HRTCN emerged from a meeting at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland in August, 2008.  At this meeting, over thirty delegates discussed how to educate academics, professionals, scientists, and the public on the importance of approaching tobacco control from a human rights perspective. The details of the meeting were published in the journal Tobacco Control under the title “World: Human Rights and Tobacco Network” in December, 2008.  The organization worked on its mission informally from 2008 until 2012, when it was formally registered as a 501(3)c in Massachusetts, USA. The organization conducts its activities through the guidance of an uncompensated Board of Directors and volunteers.

Board of Directors of the Human Rights and Tobacco Control Network

MiraDr. Mira B. Aghi is a Behavioural Scientist and a Communications Expert whose work has focused on intervention research and advocacy in Tobacco control in her own country as well as internationally. She designs strategies of communication and education for behavioral changes with a special focus on gender health behavior-disease elimination by using culturally relevant user driven messaging technology. Dr. Aghi obtained her PhDin Psychology from Loyola University, Chicago. In 2005 she was awarded an Honorary Professorship in Behavioural Science from Universidad Del Salvador, Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2006. She is a Visiting Scientist, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, USA. She was the first woman from Asia to be awarded the WHO Gold Medal on Tobacco Control in 1989. She received the Luther Terry Award on March 21st 2010 in Singapore.


BosticChris Bostic is Deputy Director for Policy at Action on Smoking and Health, and has been working in global tobacco control since 2001 when he attended the negotiations for the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control as a civil society international law expert. Chris has worked on tobacco policy at the local, state, national and international levels. Prior to joining ASH, he worked with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and the American Lung Association, where he helped to develop SLATI (State-Legislated Actions on Tobacco Issues), which is a national database of tobacco control regulations. He has also served as a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Law. Chris holds a Juris Doctorate from the Washington College of Law, and a master of science in foreign service from Georgetown University.



Brenda I. Chitindi graduated with a Diploma in Human Recourse from Mulungushi University. She lost her father who was sick and had prostate cancer as he was a heavy smoker. Her mother is a cardiac patient due to second hand tobacco smoke that she inhaled from her husband. Since then Chitindi has become an advocate of change. She has done a lot of sensitization to the community including the tobacco growers. She completed her studies at Mulungushi University in Zambia. Currently, Brenda focuses on violations of human rights which includes child labor and unfair working conditions of women in tobacco farms in Zambia. She works to empower farm workers with farm inputs to increase food security as a way of withdrawing labor from tobacco farmers.


daynardRichard Daynard, a University Distinguished Professor of Law at Northeastern University in Boston, USA., has been active in tobacco control for the past 30 years, as President of the Public Health Advocacy Institute (formerly, Tobacco Control Resource Center) and chair of the Tobacco Products Liability Project.  He has published over 80 articles on tobacco control topics, and spoken on them in 54 countries.  While most known for his work in encouraging litigation against the tobacco industry, he has also been a leader in working to meld the efforts of the tobacco control and human rights communities.  He is currently focused on encouraging the adoption and implementation of endgame strategies.


Rangita de Silvade Alwis is the Director of the Global Women’s Leadership Initiative at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC.  In this role, she leads all women’s initiatives at the Wilson Center, including the Women in Public Service Project launched by Secretary Hillary Clinton in partnership with the Seven Sisters Colleges and now expanding to include governments and colleges around the world. She has published widely on gender, human rights and law reform in United Nations publications and law review journals including with Yale, Duke, UCLA, and Penn Law School journals. Dr. de Alwis has a doctorate in law (S.J.D.) from Harvard Law School and was a Teaching Fellow with the European Law Research Institute at Harvard Law School and was a Research Fellow with the Women and Public Policy program at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

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Carolyn Dresler, MD, MPA is the Associate Director for Medical and Health Sciences for the Office of Science at the Center for Tobacco Products within the FDA.  Prior to this she was the Director for the Arkansas Department of Health Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program.  Before Arkansas, she was the Head of the Group for Tobacco and Cancer at the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France. In 2002-2003 she completed a Master in Public Administration at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where she did an independent study in tobacco control and human rights.  She remains US Board Certified in Thoracic Surgery, although she left surgical clinical care in 1998.


