The Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA School of Law

Directors and Executive Staff

  • Professor of Law
    Faculty Director, Promise Institute for Human Rights
    Director, UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies
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  • Executive Director, Promise Institute for Human Rights
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  • Director, International and Comparative Law Program
    Assistant Director, the Promise Institute for Human Rights
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  • Sherry Yuan
    Sherry Yuan
    Program Coordinator, Promise Institute for Human Rights

Associated Faculty

Visiting Faculty

Fellows and Research Affiliates

Sarah Khanghahi2

Sarah Khanghahi
Human Rights Fellow

Sarah Khanghahi is the Promise Institute for International Human Rights Fellow at UCLA School of Law for 2018-2019. As a Human Rights Fellow, Khanghahi assists as a supervising attorney with the International Human Rights Clinic, which provides pro bono legal services to individuals and institutions seeking to advance social justice through a human rights frame. Through work on country visits, consultations and reports, she also supports the mandate of Professor E. Tendayi Achiume, who serves as the Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.

Khanghahi previously served as a post-graduate fellow at Bet Tzedek Legal Services and as an attorney at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Los Angeles. She earned her B.A. in Political Science from UCLA magna cum laude and is a graduate of the Honors Collegium. Khanghahi earned her J.D. from UCLA School of Law with a specialization in Critical Race Studies. While at law school, she served as an Articles Editor for UCLA Law Review, as Chief Managing Editor of the Journal of Islamic and Near Eastern Law, and as a student member of the faculty curriculum committee. Khanghahi also authored a comment published in the UCLA Law Review (2017) focusing on race-based employment discrimination faced by people of Southwest Asian and North African descent.

Saskia Nauenberg Dunkell

Saskia Nauenberg Dunkell
Research Affiliate

Saskia Nauenberg Dunkell is a research affiliate at the Promise Institute. Her current book project, The Politics of Transitional Justice: Seeking to end more than 50 years of war in Colombia, examines struggles over the establishment and implementation of transitional justice measures used to address human right abuses in Colombia. In 2015-2016, she was a National Science Foundation fellow at the Center for Conflict, Displacement, and Peacebuilding at the University of Cartagena, Colombia. Alongside her research, she has led Global Youth Connect’s Colombia Human Rights Delegation, worked at the International Peace and Security Institute’s The Hague Symposium on Post-Conflict Transitions and International Justice, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Kingdom of Tonga. She received her PhD in Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in September 2018.

Kai Fees

Kyle (Kai) Elliot Fees
Research Affiliate

Kyle (Kai) Elliot Fees is a visiting scholar at UCLA School of Law, a project supervisor of the International Human Rights Clinic, and a research affiliate at the Promise Institute. A 2018-19 recipient of the Robert L. Bernstein International Human Rights Fellowship, Kai also serves as Research and Advocacy Fellow to the UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, Professor E. Tendayi Achiume.

Outside of his work with Special Rapporteur Achiume and the International Human Rights Clinic, Kai’s principal research interests comprise international human rights law, public international law, and social movements. His current research focuses on social and economic human rights; obligations arising from treaty signature; UN treaty bodies and special procedures’ progressive development of human rights law; and tensions between NGO rhetoric and radical, liberatory visions for human rights.

Kai is a graduate of Yale Law School, Arizona State University (M.A. in Social Justice and Human Rights), and the University of Arizona (B.A., summa cum laude, in Philosophy). During law school, he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Human Rights & Development Law Journal and as a student director of the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic and the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights. He has provided research support to, among others, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, the ACLU Human Rights Program, the Southern Africa Litigation Centre, and the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre.

Serap Ruken Sengul

Serap Ruken Sengul
Distinguished Research Fellow

Serap Ruken Sengul currently serves as Distinguished Research Fellow through the Promise Institute for Human Rights and the Center for Near Eastern Studies. She is an anthropologist whose work focuses on gender and sexual formations of sovereignty, nationalism, kinship, violence, memory and displacement in the Kurdish borderlands of Turkey, Iraq and Syria. During her two-year fellowship at UCLA, she has introduced several innovative and interdisciplinary courses to upper level undergraduate offerings in the Departments of Anthropology and Gender Studies, including "Gender and Militarism," "Gender, Kinship, and the State," and "Violence and Memory in the Middle East." Dr. Sengul earned her doctorate in Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin, and completed her postdoctoral studies at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.