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Speaker biographies

David Hollenbach, S.J., holds the University Chair in Human Rights and International Justice at Boston College. Professor Hollenbach’s research interests are in the foundation of Christian social ethics, particularly in the areas of the human rights, refugees and humanitarian crises, theory of justice, the common good, and the role of religion in social and political life. He teaches periodically at Hekima College of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, in Nairobi, Kenya.

Professor Hollenbach’s publications include Driven from Home: Protecting the Rights of Forced Migrants (edited),  Refugee Rights: Ethics Advocacy, and Africa (edited),  The Global Face of Public Faith: Politics, Human Rights, and Christian Ethics (2003), The Common Good and Christian Ethics (2002); Justice, Peace, and Human Rights: American Catholic Social Ethics in a Pluralistic World (1988) and Claims in Conflict: Retrieving and Renewing the Catholic Human Rights Tradition (1979). Professor Hollenbach served as President of the Society of Christian Ethics and is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Religious Ethics. He completed his B.A. at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, and his Ph.D. at Yale University. In 1998, Hollenbach received the John Courtney Murray Award for outstanding contributions to theology from the Catholic Theological Society of America and in2009 he received the Marianist Award from the University of Dayton for Catholic contributions to intellectual life.


Kevin Kenny is professor of history at Boston College. His principal area of research and teaching is the history of migration and popular protest in the Atlantic world. His latest book, Peaceable Kingdom Lost: The Paxton Boys and the Destruction of William Penn's Holy Experiment, explains how Pennsylvania's early religious tolerance and social harmony disintegrated during the eighteenth century, with disastrous consequences for the province's Indians. Covering the period from Pennsylvania's foundation in the 1680s to its dissolution during the American Revolution, the book traces the emergence of intensifying forms of colonialist expropriation, from the flawed utopian vision of the founder, through the rapacious avarice of his sons, the French and Indian War, and Pontiac's War, to the consummation of a harsh new order during the Revolution. At the heart of the story is the extermination of the last twenty Conestoga Indians by a group of frontier settlers known as the Paxton Boys.

Professor Kenny's earlier work concentrated on the history of Irish migrants in the Atlantic and British imperial worlds. His first book, Making Sense of the Molly Maguires, examined how traditions of agrarian protest in nineteenth-century Ireland were translated into an American industrial setting. His second book, The American Irish: A History, offered an interpretive survey of Irish migration to North America from 1700 to the present, including the Irish preconditions to mass emigration and questions of labor, social mobility, religion, race, gender, politics, and nationalism among the Irish in the United States. He is also the author of a short pictorial history, The Irish: Towards the U.S.A., published in Italy as Gli irlandesi che hanno fatto l'America and contributing editor of Ireland and the British Empire, a collection of historical essays that launched the Companion Series to the five-volume Oxford History of the British Empire.

He is currently researching various aspects of migration and popular protest in the Atlantic world and laying the groundwork for a long-term project investigating the meaning of immigration in American history.


Donald M. Kerwin, Jr., directs the Center for Migration Studies (CMS), a New York–based educational institute devoted to the study of migration, the promotion of understanding between immigrants and receiving communities, and public policies that safeguard the dignity and rights of migrants, refugees, and newcomers. CMS was established in 1969 by the Congregation of the Missionaries of St. Charles, Scalabrinians. It is a member of the Scalabrini International Migration Network, which consists of more than 270 organizations that serve, safeguard, and advocate for migrants throughout the world. Prior to joining CMS, Mr. Kerwin served as vice president for programs at the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), where he coordinated programs and wrote on diverse immigration, labor, and refugee policy issues. Before joining MPI, Mr. Kerwin worked for 16 years at the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), serving as that agency’s executive director for 15 years. CLINIC, a subsidiary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), is a public interest legal corporation that supports a national network of 220 charitable legal programs for immigrants. During Mr. Kerwin’s tenure, CLINIC administered the nation’s largest political asylum, detainee services, immigration appeals, and naturalization programs. CLINIC also offers the nation’s most extensive training and legal support programs for community-based immigrant agencies. Upon his arrival at CLINIC in 1992, Mr. Kerwin coordinated the agency’s political asylum project for Haitians. Mr. Kerwin recently returned to CLINIC to serve as interim executive director for a six-month period. Mr. Kerwin is a non-resident senior fellow at MPI and an associate fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center, where he codirects Woodstock’s Theology of Migration Project.  He serves on the board of directors for the Border Network for Human Rights in El Paso, Texas. He previously served on the American Bar Association’s Commission on Immigration; the Council on Foreign Relations’ Immigration Task Force; the board of directors of Jesuit Refugee Services-USA; the board of the Capital Area Immigrant Rights Coalition; and on numerous advisory groups. Mr. Kerwin writes and speaks extensively on immigration policy issues. He is coeditor of And You Welcomed Me: Migration and Catholic Social Teaching.



