Hannah Jane Ahern

Program Officer

Hannah Jane Ahern joined the DPLF team in January 2020 as a Program Officer, supporting the Judicial Independence program, and the Impunity and Grave Human Rights Violations program. A law graduate from Fordham University (Juris Doctor), she has studied and worked in the defense of human rights since 2015.  In addition to her law degree, Hannah also holds a bachelor's degree (BA) in International Studies with a focus on Latin America and a concentration in Sociology from Kenyon College.

During her studies at Fordham, she served as a legal intern at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica, and at Refugee Solidarity Network, a New York-based non-profit organization working on issues of refugee and asylum law. She also worked for two semesters at the Walter Leitner International Human Rights Clinic at Fordham; there, she contributed to shadow reports submitted to different UN mechanisms on the rights of sex workers in Africa, and collaborated with Amnesty International on recommendations for reforms in the treatment of death row inmates in Japan.

Throughout her studies, Hannah has specialized in various human rights issue, including the inter-American system for human rights protections; economic, social and cultural rights in Latin America; advanced research in international humanitarian law; transnational businesses and human rights; and transitional justice.

In 2017, she was the recipient of the prestigious "James E. Tolan Human Rights Fellowship" scholarship from the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice to work with the Peruvian Forensic Anthropology Team (EPAF) for one year, mainly in initiatives related to the Law No. 30470 "Search for disappeared persons during the period of violence 1980-2000."

Together with the EPAF team, Hannah worked on the classification of cases contained in the Unique Victims Registry for the new Directorate General for the Search for Missing Persons (subsection of MINJUSDH). She also worked on the design and implementation of the project "Memory of the disappeared: Searching for missing persons within the framework of the implementation of Law No. 30470," a series of presentations and workshops for relatives of victims of enforced disappearance funded by the German Embassy in Peru. The workshops were held in the cities of Huancayo, Huancavelica, and Huamanga at the end of 2018, and Hannah's presentations examined Law No. 30470 within the context of international human rights law.

Before beginning her work with EPAF, Hannah was the principal researcher and organizer of an interdisciplinary forum on small-scale mining and human rights in Colombia. She has lived in the United States, Cuba, Guatemala, Germany, Costa Rica, and Peru, and speaks English, Spanish, French and some German.