PaulaPaula Johns was born and grew up in Brazil. She obtained a Master of Arts Degree in English and International Development Studies in Denmark, at Roskilde University Center. Johns has been recognized as a social entrepreneur by Ashoka in 2010. She is the founder and director of the ACT Tobacco Control Alliance (www.actbr.org.br), a Brazilian coalition of over 800 organizations from all over the country, created in 2003 to monitor and support the process of ratification and implementation of the WHO-Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC) at the national level. Since then, Johns has been a presenter at conferences and other events on tobacco control and civil society mobilization issues nationally and internationally. She is also the immediate former Chair of the Board of Directors of the FCA – Framework Convention Alliance (www.fctc.org), for whom she served as a Member of the BOD for six years.


Lando SPH photoHarry Lando, Ph.D. Distinguished International Professor, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota. He is internationally recognized for his work in smoking cessation and tobacco control and has a total of over 200 scientific publications.  He was a scientific editor of the 1988 Report of the US Surgeon General, The Health Consequences of Smoking: Nicotine Addiction.  He was a member of the tobacco cessation clinical practice guidelines panel for the US Department of Health and Human Services and a past president of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. He was Vice President of the 14th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health held in Mumbai, India March 8-12, 2009 and received the 2010 SRNT John Slade Award for outstanding contributions to public health and tobacco control through science-based public policy and public advocacy.  He is currently chair of the International Liaison Group on Tobacco or Health.


marksStephen P. Marks, Docteur d’État, Dipl. IHEI, is the François-Xavier Bagnoud Professor of Health and Human Rights at the Harvard School of Public Health, where he directs the Program on Human Rights in Development (PHRD). He holds academic degrees from Stanford University, Harvard University and several universities in France. He spent 12 years in the service of the United Nations, working for UNESCO in Paris and in various peacekeeping operations. He is the author of more than 70 articles and book chapters, including an invited commentary in the journal Tobacco Control (2012) and an article on “The Emerging Human Right to Tobacco Control,” in the Human Rights Quarterly (2006).


maryMary Okioma is an L.L.B. graduate from the University of Nairobi, Kenya and a women rights advocate. She is a member of the Gender Committee of the Law Society of Kenya, an alumni of the ISIS-Women’s International Cross Cultural Exchange Program as well as the African Women’s Leadership Institute. She is also a writer on women rights issues and has been involved in community based human rights education programs. She is currently implementing a national program on Smoke Free Workplaces.


Otañez_October2014_smMarty Otañez is a California-born cultural anthropologist, tobacco control advocate and documentary filmmaker. Since 2008, he has been an assistant professor in the Anthropology Department, University of Colorado, Denver. His scholar activist focus has been on tobacco industry practices that undermine livelihoods at the farm level. Otañez is working on a multi-country study of how leaf buyers and cigarette makers appropriate sustainable development and human rights discourses to conceal exploitative industry behavior in key growing countries. He is a board member and treasurer of the Human Rights and Tobacco Control Network (www.hrtcn.net), and a member of the FCA Task Force on Articles 17 and 18. He operates the blogs www.sidewalkradio.net and www.fairtradtobacco.org.


nickNick Schneider was born in Brazil and raised in Brazil and Argentina prior to moving to Germany where he obtained his medical degree in 2005. In 2007 he performed a joined postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, the Cardiovascular Research Institute and the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Since 2011 he works at the German Federal Ministry of Health. He authored or co-authored over ten scientific articles and two book chapters on global tobacco control issues, served national and international scientific committees. He currently works in the Unit for EU-Coordination at the German Federal Ministry of Health.


HarleyHarley Stanton holds two degrees from Loma Linda University, the first a Doctor of Public Health degree and an MPH in Health Promotion and Nutrition. He has been Scientist and Advisor for the World Health Organization and the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) Secretariat. Dr Stanton has been President of the Asia-Pacific Association for Tobacco Control (APACT) and has worked in more than 50 countries on tobacco control at national, regional and international levels for more than three decades. He has a passion for ensuring a break in the generational promotion and transmission of smoking in the Asia Pacific.


dolorasDoloras Marin Tuyà, Psychologist from the University of Barcelona, Specialist on Clinical Psychology from the Spanish Minister of Education, possesses a Masters Degree in Health Psychology Research from the Autonomous University of Barcelona.  Dolors has authored or co-authored over thirteen articles and books on the quitting tobacco on the systemic health of society. Dolors is member of the Advisory Board on Tobacco of the Catalan Health Department, since its creation and she founded the Catalan Society for Tobacco Prevention (SCaPT) and the Spanish Tobacco Prevention Committee (CNPT). At international level was also founder of the International Network of Women against Tobacco (INWAT) and is part of the Board of the INWAT-Europe. She currently holds regularly lectures on tobacco-related topics and at the University of Barcelona, at the International University of Catalonia and about the history of tobacco and health at the Institut of New History.

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