Diane Elson is Emeritus Professor in sociology at the University of Essex, UK, and is a member of the Essex Human Rights Centre. She has served as adviser to UNIFEM, UNDP, Oxfam and other development agencies and is a past vice-president of the International Association for Feminist Economics. She is the chair of the UK women’s organization, the Women’s Budget Group, which analyses government economic policy and advocates for budgets that support gender equality and low income women. She publishes widely on gender and development. Her recent publications include: ‘Economic Policy and Human Rights: Holding Governments to Account’, co-edited with Radhika Balakrishnan, Zed Books, 2011; ‘Financial regulation, capabilities and human rights in the US financial crisis: the case of housing’, co-authored with Radhika Balakrishnan and James Heintz (Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, 12 (I): 153-68, 2011);Budgeting for Women’s Rights; Monitoring Government Budgets for Compliance with CEDAW, UNIFEM, New York, 2006; ‘”Women’s rights are human rights”: campaigns and concepts’, in L. Morris (ed). Rights: Sociological Perspectives, Routledge, 2006; ‘Auditing economic policy in the light of obligations on economic and social rights’ (Essex Human Rights Review, 5(I), 2008); and ‘Gender equality and economic growth in the World Bank’ (World Development Report, 2006, Feminist Economics, 15 (3), 2009). Her academic degrees include a BA in philosophy, politics and economics from the University of Oxford and a PhD in economics from the University of Manchester.


James Heintz is Research Professor and Associate Director of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has written on a wide range of economic policy issues, including employment policies, gender and labor markets, global labor standards, the distributive consequences of macroeconomic policies, economic development of sub-Saharan Africa, and the intersection between macroeconomic policy and human rights. He has worked on collaborative projects with numerous United Nations agencies, including the International Labour Organization, the U.N. Research Institute for Social Development, the Economic Commission for Africa, the United Nations Development Programme, and UNIFEM/UN-WOMEN. His policy work has focused on the U.S. economy and the economies of developing countries, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa, including Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, the Gambia, Madagascar, and South Africa. He is co-author of several books including, with Nancy Folbre, The Ultimate Field Guide to the U.S. Economy. From 1996 to 1998, he worked as an economist at the National Labour and Economic Development Institute in Johannesburg, a policy think tank affiliated with the South African labor movement.

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Cosette Thompson is a human rights and nonprofit organizational consultant. Some of her recent assignments have included an evaluation of CWGL’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign and an assessment of the Post-2015 Women’s Coalition. During her 10 years as Western Regional Director of Amnesty International USA, followed by another decade consulting with the organization’s International Secretariat, Cosette’s activism and leadership focused on promoting human rights education and campaigning to eradicate torture and discrimination and violence against women. She co-founded and coordinated AIUSA’s Human Rights Education and LGBT Networks, as well as the Ginetta Sagan Fund for Women’s Rights, which supports the work of women human rights defenders through annual awards. Cosette also contributed to the advocacy efforts that led to the adoption in San Francisco of the first U.S. city ordinance mandating the local implementation of CEDAW. She subsequently served for five years on the City of San Francisco CEDAW Task Force. She has also served on the Board of several Torture Survivors Treatment Centers, and is currently on the advisory boards of the Environmental Defenders Law Center and HRE USA. She is a contributor for “Towards a Just Society,” published in 2016 by the University of Minnesota Human Rights Resource Center. Cosette Thompson earned her Doctorate in Comparative Literature from La Sorbonne University (Paris) and lectured at the University of Orleans before moving to the United States.