M. Brinton Lykes is professor of community/cultural psychology at the Lynch School of Education at Boston College. Her research interests include gender, culture, and theories of the self; effects of state-sponsored terror and organized violence; human rights policy and mental health interventions; participatory action research; and community-based strategies for change. Her many publications have appeared in Social Science & Medicine, American Journal of Community Psychology, Psychology of Women Quarterly, and the Journal of Social Issues. Professor Lykes is involved extensively in Boston-area communities and abroad. She is a founder and program committee member of the Ignacio Martín-Baró Fund for Mental Health and Human Rights, an Advisory Committee member of Women’s Rights International, a former committee member and chair of the American Psychological Association's Committee on International Relations and Psychology, and a volunteer consultant to the Association of Haitian Women in Boston, among numerous other commitments. She also serves on the editorial boards of Action Research and Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology and as a reviewer for many other journals. Professor Lykes received her A.B. at Hollins University, her M.Div. from Harvard University, and her Ph.D. at Boston College.


David A. Martin is the Warner-Booker Distinguished Professor of International Law at the University of Virginia, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1980. He has published numerous books, scholarly articles, and op-ed essays on immigration, refugees, constitutional law, and international law, including a leading casebook on immigration and citizenship law, now in its seventh edition. 

As principal deputy general counsel of the Department of Homeland Security from January 2009 to December 2010, and in earlier government service at the Department of State and the Department of Justice (including an appointment as general counsel to the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1995–98), he was closely involved in critical legal and policy developments in the immigration field. These included the Refugee Act of 1980, a major alteration of U.S. asylum procedures in 1995, implementation of the 1996 statutory amendments to the immigration laws, recent reforms of enforcement priorities and the detention system used in connection with immigration removal proceedings, and the federal government’s 2010 lawsuit against Arizona’s restrictive immigration enforcement law. He also served as DHS’s representative on the interdepartmental task forces created by President Obama’s executive orders for evaluating the cases of all detainees at Guantánamo and for considering overall detention policies in the battle against terrorism. A graduate of DePauw University and Yale Law School, Martin served as a law clerk for Judge J. Skelly Wright and Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr.


Karen Musalo attended Brooklyn College, graduating with a B.A. in comparative literature, and received a J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law. She has been with University of California, Hastings, since 1997, following years of teaching, as well as lawyering in the nonprofit world. She has written numerous articles on refugee law issues, with a focus on gender asylum, as well as religious persecution and conscientious objection as bases for refugee status.

Professor Musalo has contributed to the evolving jurisprudence of asylum law not only through her scholarship, but through her litigation of landmark cases. She was lead attorney in Matter of Kasinga (fear of female genital mutilation as a basis for asylum), which continues to be cited as authority in gender asylum cases by tribunals from Canada to the United Kingdom to New Zealand. Her recent litigation victories include Matter of R-A-, and Matter of L-R-, two cases that establish that women fleeing domestic violence may qualify for refugee protection. Her work examines the linkage between human rights violations and migration, with a focus on the phenomenon of femicides in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras and its relation to requests for refugee protection from women from these countries. She directs the Center for Gender & Refugee Studies, which is internationally known for its cutting-edge research and legal advocacy and for its program of expert consultation to attorneys around the world. Professor Musalo, along with Professor Richard A. Boswell, cofounded the Hastings to Haiti Partnership.


Mae Ngai is a historian interested in questions of immigration, citizenship, and nationalism in the United States. She received her B.A. from Empire State College of the State University of New York in 1992 and her Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1998. She taught at the University of Chicago from 1998 to 2006 before returning to Columbia University, where she is professor of history and Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies.

