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Our Team

Pam Bruns

Founder & Executive Director Emeritus

Pam created the vision for the Student Task Force and organized its co-founders in 1999. Early in her career during the Vietnam War, she traveled to Thailand to research the extent of the communist insurgency in northern border areas; she also was a freelance journalist and wrote about Eastern Europe, the Munich Olympics in 1972, holocaust survivors and other subjects. Pam became a public education reform activist and teacher (third grade through high school) before joining the Milken Family Foundation as a Public Affairs Specialist, working to promote excellence in teaching in the U.S.

From 1996-2002 Pam served as Director of Human Rights Watch in Southern California. She broadened support for HRW in Los Angeles by establishing the Young Advocates, Women’s Rights Committee, HRW University Project and the Student Task Force. As adjunct professor teaching human rights at Mount St. Mary’s College, she founded the Human Rights Film Festival in 2003. Volunteering to direct STF and developing human rights education as part of STF has been Pam’s primary focus since 2005.

Kristin Ghazarians

Senior Manager

Kristin has been part of the Human Rights Watch Student Task Force team since 2012. She is a graduate from Syracuse University’s Public Diplomacy program and University of California, San Diego’s International Studies department. Her background is in international relations, conflict resolution and public relations.  Prior to joining HRW, Kristin worked for Amnesty International as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Office Administrator in Washington, DC, interned with the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland and taught English in Cambodia and Los Angeles. She loves to travel and has spent a lot of time focusing on human rights while abroad. She has dedicated her academic and professional careers to human rights and enjoys working with the STF community.

Gabbi McArtor

STF Liaison

Gabbi is an accomplished educator holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Illinois State University, where she also pursued a Children’s Studies minor. She played Division 1 college soccer at Illinois State University where she was an all-conference defender and team captain. Gabbi also earned her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Concordia University Chicago and obtained an English as a Second Language endorsement.

She spent eight years in the classroom as an elementary classroom teacher and middle school science teacher. Gabbi held leadership roles as the Climate and Culture Coach and led the Liberatory Learning Community cohort – a partnership between Teach for America’s Reinvention Lab and Transcend at her school.

Gabbi is energized by people, traveling, and everything soccer. Her mission is to continue working to empower young people to advocate for human rights, build their confidence in becoming effective leaders, and transform their beliefs into action.

Anushka Malhotra

Youth Advocacy Assistant

Anushka is a recent graduate of Occidental College with a degree in Diplomacy and World Affairs and a passion for human rights and education. Anushka has worked with the United Nations Population Fund, where she conducted research on the intersection of gender-based violence and children’s rights. She has also previously worked with the International Rescue Committee to support asylum seekers and immigrants in Northern California through educational programs and outreach. She is looking forward to contributing to the growth of Student Task Force this fall and helping this program empower youth!

Emily Steidl

Youth Advocacy Assistant

Emily is a senior at UCLA studying Sociology with minors in Professional Writing and Entrepreneurship. She has been a part of leadership and advocacy programs since she was in high school where she had the opportunity to launch her own successful mental wellness and advocacy clubs across 5 high school campuses that are still running today! Emily also started an event business in high school training other students in event service skills to work at private and corporate events. She continues to run this business part-time and recently coordinated a county-wide student advocacy and mental wellness summit in Santa Barbara, CA. Additionally, she worked as a legislative researcher and educational outreach intern for Initiate Justice, a transformative justice organization working to end mass incarceration. Emily is passionate about human rights and ensuring that young people have the education and leadership skills needed to create tangible and sustainable changes for our future. She is excited to be joining the STF team as she understands the value that these programs bring in building the passionate leaders and change-makers of the next generation. 

Amanda Yuen

Youth Advocacy Assistant

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Amanda Yuen (she/her) is a Youth Advocacy Assistant with the HRW Student Rights Task Force. She graduated with honors from Johns Hopkins University in 2022 with a B.A. in International Studies and Anthropology. She spent the last school year completing a Fulbright English Teaching Fellowship in New Taipei City, Taiwan where she taught English and cultural classes to elementary school students. She has previously worked at Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, the National Domestic Workers Association, and the International Rescue Committee working on advocacy projects and directly with immigrant clients. She also interned in the Office of California Senator Dianne Feinstein. Amanda is particularly passionate about international law, immigration reform, and the rights of women and girls. She is excited to combine her experience and interest working with students and advocating for human rights with the HRW Students Task force team.

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