Terence Coonan

Executive Director, THE Florida State University
Center for the Advancement of Human Rights

Terry Coonan is the founding Executive Director of the Florida State University Center for the Advancement of Human Rights. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame, subsequently working in Chile and Central America with torture victims and the families of the disappeared. After studying law on an Urban Morgan Human Rights Fellowship at the University of Cincinnati, he was selected for the Justice Department Honors Program, and served for several years advising U.S. judges on immigration and refugee law. He went on to litigate asylum and torture victim protection cases throughout the country. He has also worked with the UN SubCommission for Human Rights in Geneva and the UN High Commission for Refugees in Washington, D.C. He has published widely on topics ranging from human rights and immigration law to human trafficking.

Since its founding in 2000, he has served as the Executive Director of the FSU Center for the Advancement of Human Rights and is an Associate Professor in the FSU School of Criminology. He teaches courses in Refugee & Asylum Law (FSU Law School), International Human Rights and Film (FSU Film School) and International Human Rights Law (FSU Criminology and Law Schools). He continues to litigate pro bono asylum, domestic violence, and trafficking victim cases nationwide.

Under the direction of Professor Coonan, FSU’s Center for the Advancement of Human Rights has done cutting-edge advocacy and research work regarding human trafficking and care for trafficking victims. He has been a consultant on human trafficking issues with law enforcement officials and human rights groups nationwide as well as in Russia, Thailand, and Kazakhstan. He was a Lead Investigator for the 2003-2004 FSU Human Trafficking Research Project that resulted in the report Florida Responds to Human Trafficking. He also helped design the Human Trafficking Curriculum for the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and has trained law enforcement officials and social service providers on the Trafficking Victim Protection Act under the aegis of U.S. Attorney Offices. He worked with the U.S. Department of Justice in training their new community task forces and recently assisted legislators in drafting the new 2006 Florida law on human trafficking.

Center for the Advancement of Human Rights


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