James Ron Summer 2020

James Ron lives in Minneapolis with his two teenaged children and partner, where he is pursuing a degree in mental health counseling. He has a PhD in sociology from UC Berkeley and worked for over twenty years as a professor at universities in the US, Canada, and Mexico.

Over the years, James has conducted research on political violence, human rights, civil society, international aid, and other topics. His research has taken him to over 16 countries in Africa, Central Asia, the former Yugoslavia, Latin America, and South Asia. Visit www.jamesron.com for more details.

James Ron was born in the US and moved with his family to Jerusalem at the age of nine. He graduated from high school in the city and was drafted into the Israeli military from 1985 to 1988, where he served in the airborne, among other units.

Upon his release from the military, James earned a BA in political science from Stanford University and worked at the Jerusalem bureau of the Associated Press. In the early 1990s, James began working as a research consultant for Human Rights Watch, an international rights advocacy organization. He researched and published reports for the group on violations of the laws of war and international human rights law in the Palestinian territories (see here and here) and Turkey, and then went on to conduct fieldwork for HRW in Albania, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, and Russia. James has maintained a 30-year relationship with the rights group.

Over the years, James Ron has done research for, and with the financial support of, the International Committee of the Red Cross, CARE, Canadian government agencies, and US foundations, including the Ford Foundation and the Open Society Foundations.  

In 2016, James worked with colleagues to create Open Global Rights, a multilingual, online platform for international rights strategizing, evaluation, and discussion.

James’ son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was only two years old. Recognizing how difficult the disease is to manage under the best of circumstances, James began volunteering for Life for a Child, an Australian charity that supplies insulin and other supplies to tens of thousands of children with Type 1 diabetes in low and middle-income countries.

James’ work for the group has taken him all over the world, including India, Mexico, Morocco, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.