Our staff are dedicated to supporting the rights of workers and to building power for workers through a variety of strategies. To reach us, fill out the form on our contact page or call us at 202-347-4100. Members of the media, please contact Liana Foxvog at liana[at]ilrf.org or 413-586-0974.
- Emily Boitel, Program Officer, China Program
- Aisha Brown, Operations Manager
- Brian Campbell, Director of Policy and Legal Programs
- Bjorn Skorpen Claeson, Senior Policy Analyst
- Matt Fischer-Daly, Coordinator, Cotton Campaign
- Liana Foxvog, Director of Organizing and Communications
- Judy Gearhart, Executive Director
- Eric Gottwald, Senior Policy Analyst and Staff Attorney
- Abby Mills, Campaigns Director
- Jacqueline Starr, Development and Communications Associate
Emily Boitel has been assisting the China Program in a research assistant capacity since January 2012, and started as Program Officer of the China Program in May 2012. She graduated in 2011 from the Hopkins-Nanjing Center for Chinese-American Studies where she studied Chinese Constitutional Law, International Investment Law, and Chinese Foreign Policy. Emily obtained her B.A. in 2010 from the Johns Hopkins University in International Relations and East Asian Studies, after which she completed an educational exchange internship in Inner Mongolia on a Fulbright scholarship. Emily is fluent in Mandarin and French.
Bjorn Skorpen Claeson, Ph.D., is a Senior Policy Analyst at ILRF. He also serves as Executive Director for the Sweatfree Purchasing Consortium. Mr. Claeson was a founder of SweatFree Communities and the lead organizer of PICA's Bangor (Maine) Clean Clothes Campaign, a national model for community-based anti-sweatshop activism. He is the recipient of the Maine Initiatives Social Landscape Artist Award 2006 and the Dirigo Social Movement Leader Award in 2004.
Matt Fischer-Daly is the Coordinator of the Cotton Campaign, a global coalition of labor, human rights, investor and business organizations coalesced to end forced labor of children and adults in the cotton sector of Uzbekistan. ILRF is a leading member of the Cotton Campaign. Since 2012, Matt has coordinated the advocacy of ILRF and the coalition to urge governments, companies and investors to use their leverage with the government of Uzbekistan to end this continuous and systematic human rights violation. In this role, Matt also works with partners in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to promote workers’ rights.
Previously, he worked for Social Accountability International, working with partners in Central America to promote labor rights in the agricultural sector and developing voluntary labor standards. Prior to SAI, Matt conducted research on structural adjustment programs with The Development Group for Alternative Policies and worked with the local education Library Project of Guatemala (PROBIGUA). He has an M.A. in International Economic Policy from the School of International Service of American University and a B.A. in Political Science and Spanish Literature from the University of Michigan.
Liana Foxvog is ILRF's Director of Organizing and Communications. In 2004, Liana joined SweatFree Communities as National Organizer, and has coordinated ILRF's campaigns in the apparel industry since the merger with ILRF in 2010. By leading workshops and coordinating national conferences, she has played a critical role in helping launch new grassroots campaigns to promote transparency and respect for workers' rights in apparel supply chains. She has been interviewed extensively on ILRF's work advocating for workplace safety and corporate accountability in the Bangladesh garment industry, including by ABC, BBC, CBC, CBS, In These Times, International Business Times, New York Times, NPR, Salon, The Nation, and Wall Street Journal.
Previously, Liana worked for the American Friends Service Committee, educating and mobilizing youth to take action against corporate globalization and for fairness in trade agreements. She has also taught courses on Labor and the Global Economy at the University of Massachusetts and served as a Spanish interpreter for immigrant rights and social justice organizations. Liana holds a Union Leadership and Administration Master's Degree in Labor Studies from the University of Massachusetts and a B.A. in Political Science from Reed College.
Judy Gearhart is the Executive Director of ILRF since March 2011. Judy is also an adjunct professor at Columbia University's School for International and Public Affairs, teaching the course Human Rights and Development Policy since 2002. Previously, Judy served as the Program Director at Social Accountability International (SAI) where she led research on voluntary labor standards and coordinated training programs for workers and trade unions on how to use codes conduct to claim their rights at work. Prior to SAI, Judy worked on democratization, women’s rights and labor rights programs for Mexican NGOs, UNICEF-Honduras and the ILO’s International Program to Eradicate Child Labor (IPEC). Judy holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University.
Eric Gottwald joined ILRF in the fall of 2011 and is responsible for its programs in Latin America, as well as supporting legal, policy, and legislative efforts. Prior to joining ILRF, Eric worked on union capacity building projects for the AFL-CIO's Solidarity Center in Lima, Peru. He graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2005 and his work has appeared in the American University International Law Review. During law school, Eric worked as a Fellow for the International Labor Organization's Multinational Enterprises Programme. He is licensed to practice law in Wisconsin and the District of Columbia.
Abby Mills joined the ILRF in September 2013 as campaigns director. She is responsible for coordinating campaigns, particularly in agricultural commodities. Prior to ILRF, Abby worked for more than six years in the international affairs department of the American Federation of Teachers, where she coordinated projects with labor partners around the world and developed internationally-themed education materials for members. She had previously worked as a journalist and has experience working with civil society partners on democracy development efforts, particularly in Eurasia. She has a Master of Public Policy degree from Georgetown University (international policy and development) and bachelor’s degrees in journalism and Russian studies from the University of Kansas.
Jacqueline Starr graduated from Lake Forest College in 2010 with a B.A. in Economics and Communications. She joined ILRF as a Trade Finance Research intern in November of 2010, after coordinating with the organization to bring the midwest tour of "Sweatshop Workers Speak Out" to the Lake Forest campus. She then worked in a part-time fundraising and development role, and became a full-time Development and Communications Associate for ILRF in 2011.
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