James Ron, Ph.D., is a senior research manager living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was born in the US, lived in France, and grew up in Jerusalem. His experience as an Associated Press reporter during the first Palestinian uprising pushed him to pursue a career in academia and human rights advocacy. James graduated with a BA in political science from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in sociology from UC Berkeley. During this time, James volunteered for B’Tselem – the Israeli Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories – editing their English translation of a pathbreaking report on torture and ill-treatment of Palestinian prisoners. Later, he joined the US-based Human Rights Watch as a research consultant on Israeli and Palestinian issues. In the years to follow, he did the research for the group in Albania, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Russia, and the USA.
Towards the end of his doctorate, James held research fellowships at the Brookings Institution and the Watson Institute at Brown University. During this time, he also consulted for CARE, an international aid group, studying the human rights impact of their aid to refugees in the Goma camps in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He also helped the Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross evaluate their collaboration with international civilian protection agencies during the Bosnian and Croatian civil wars.
James spent two decades working in American, Canadian, and Mexican academia, continuing the research trajectory he began with his sociology dissertation. Over the years, he has taught at Johns Hopkins University, McGill University, Carleton University, the Center for Economic Research and Training in Mexico City, and the University of Minnesota. He designed, oversaw, and analyzed qualitative and quantitative surveys worldwide, including Colombia, India, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, and the US.
When the opportunity arises, James volunteers for Life for a Child. This Australian charity supplies urgently needed medical supplies to children and youth with diabetes in low-income countries. He has traveled to India, Mexico, Morocco, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan for this group, assessing needs and investigating programs’ impact. Ron was inspired to work with Life for a Child when his two-year-old son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease, in 2009.
Professional website: www.jamesron.org
Personal blog: www.jamesron.net