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RIT College of Liberal Arts
Conable Conference in International Studies

April 12-14, 2012


RIT ------ College of Liberal Arts ------ Program in International Studies ------ Conable Endowment in International Studies ------ The Department of Sociology and Anthropology ------ Cornell University Department of History

Keynote Speaker

Jeffrey Herbst

Jeffrey Herbst...

assumed his duties as Colgate's 16th president on July 1, 2010.

"The university exemplifies the very best in a liberal arts university at a time when our society is searching for answers that only this type of learning experience can provide," he said. "I look forward to working with the Board of Trustees, faculty, students, staff, and alumni to promote this extraordinary community of scholars and to prepare students for the great challenges of the twenty-first century."

Herbst, 50, came to Colgate after serving for five years as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at Miami University. Before his move to Miami, Herbst was on the faculty at Princeton University, where he also held a number of administrative positions.

A political scientist, Herbst's extensive research and teaching expertise focuses on the politics of sub-Saharan Africa. He is the author of several books and articles, including States and Power in Africa (Princeton University Press, 2000), co-winner of the Gregory Luebbert Best Book Award from the Comparative Politics Section of the American Political Science Association.

Born in Jamaica, Queens, N.Y., Herbst graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1983 and went on to earn M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees in political science from Yale University. He and his wife, Sharon Polansky, a marketing advisor, have three children.

Plenary Speakers

Mary Meg McCarthy

Mary Meg McCarthy...

is the executive director of Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC), one of the nation’s leading immigrant and human rights advocacy organizations. Under her leadership, NIJC has grown from a staff of eight to forty, serving 10,000 noncitizens each year through an unparalleled pro bono network of more than 1,000 attorneys. Through its unique combination of direct service, impact litigation and advocacy, NIJC promotes due process protections before the U.S. Supreme Court, Congress and the Administration. Prior to joining NIJC in 1998, Ms. McCarthy practiced civil litigation and served as a pro bono attorney for NIJC’s asylum project.

Ms. McCarthy has testified before Congressional Committees on human rights and immigration detention reform. In addition, she is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences on human rights and immigration law and has been quoted in leading news outlets such as The New York Times. Ms. McCarthy has provided local, national and international audiences with chilling evidence of the civil rights abuses that plagued immigrant communities in the immediate aftermath of 9/11.

Early in her career, Ms. McCarthy lived in Chile when she worked in local communities to help safeguards the rights of individuals living under a dictatorship. She is a recipient of numerous awards, including the Robert Bellarmine Award from Loyola University Chicago School of Law for distinguished alumni, Chicago AILA Chapter’s Joseph Minsky Mentor Award, and the Lawyer’s Trust Fund’s Esther Rothstein Award.

Juan Osuna

Juan Osuna...

was appointed as Director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review in May 2011. He served as Acting Director from December 2010 to May 2011. Mr. Osuna received a bachelor of arts degree in 1985 from George Washington University, a juris doctorate in 1988 from the Washington College of Law at American University, and a master of arts degree in law and international affairs in 1989 from American University’s School of International Service. From June 2010 until December 2010, Mr. Osuna served the Department of Justice as an Associate Deputy Attorney General working on immigration policy, Indian country matters, pardons and commutations, and other issues. From May 2009 to June 2010, he was a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Division, Office of Immigration Litigation, where, in addition to handling immigration policy, he oversaw civil immigration-related litigation in the federal courts. From September 2008 until May 2009, Mr. Osuna served as Chairman of the Board of Immigration Appeals. From August 2000 to September 2008, Mr. Osuna was a Board Member, serving as both Acting Chairman and Acting Vice Chairman. Prior to that, he held various senior editorial and management positions at West Group (now Thomson West), a leading legal publisher. He teaches immigration policy at George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, Virginia. Mr. Osuna is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar.