary Education and a Masters Certification in Holocaust and Genocide Studies. In 2001 he was selected by the United States Holocaust Museum as a Museum Fellow. He served on the Board of Directors for the Oregon Holocaust Resource Center for five years. In 2006, he was selected as a Regional Educator for USHMM, joining thirty others from around the country to form an elite corps of Holocaust Educators. He has been involved with various humanitarian projects ranging from Darfur to Haiti and has worked diligently to educate others as well as lobby Congress to advocate for these issues. As a board member of the Atma Foundation, he has worked both domestically and internationally on sustainability programs ranging from food security at home to empowering women in the DR Congo in rebuilding their lives after trauma. In 2012, Rob lives near Portland with his two daughters.
Antonella Giordano, Latin America
Antonella Giordano is a Licentiate in International Relations and Master's in Peace Culture, Conflicts, Education and Human Rights. She is a passionate specialist on human rights from Argentina. Antonella works on human rights at the national, regional and international level, as well as in Foreign Policy and International Law. Antonella is a current member of the Observatory of Argentinean Foreign Policy, the International Network of Human Rights. She has been a professor of International Relations Theories, International Security and International Politics at Catholic University of Cordoba in Argentina and is currently part of two research projects focusing on climate change and energy policies, and media and foreign policy, respectively.
Catherine Leys, Development Consultant
Catherine Leys is a public relations and development professional with more than ten years of experience in technology and not-for-profit organizations, with the majority of her experience working in the international realm. Her personal travels have taken her throughout Europe, southeast Asia, Australia and South America where she discovered her passion for sustainable development and education. She earned her BA in Political Science with an MA in Public Administration focusing on intergovernmental relations, she is also a certified professional wellness coach currently expanding her credentials with an eating psychology program. She is a cofounder of the South Bay Families Lobbying Against Refinery Exposures (FLARE) movement, fighting for transparency and accountability by the local refinery and government to protect the community from dangerous practices. Catherine lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband and two children and enjoys hiking and going to the beach with her family.