José Miguel Vivanco

Adjunct Senior Fellow for Human Rights

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Expert Bio

José Miguel Vivanco is an adjunct senior fellow for human rights at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). He has extensive experience defending democracy and human rights, as well as promoting the rule of law.

Vivanco was formerly the executive director of the Americas division at Human Rights Watch, where he supervised fact-finding research for numerous reports on gross violations of human rights and advocated strengthening international legal standards and domestic compliance throughout the region. As the chief strategist for the Americas division, he managed a multi-disciplinary team, ensuring due diligence, rigorous, objective reporting, and active engagement with members in the U.S. Congress and governments around the world. 

Vivanco is also the founder of the Center for Justice and International Law, an international civil society organization providing legal and technical assistance within the Inter-American human rights system.

Vivanco has supervised investigations in coordination with international agencies, governments, private sector, academia, and civil society organizations. He regularly meet heads of state and ministers in Latin America, United States, and Europe and provides testimony before international organizations and domestic institutions.

Vivanco has a JD from the University of Chile Law School, a JD from Salamanca Law School, and a LLM from Harvard Law School.

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