The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Human Trafficking Team

The conference team includes people from universities and community groups.

Presenters, in descending alphabetical order:

Kevin Bales
Kevin Bales
Research Director, The Rights Lab, Nottingham University, Sheffield, UK

Kevin Bales, Companion in the Order of St. Michael and St. George, (CMG ) (Politics and International Relations) is Professor of Contemporary Slavery and the author of many books on the topic. He was awarded a CMG in the New Year Honors for “services to the antislavery movement” and the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for “research applied in combating modern forms of slavery.” His work on modern slavery was named one of the top "100 World-Changing Discoveries" by the Association of British Universities, and in 2018 he was the winner of the ESRC International Impact Prize. He is on the Board of Directors for Freedom Fund and is a member of the Global Slavery Index Expert Working Group. He is currently working on a new book about slavery and conflict as part of the Rights Lab's Law and Policy Program.

Dr. Oana Burcu
Dr. Oana Burcu
Rights Lab's Communities and Society Program - Law and Policy Program

Dr. Oana Burcu (Sociology and Social Policy) works as part of the Rights Lab's Communities and Society Program, and its Law and Policy Program. She focuses on labor exploitation and migrants' vulnerabilities to modern slavery. Her expertise also includes diaspora communities, nationalism, and security. Her research background is in politics and international relations, with a focus on China and South-East Asia more broadly.

Dr. Rochelle Dalla
Dr. Rochelle L. Dalla
Professor, Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Dr. Rochelle L. Dalla is a Professor in the Department of Child, Youth and Family Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her research addresses familial relationships and developmental trajectories of sex trafficking survivors in India and the USA. She is Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Human Trafficking

Dr. Monti Narayan Datta
Dr. Monti Narayan Datta
Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Richmond

Dr. Monti Narayan Datta, an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Richmond, teaches classes in human rights, modern slavery, international relations, and research methods. His current research looks at contemporary slavery in armed conflicts as well as the extent to which trust (or social capital) is needed for more effective anti-slavery interventions among stakeholders and exploring the relationship between sex trafficking today and Japanese militarized sexual enslavement prior to and during the Second World War.

Davina P. Durgana
Davina P. Durgana
Co-Author and Senior Statistician - Walk Free’s Global Slavery Index, Senior Multilateral Engagement Adviser for the Minderoo Foundation

Davina P. Durgana, PhD, is an award-winning international human rights statistician who has developed leading global models to assess risk and vulnerability to modern slavery. Dr. Durgana is a Report Co-Author and Senior Statistician on Walk Free’s Global Slavery Index and Senior Multilateral Engagement Adviser for the Minderoo Foundation.

She is an American Statistical Association Statistical Advocate of the Year, elected Vice Chair/Acting Chair of Statistics without Borders, and a Forbes Top 30 Under 30 in science for 2017 for her work on statistical modeling, human security theory, and human trafficking. She is an inaugural 2020-2022 Ambassador for the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dr. Leah Edwards
Dr. Leah Edwards
Founder of Kaart Consulting and lead researcher at Rain Collective

Dr. Leah Edwards a research consultant based in The Hague, Netherlands, is founder of Kaart Consulting and lead researcher at Rain Collective. She is currently researching experiences of vulnerable migrants within the Middle East and Islamic world. She works with anti-trafficking networks to strengthen programming and develop innovative tools for research, assessments, and evaluations, is a member of the European Freedom Network and the Monitoring and Evaluation Consultant for the Global Learning Community.

Judi Gaiashkibos
Judi Gaiashkibos
Executive director of NCIA (Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs), Advisor and Professor to the Native Daughters Projects at UNL’s College of Journalism

Ms. Judi Gaiashkibos is the executive director of NCIA (Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs) since 1995. She works with the government and private sector to provide opportunities for Nebraska Indians, fosters diversity and cultural sensitivity in the Nebraska State Legislature, promotes state and federal legislation, and advances sovereignty issues. She serves as Advisor and Professor to the Native Daughters Projects at UNL’s College of Journalism. She is an enrolled member of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska and holds degrees in Human Relations and Leadership from Doane College.

Ronnie Green
Dr. Ronnie D. Green
Chancellor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Dr. Ronnie D. Green is Chancellor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Nebraska’s flagship, Land-Grant and Big Ten institution, where he oversees an enrollment of over 25,000 students and 6,000 faculty and staff.