Ms. Ngai’s first book, Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America won six awards, including the Frederick Jackson Turner award from the Organization of American Historians and the Littleton Griswsold award from the American Historical Association. Her second book, The Lucky Ones: One Family and the Extraordinary Invention of Chinese America, is a family biography of Chinese American immigrant brokers and translators in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2010 and in paper by Princeton 2012. She is now working on a study of Chinese gold miners and the "Chinese Question" in the North American west, Australia, and South Africa. In addition to publishing in academic journals, Ms. Ngai has written articles on immigration history and policy for the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Boston Review, and the Nation. She has received fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, NYU Law School, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. She is currently a fellow at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library.


James M. O’Toole holds the Clough Millennium Chair in History at Boston College. His early career was in libraries and archives, including the Massachusetts State Archives. In 1978 he was appointed the first professional archivist for the Archdiocese of Boston, and he published the Guide to the Archives of the Archdiocese of Boston. For fifteen years, he directed the M.A. program in history and archives at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. He joined the faculty at Boston College in 1998 and has served as chair of the history department and as director of the university’s strategic planning initiative. He has written extensively on American Catholic history, including Militant and Triumphant: William Henry O’Connell and the Catholic Church in Boston, Passing for White: Race, Religion, and the Healy Family, and Habits of Devotion: Catholic Religious Practice in Twentieth Century America. His most recent book is The Faithful: A History of Catholics in America. He is currently at work on a new history of Boston College.


Michael A. Olivas is the William B. Bates Distinguished Chair in Law at the University of Houston Law Center and director of the Institute for Higher Education Law and Governance at the University of Houston. He is the author of the state statutes on undocumented students for six states, the new book No Undocumented Child Left Behind: Plyler v. Doe and the Education of Undocumented Schoolchildren, and many other books.

In 2001, he was selected for the Esther Farfel Award, as the outstanding professor at the University of Houston. He has been elected to membership in the American Law Institute and the National Academy of Education, the only person to have been selected to both honor academies. Both the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) and the Hispanic Bar Association of Houston have given him awards for lifetime achievement. He holds a B.A. (magna cum laude) from the Pontifical College Josephinum, an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Ohio State University, and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.


Mark Raper, S.J., has served as the president of the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific since 2008. Fr. Raper served as provincial of the Jesuits in Australia from 2002 to 2008. In July 2006, he was elected president of Catholic Religious Australia. Fr. Raper spent 20 years in the service of refugees, first as the regional director of Jesuit refugee service for Asia Pacific based in Bangkok, Thailand, and then for more than 10 years during the 1990s as the international director of Jesuit refugee service in Rome, Italy. In 2001 he held a visiting chair at the Center for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University.


Richard Rodriguez is a contributing editor at New America Media in San Francisco. He writes regularly for several newspapers and magazines, both in the United States and in England. He has also written an autobiographical trilogy on class, ethnicity and race: Hunger of Memory, Days of Obligation: An Argument With My Mexican Father, and Brown: The Last Discovery of America. His book The Desert God: A Spiritual Autobiography is due out in October 2013. Richard received a 1997 George Foster Peabody Award for his PBS NewsHour essays on American life. The Peabody Award is designed to recognize "outstanding achievement in broadcast and cable," and is one of television's highest honors. Richard's awards include the Frankel Medal from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the International Journalism Award from the World Affairs Council of California. Richard lives in San Francisco. He has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in non-fiction; and the National Book Critics' Award.


Vincent D. Rougeau is dean and professor of law of Boston College Law School. He previously served as a professor of law at Notre Dame, where he was also the director of the Center for Law and Government and associate dean for academic affairs. An expert in Catholic social thought, Dean Rougeau’s most recent book is Christians in the American Empire: Faith and Citizenship in the New World Order. His current research and writing consider the relationship between religious identity and notions of democratic citizenship and membership in an increasingly mobile global order, one that is marked in certain regions by high levels of economic inequality and political instability. Prior to his arrival at Boston College, Dean Rougeau was a senior fellow at the Contextual Theology Center in London and cofounded an effort called “Just Communities: Christian Witness in a Pluralist Society.” He is currently the leader of a research group on global migration and cosmopolitanism as part of the Contending Modernities project sponsored by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at Notre Dame. He received his A.B. magna cum laude from Brown University in 1985, and his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1988. Dean Rougeau is a member of the bar in Maryland and the District of Columbia.


