Susan Gzesh has been Director of the Human Rights Program and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Chicago since August 2001. She teaches courses on contemporary issues in human rights, the rights of aliens and citizens, human rights in Mexico and Latin America, and in the College Social Sciences core. Her research interests include the inter-relationship between human rights and migration policy, the history of U.S. immigration policy, and Mexico-U.S. relations. She oversees a broad range of activities in the Human Rights Program including an internship program, public events, and a project on human rights curriculum in liberal arts education, funded by the Teagle Foundation.
From 1996-2001 she was Director of the Mexico-U.S. Advocates Network (now Enlaces America) and a founding member of the Regional Network of Civil Organizations for Migration, two innovative coalitions of civil society organizations from North America, Mexico, and Central America. Prior to 1996, Gzesh practiced law in a variety of settings: in private practice, federally-funded legal services, and with the Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights. She was a Fulbright Lecturer at the Universidad de Guadalajara in 1990 and served on the Clinton-Gore Transition Team for the Department of Justice in 1992. Her publications include America’s Human Rights Challenge, Migration Policy Institute, 2006, and "Mexico-U.S. Migration and Cross-Border
Organizing," in David Brooks & Jonathan Fox, eds., Cross Border Dialogues: U.S.- Mexico Social Movement Networking, Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, UCSD, 2002, as well as other short articles, op-ed pieces, and commentaries. She is a non-resident Fellow of the Migration Policy Institute, Washington, D.C. and serves on the faculty committees of the Center for Latin American Studies, Committee on International Relations, and the Advisory Committee of the Social Sciences Collegiate Division. She was appointed by Governor Rod Blagojevich to the Illinois New Americans Immigrant Policy Council and serves on the Chicago Committee for Human Rights Watch and the Board of Directors of Kartemquin Films. She is a consultant with various philanthropic foundations. Susan Gzesh received an A.B. from the University of Chicago in 1972 and a J.D. in 1977 from the University of Michigan. She is fluent in Spanish.