The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice

Partners for change at the intersection of academics and advocacy.

Advisory Board

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Advisory Board member and renowned Colombian choreographer Álvaro Restrepo (standing, left) leads Master Class dance students at George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center (photo courtesy Audrey Dodgen).


Sissy Farenthold (right) chats with prominent American journalist Mark Danner during the Rapoport Center's fourth annual conference, "Image, Memory and the Paradox of Peace: Fifteen Years after the El Salvador Peace Accords."
Photo courtesy Mark Mulligan

The Rapoport Center's international Advisory Board assists the Center in fundraising and community outreach efforts, helping to ensure the continued success and growth of our endeavors.

Ben Barnes served as lieutenant governor of Texas from 1969 to 1973 and, before that, as the youngest-ever speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. A graduate of The University of Texas, Barnes was a member of President Johnson’s Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, U.S. representative to the NATO Conference, and United Nations Representative to Geneva, Switzerland. He is the founder of Ben Barnes Group, a business consulting and lobbying firm based in Austin. He has served as a consultant, director or chairman of more than two dozen companies, including SBC, American Airlines, Dallas Bank and Trust, Grumman Systems Support Corporation, Laredo National Bank and the Barnes/Connally Partnership.

Frances Tarlton "Sissy" Farenthold, a native Texan, graduated from Vassar College and then attended the University of Texas Law School. Ms. Farenthold has been involved in public affairs at the local, state, national, and international levels. She served two terms in the Texas House of Representatives and in 1972, became the first woman ever to have her name placed in nomination for vice president of the United States. Over the course of her career, Ms. Farenthold has testified before four committees of the U.S. House of Representatives on topics including daycare, campaign finance reform, and the situation of migrant workers. She has also served as a human rights observer in Iraq, El Salvador, Honduras, South Korea, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Cuba , and the former Soviet Union. In addition to her governmental work, Ms. Farenthold served as the first woman ever to be named president of Wells College, co-founded the National Women's Political Caucus and founded the Public Leadership Education Network (PLEN). Still thriving today, PLEN advocates for the increased representation of women in public office and provides exciting educational opportunities.

Susan Karamanian is Associate Dean for International and Comparative Legal Studies and Professorial Lecturer in Law at George Washington University. She joined the GW Law School in 2000 after a 14-year career at Locke Liddell & Sapp, LLP in Dallas, Texas. While in private practice, Karamanian represented foreign and domestic clients in a variety of commercial disputes. She also maintained an active pro bono docket, in which she represented inmates on Texas death row in their post-conviction appeals. Karamanian was vice-president of the American Society of International Law from 1996 to 1998, and currently serves as a counselor of the Society. She is a member of the board of the Association of American Rhodes Scholars, the Center for American and International Law, and the Texas Appleseed Foundation. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Council on Germany and a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the Texas Bar Foundation.

David Kennedy, Faculty Director of the Institute for Global Law and Policy, is Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He teaches international law, international economic policy, legal theory, law and development and European law. He joined the Harvard Law faculty in 1981 after teaching in Germany. He holds a Ph.D. from the Fletcher School at Tufts University and a J.D. from Harvard. His research uses interdisciplinary materials from sociology and social theory, economics and history to explore issues of international law, global governance, development policy and the nature of professional expertise. He has been particularly committed to developing new voices from the third world and among women in international affairs. As a practicing lawyer and consultant, Professor Kennedy has worked on numerous international projects, both commercial and public, including work with the United Nations and the Commission of the European Union. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, he is currently Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Advisory Council on Global Governance.

Garry Mauro has worked for over 30 years at the local, state, and national levels. He began his political career working on campaigns, including the Texas portion of the 1972 George McGovern presidential race, where he first met Bill and Hillary Clinton. He ran the Texas component of Bill Clinton's 1992 and 1996 presidential campaigns, and later helped Hillary Clinton's effort to win the Democratic presidential primary in Texas in 2008. He served as Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office from 1983 to 1999, working aggressively to protect Texas beaches, to promote natural gas and plastics recycling, and strengthen the state's oil spill response programs. In 1998, he was the Texas Democratic Party nominee for Governor. He has received numerous honors and awards for his civic and philanthropic contributions in environmental, political, and business arenas, including the "Man of the Year Award" from the Texas League of Women Voters and the "Rising Star of Texas Award" from Texas Business Magazine. Mauro attended Texas A&M University and later got his law degree at the University of Texas at Austin. He now practices law in Austin.

Álvaro Restrepo is one of Colombia’s Contemporary Dance pioneers. He studied Philosophy, Literature, Music and Theater, before dedicating his life to dance. His work has been seen in more than 30 countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia. In 1992, he was commissioned as the Sub-Director of the Colombian Culture Institute and in 1993, as the Director of the Arts Superior Academy of Bogotá, where he created the first superior level Contemporary Dance school in the country. Since 1994, he has been living and working in Cartagena de Indias, where he created, with the French dancer and choreographer Marie France Delieuvin, El Colegio Del Cuerpo, which is a school with a unique interdisciplinary focus on respect for the body that cultivates dances while at the same time addressing topics ranging from human rights to sexuality to drug addiction.

Gerald Torres is a leading figure in critical race theory, environmental law and federal Indian Law. He previously served as the Bryant Smith Chair in Law at the University of Texas School of Law and taught at The University of Minnesota Law School, where he served as Associate Dean. He is also a former president of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS). Torres has served as deputy assistant attorney general for the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., and as counsel to then U.S. attorney general Janet Reno. His book, The Miner's Canary: Enlisting Race, Resisting Power, Transforming Democracy (Harvard University Press, 2002) with Harvard law professor Lani Guinier, was described by Publisher's Weekly as "one of the most provocative and challenging books on race produced in years." He has been a visiting professor at Harvard, Stanford, and Yale law schools.