About Us

about us


Keith Armstrong
Program Assistant

Before joining IHRFG in September 2013, Keith was a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Barranquilla, Colombia. Keith has also worked with Physicians for Human Rights as its Communications Intern and as an educator at the Youth Farm and Market Project in Minnesota. Keith is also currently an associate editor with Watching America, an online collection of foreign news articles about U.S. policy, and Content Coordinator of A Growing Culture, an online library of resources on sustainable agriculture. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and International Studies from Macalester College, where he also completed a concentration in Human Rights.

Mona Chun
Deputy Director

Prior to joining IHRFG, Mona was the founding Executive Director of the Center for Sustainable Human Rights Action, an organization providing capacity-building training to human rights groups and leaders around the world. More recently, Mona was the Director of Outreach and Communication at the Coro New York Leadership Center. Mona has served on the Board of Directors of the New York Chinese Cultural Center and on the Advisory Board of Adilisha, a human rights capacity-building organization in Southern Africa. She has a BA from Hofstra University and an MPA from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in New York.

Christen Dobson
Program Director, Research and Policy

Before joining IHRFG, Christen was a consultant with the Social Science Research Council’s Gender and Security program. Christen has also worked with UNIFEM, Safe Horizon's Anti-Trafficking Program, Global Youth Connect and The Project to End Human Trafficking. She has volunteered with Cambodian NGO Khemara and the U.S. National Committee for UNIFEM. Christen holds a BA in International Studies and Japanese from Mount Union College and a Master’s of International Affairs with a concentration in human rights from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in New York.

Michael J. Hirschhorn
Executive Director
(and President, Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation)

Prior to directing IHRFG, Michael was Executive Director of the Coro New York Leadership Center from 2003-2008. Earlier, from 1995-2001, he served as Executive Director of the Literacy Assistance Center in New York City. He was an Assistant to the Chancellor of the NYC Public Schools and a Visiting Non-Profit Executive at Yale’s School of Management. Michael serves as President of the trustees of the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation, and also serves on the boards of several rights-related and educational non-profit organizations. Michael received his BA from Yale University in 1981 and his MBA & MSW from Columbia University in 1989. He has served on IHRFG’s steering committee since 2002.

Azeen Salimi

Program Director

Prior to IHRFG, Azeen served as the manager of the Senior Fellows Program at the Synergos Institute, where she led programs for a global network of 100 civil society leaders from 34 countries. Azeen previously worked with Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in the United States, Sudan, Bangladesh, and Burma (Myanmar); the New York Legal Aid Society's Immigration Unit; and the Committee to Protect Journalists. Currently, Azeen is also an assistant editor with the Interdisciplinary Journal of Human Rights Law. Azeen holds a Bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana and a Master’s degree with a concentration in human rights from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University in New York.

Sarah Tansey
Program Associate, Membership and Communications

Sarah joins IHRFG from the development world, where she worked for the ONE Campaign and the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network, a coalition of international organizations and practitioners advocating for more efficient development assistance. She previously interned with Clean Air NY and conducted research on community-based natural resource management in Botswana. Most recently, she served as a research associate at Project Vote Smart, a nonpartisan organization committed to civic education. Sarah holds a BA in Government and English from Skidmore College.