Our mission is to advance human rights and social justice in the Americas.
Our staff are leading experts on Latin America
Geoff Thale is the Interim President at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), a leading research and advocacy organization advancing human rights in the Americas. He follows hemispheric trends as well as U.S. policy toward the region, and works…
Director for Citizen Security
Adriana Beltrán leads WOLA’s Citizen Security Program, focusing on violence prevention, and police and judicial reform in Central America. In addition to her work on citizen security, Ms. Beltrán has worked extensively on human rights and organized crime, particularly in…
Director for Cuba
Marguerite Rose Jiménez joined WOLA in 2016 as Director for Cuba having spent the past 12 years working on Cuba within NGOs, think tanks, academic institutions, and most recently within the Obama Administration.
Director for Defense Oversight
Adam Isacson has worked on defense, security, and peacebuilding in Latin America since 1994. He now directs WOLA’s Defense Oversight program, which monitors U.S. cooperation with Latin America’s security forces, as well as other security trends.
Director for Mexico and Migrant Rights
Maureen Meyer directs WOLA's Mexico program with a special focus on analyzing U.S.-Mexico security policies and their relation to organized crime-related violence, corruption, and human rights violations in Mexico. She promotes justice for human rights violations in Mexico and also…
Director for the Andes
Gimena Sánchez-Garzoli is the leading Colombia human rights advocate at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). Ms. Sánchez is an expert on peace and illegal armed groups, internally displaced persons, human rights and ethnic minority rights. Her work has…
Director for Drug Policy and the Andes
John Walsh has coordinated WOLA’s Drug Policy program since 2003, in support of more humane and effective drug policies in the Americas. Respected for his combination of careful policy analysis and effective advocacy, Mr. Walsh has helped establish WOLA as…
Jo-Marie Burt is a senior fellow at WOLA specializing in Peru. She teaches political science at George Mason University, where she is currently acting co-director of the Center for Global Studies. Her research focuses on political violence and state power,…
David Smilde is a senior fellow at WOLA specializing in Venezuela. He is the Charles A. and Leo M. Favrot Professor of Human Relations at Tulane University and moderates the WOLA Venezuela Politics and Human Rights blog. His research focuses…
Coletta Youngers is a leading expert on international drug control policy and drug policy related developments in Latin America. She has over thirty years of experience working on human rights and political developments in the Andean Region and U.S. foreign…
Elizabeth Leeds is a senior fellow advising WOLA’s work on citizen security and human rights in Brazil. She is a leading expert on police reform and other issues of citizen security in Brazil, having conducted extensive research and field work…
We help to create impact both in Washington and throughout the Americas.
We partner with courageous people throughout the Americas to identify urgent human rights problems.
We bring decades of expertise to analyze these problems and propose concrete policy solutions.
We advance human rights by combining cutting-edge communications and advocacy strategies.
By changing policies we create lasting impact for human rights and social justice in the Americas.