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Edwin Rekosh

Director of Human Rights Initiatives, Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University


Ed is director of human rights initiatives and visiting professor of law at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where he oversees the overall growth of Cardozo’s human rights program, including the development of an initiative — Human Rights Forward — to create new solutions for combating suppression of civil society groups and advancing human rights. He also teaches human rights and international development.

Prior to taking up his post at Cardozo School of Law, Ed served as the president & CEO of PILnet: The Global Network for Public Interest Law, an organization which he founded in 1997 to develop global resources and networks in support of local human rights advocacy around the world. In that capacity, he trained and mentored hundreds of human rights lawyers in dozens of countries, helped spur the adoption of clinical legal education in Europe, and was a leader in the global growth of pro bono practice. He continues to serve PILnet as a senior advisor.

Ed has pioneered innovative human rights initiatives in China, and in over 30 other countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America. He lived in Romania and Hungary for ten years assisting the development of human rights groups there and elsewhere in Central and Eastern Europe as new constitutional orders emerged.

Ed teaches on the adjunct faculty at Columbia Law School and has been a visiting professor at Central European University. Prior to founding PILnet, he consulted for the Ford Foundation, worked for the International Human Rights Law Group (Global Rights), practiced law at Coudert Brothers and co-founded the Human Rights Watch Film Festival.

Ed has written and spoken extensively about human rights, pro bono and the rule of law, and he received the American Bar Association's International Human Rights Award in 2009. He is a graduate of Cornell University and Columbia Law School.