About Me

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I am the Samuel Clark Waugh Distinguished Professor of International Relations and Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  I also serve as the Director of the Forsythe Family Program on Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs and the Faculty Coordinator for the William H. Thompson Scholars Learning Community.  My research interests are in international relations, human rights and international law.

My book, Domestic Politics and International Human Rights Tribunals:  The Problem of Compliance, was published  by Cambridge University Press (2014) as part of the Cambridge Studies in International and Comparative Law Series.  My research has also appeared in Democratization, The European Journal of International RelationsForeign Policy Analysis, The Harvard International Law Journal, Human Rights Quarterly, Human Rights Review, International Interactions, The Journal of Human Rights, The Journal of Peace Research and The Law and Society Review, among other outlets.

I am also co-editor, with Par Engstrom, of The Inter-American Human Rights System: The Law and Politics of Institutional Change (Routledge 2019) and co-editor, with Patrice C. McMahon and Tyler White, of State Responses to Human Security:  At Home and Abroad (Routledge 2013).

I am co-PI, with Jillienne Haglund, on a National Science Foundation grant, the goal of which is to unpack the effects of overlapping human rights institutions on women’s rights protections.  This multi-method project features a new dataset on the quality of and compliance with women’s rights recommendations.  You can learn more about the dataset, The Women’s Rights Recommendations Digital Database (WR2D2), in a recent Journal of Peace Research article.

I also am part of a multi-institutional, multi-country research network sponsored by the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Council, called ActInCourts.  Based out of the University of British Columbia, this network is designed to facilitate research on civil society mobilization at international human rights courts.

In addition to my scholarship and teaching, I serve as an Associate Editor of International Studies Quarterly as part of the 2019-2023 editorial team.  I also am Past-Chair of the International Studies Association Human Rights Section and a founding and executive committee member of the Inter-American Human Rights Network, an interdisciplinary community of researchers focused on the Inter-American Human Rights System.  I have previously served as the Social Media Coordinator of the Human Rights Section of the American Political Science Association.

I received my Ph.D. in 2010 from the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  While in graduate school, I had research fellowships at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University and the School of Human Rights Research at Utrecht University in Utrecht, the Netherlands.  Before starting my graduate work at the University of Wisconsin, I attended Middlebury College in Middlebury, VT.  I graduated suma cum laude from Middlebury with a B.A. in History and Spanish in 2004.

Originally from Stafford Springs, CT (check it out in this video here), I now live in Lincoln with my husband, Carrick Detweiler, and our family.  I spend my free time traveling (I occasionally write about our travels here), reading, running, exploring Lincoln and best of all, cherishing my time with our two daughters.  Although I don’t get to do it too often anymore, I grew up skiing and snowboarding and taught skiing for many years at Okemo Mountain in Ludlow, VT.  I completed my first marathon in May 2012, and with a 26.2 under my belt, I’ve since discovered that half marathons are half the distance but twice the fun. I try to run a half marathon or two each year.