JAMES RON

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 Ph.D. 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 the 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.

BLOG

Holding Two Truths

Holding Two Truths

In 1985, I was drafted into the Israeli military for three years. Two of those were in the explosives company of the paratroop brigade, one of Israel's more rigorous infantry units. Zeev Jabotinski, a right-wing Zionist thinker, once wrote that the Jewish community...

Going Back to School at the Age of 54

Going Back to School at the Age of 54

At the age of 54, after being a professor for 21 years (17 of them tenured), I'm going back to school. I enrolled in a master's program in counseling psychology, with the eventual goal of earning a counseling license. It's a long slog - could be as long as 4 or 5...

Wonderful T1D Civic Groups Worldwide

Wonderful T1D Civic Groups Worldwide

I've written before about Life for a Child, an internationally focused charity based in Australia that supports some 22,000 kids and young people worldwide with Type 1 diabetes. The group sends local partners supplies of insulin, syringes, blood testing equipment, and...

T1D parents standing together

T1D parents standing together

Wherever I go in the world, I feel a special bond with other people in the Type 1 diabetes community. The connection is especially strong with other diabetes parents, but I feel it with other members of the community as well - children, aunts, uncles, physicians,...

Un-Lived Lives and Tame Fantasies

Un-Lived Lives and Tame Fantasies

As we grow older, the menu of possible life choices grows narrower, our range of possibilities shrinks, and we become more and more locked-in to whatever life we are living. There are still decisions to be made and alternatives to pursue, but the “anything is possible” period of our lives, which we may have been lucky enough to have had, is forever gone.

A Free Spirit in the Corona Age

A Free Spirit in the Corona Age

Yesterday, I had a private online French lesson with an Afro-French man living temporarily in Mexico. The teacher - let's call him Francois - said he was divorced, and had therefore decided to travel the world without fixed abode. I didn't ask whether he had children....

On Feathers and Achievements

On Feathers and Achievements

I left academia in the summer of 2020, and have been working ever since on establishing an independent business. One of the biggest challenges when talking with friends, mentors and professional coaches is the difficulty in enumerating my "achievements" and "products"...

At Least It’s Not the Plague

At Least It’s Not the Plague

To make himself feel a bit better about COVID, at least temporarily, James Ron writes about the Black Plague of the 14th century, which killed millions but led to rising wages for the remaining peasants and laborers.