Who We Are
The Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (PHRGE) is overseen by faculty co-directors Professors Martha Davis, Zinaida Miller, Lucy Williams and Margaret Woo, and staffed by Director Elizabeth Ennen. PHRGE hosts affiliated faculty, research fellows, research assistants, co-op students, and interns.
Elizabeth Ennen, Director
Elizabeth Ennen began working at PHRGE in September 2016 and has been serving as its director since September 2018. She specializes in asylum law and the rights of noncitizens. Ennen is currently working on a “Safe Communities” project, with the Massachusetts ACLU and the Massachusetts Immigrant and Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), in which she analyzes efforts in Massachusetts to decrease the participation of local law enforcement agencies in the enforcement of federal immigration laws. In 2019, Ennen developed the Partnership for Immigrants' Rights, a team of immigration advocates and Northeastern researchers devoted to promoting the health, safety, and human rights of immigrants.
Ennen holds a PhD in philosophy from McGill University and a JD from Northeastern University School of Law. After law school, she clerked for the Honorable Justice Margot Botsford ’73 at the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC), served as a pro bono asylum attorney and technology consultant at Community Legal Services and Counseling Center (CLSACC) in Cambridge, and volunteered as a research associate at the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic. In 2015 the SJC Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services honored her with an Adams Pro Bono Publico Award for her work at CLSACC and at Harvard. From 2018 to 2021, Ennen served as the chair of the SJC Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services, and as an ex officio member of the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission.
Alfred Brownell is one of Africa’s leading environmental and human rights defenders; he works in the area of indigenous land rights. He is known, in particular, for his advocacy to prevent the destruction of tropical forests for palm oil production. In 2019 Brownell was awarded the Goldman Environment prize for successfully protecting more than 500,000 acres of tropical forests. After experiencing persecution in his home county of Liberia, Brownell came to the United States where he has taught at Northeastern University School of Law and Yale Law School. Brownell continues to advocate internationally for the land rights of indigenous communities.
Maria Green’s work focuses on human rights and development, with an emphasis on economic, social and cultural rights and on practical implementation of human rights standards as part of development or anti-poverty policy and practice. She also writes and teaches on issues relating to law, literature and human rights.
Deena Hurwitz is a human rights attorney and educator with expertise in international, human rights, and humanitarian law; gender and state accountability; access to justice; and civil society and law reform. She has served as the Founding Director of the Atrocity Prevention Legal Training Project at the Cardozo School of Law, a Visiting Professor of Law and Acting Director of the International Human Rights Law Clinic at American University’s Washington College of Law, and a Professor of Law and Founding Director of the International Human Rights Law Clinic at the University of Virginia School of Law.
Gillian MacNaughton was the inaugural Executive Director of the Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy (2010-2012), and is now a senior fellow with the program as well as an affiliate of the Program on Health Policy and Law at Northeastern University. MacNaughton is an international human rights lawyer who works on economic and social rights, particularly the rights to health, education, and decent work, and their relationship to equality rights. She is also involved in developing human rights-based methodology and tools, including human rights impact assessment and indicators.