He received BS and MS degrees in animal science from Virginia Tech and Colorado State University, respectively. His doctoral program was completed jointly at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the USDA-ARS U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in animal breeding and genetics.

Green has served on the animal science faculties of Texas Tech University and Colorado State University, and as the national program leader for animal production research for the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service and executive secretary of the White House’s interagency working group on animal genomics within the National Science and Technology Council. Prior to returning to NU, Green served as a global executive for Pfizer Animal Health’s animal genomics business.

Dr. Green has authored 130 refereed publications and abstracts, nine book chapters and 56 invited symposia papers, and has delivered invited presentations in 43 U.S. states and 21 countries around the world.

Ronnie and his wife Jane, a double UNL alumna, are the proud parents of four children – Justin, Nate, Kelli and Regan Green – all UNL graduates, and one granddaughter, Charlotte.

Dr. Courtney Hillebrecht
Dr. Courtney Hillebrecht
Samuel Clark Waugh Distinguished Professor of International Relations at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Dr. Courtney Hillebrecht is the Samuel Clark Waugh Distinguished Professor of International Relations at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Dr. Hillebrecht is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, the Director of the Forsythe Family Program on Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs and the Faculty Coordinator of the William H. Thompson Scholars Learning Community at UNL. Dr. Hillebrecht researches and teaches in the areas of human rights, international law and international relations. She is the author of Domestic Politics and International Human Rights Tribunals: The Problem of Compliance (Cambridge University Press) and many other articles, book chapters and related publications.

Lucy Mahaffey
Lucy Mahaffey
University of Nottingham, Marshall Scholar Communication Fellow

Lucy Mahaffey (Politics and International Relations) is a 2019 Marshall Scholar Communication Fellow pursing an MRes at the University of Nottingham with the Rights Lab and the School of Politics and International Relations. Her focus is initiatives to prevent human trafficking on a local level. Previously she founded HOPE Student Awareness, a statewide anti-trafficking curriculum, and spoke at the US Department of Homeland Security and Department of Education’s Stakeholder Conference.

Jason Pope
Jason Pope
Executive Director and Founder of the Rain Collective

Executive Director and Founder of the Rain Collective is a PhD candidate at Clemson University. Jason has led anti-human trafficking initiatives for the Salvation Army World Service Office for seven years, working on trafficking issues. The projects worked in the Gulf states and countries that send migrants into the Middle East, and supporting work with Ethiopian and Philippine embassies in the Gulf states.

Dr. Anita Ravi
Dr. Anita Ravi
CEO and co-founder of PurpLE Health Foundation

Dr. Anita Ravi, MD, MPH, MSHP, FAAFP is a family medicine physician committed to ending gender-based violence (GBV). CEO and co-founded PHF, an NGO that invests in the physical, mental, and financial health of women and girls who have experienced GBV. Dr Ravi also founded the “PurpLE Clinic” in New York City – a pioneering medical clinic for survivors of human trafficking and other trauma. In 2021 National Minority Health Quality Forum’s selected her for “40 Under 40” Leader in Minority Health.

Leonard Rubenstein
Leonard Rubenstein
Lawyer, Author, Professor at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Leonard Rubenstein is Professor of Practice at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and core faculty member the Berman Institute of Bioethics and the Center for Humanitarian Health at Johns Hopkins University. He authored Perilous Medicine: The Struggle to Protect Health Care from the Violence of War and founded and chairs the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition.

Keisha Walcott
Keisha Walcott
Founding board member at PurpLE Health Foundation

Keisha is a first-generation immigrant who was trafficked to the United States in her early childhood. She is a survivor leader, advocate, and volunteer. She is a founding board member at PurpLE Health Foundation in New York City and takes pride in helping her peers work through the adversity of trafficking.

Amelia Watkins-Smith
Amelia Watkins-Smith
PhD student - University of Nottingham, Research Associate - Rights Lab Communities and Society Programme

Amelia Watkins-Smith is a PhD student at the University of Nottingham (Politics and International Relations) researching the trafficking of women and girls from Myanmar to China for the purpose of forced marriage and childbearing. She holds an ESRC Studentship for this work (Midlands Graduate School). Amelia also works as a Research Associate at the Rights Lab Communities and Society Programme.