Peter H. Schuck is the Simeon E. Baldwin Professor Emeritus of Law at Yale Law School, where he has held the chair since 1984. He has also served as deputy dean. His major fields of teaching and research are tort law; immigration, citizenship, and refugee law; groups, diversity, and law; and administrative law. His most recent books include Targeting in Social Programs: Avoiding Bad Bets, Removing Bad Apples; Meditations of a Militant Moderate: Cool Views on Hot Topics; Immigration Stories; Foundations of Administrative Law; Diversity in America: Keeping Government at a Safe Distance; and The Limits of Law: Essays on Democratic Governance. He is also co-editor, with James Q. Wilson, of Understanding America. He is a contributing editor to The American Lawyer. Prior to joining Yale, he was principal deputy assistant secretary for planning and evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Professor Schuck holds a B.A. from Cornell, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, an LL.M. in international law from N.Y.U., and an M.A. in government from Harvard.


Peter Skerry is professor of political science at Boston College and nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, where his research focuses on social policy, racial and ethnic politics, and immigration. Professor Skerry has been a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC, and served as director of Washington programs for the University of California at Los Angeles’ Center for American Politics and Public Policy, where he also taught political science. He was formerly a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and legislative director for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York. He serves on the editorial board of the journal American Politics Research and on the board of advisory editors of Society magazine. Professor Skerry is also a member of the Advisory Council on European/Transatlantic Issues at the Heinrich Böll Foundation of Bündnis 90/Die Grünen (the German Green Party).

His writings on politics, racial and ethnic issues, immigration, and social policy have appeared in a variety of scholarly and general interest publications, including Society, Publius, The Journal of Policy History, The New Republic, Slate, The Public Interest, The Wilson Quarterly, National Review, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. His book Mexican Americans: The Ambivalent Minority was awarded the 1993 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His most recent book is Counting on the Census? Race, Group Identity, and the Evasion of Politics, published by the Brookings Institution Press. His current project is a study of the social, cultural, and political integration of Muslims and Arabs in the United States.


Ray Suarez joined PBS NewsHour in October 1999 as a Washington-based senior correspondent. Suarez came to PBS NewsHour from NPR where he had been host of the nationwide, call-in news program "Talk of the Nation" since 1993. Prior to that, he spent seven years covering local and national stories for the NBC-owned station, WMAQ-TV in Chicago.

He is currently at work on the companion volume to a coming documentary series for PBS chronicling the history of Latinos in America. He is the author most recently of a book examining the tightening relationship between religion and politics in America, The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America. Suarez also wrote The Old Neighborhood: What We Lost in the Great Suburban Migration, and has contributed to several other books, including What We See, How I Learned English, Brooklyn: A State of Mind, Local Heroes, Saving America's Treasures, and Las Christmas. Suarez also hosts the monthly foreign affairs radio program America Abroad for Public Radio International, and the nationally-broadcast weekly political program Need to Know for PBS.

At PBS NewsHour, Suarez is the lead correspondent for the program’s global health coverage. He has reported on some of the world’s most threatening and little-known health crises from Africa, Latin America, and Asia.

Earlier in his career, Suarez was a Los Angeles correspondent for CNN, a producer for the ABC Radio Network in New York, a reporter for CBS Radio in Rome, and a reporter for various American and British news services in London. Over the years he has narrated, anchored, or reported many documentaries for public radio and television including the nationally-broadcast Anatomy of a Pandemic and Jerusalem: The Center of the World; a weekly series, Follow the Money; and programs including Homeland, Who Speaks for Islam?, By The People, The Journey Home, The Execution Tapes, and Through Our Own Eyes.

In 2010 Suarez was inducted in the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. He is a corecipient of NPR's 1993–94 and 1994–95 DuPont-Columbia Silver Baton Awards for on-site coverage of the first all-race elections in South Africa and the first 100 days of the 104th Congress, respectively. He was honored with the 1996 Ruben Salazar Award from the National Council of La Raza, and the 2005 Distinguished Policy Leadership Award from UCLA's School of Public Policy.

Suarez holds a B.A. in African history from New York University and an M.A. in the social sciences from the University of Chicago. He has been awarded honorary doctorates by many colleges and universities. He is a winner of a Benton Fellowship in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Chicago. He has also been honored with a Distinguished Alumnus Award from NYU and a Professional Achievement Award from the University of Chicago. A native of Brooklyn, New York, Suarez lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and three children.


Stephan Thernstrom is the Winthrop Research Professor of History at Harvard University. He has also taught at Brandeis University, UCLA, and the University of Cambridge. His writings in American social history include Poverty and Progress: Social Mobility in a Nineteenth-Century City, The Other Bostonians: Poverty and Progress in the American Metropolis, 1880–1970, A History of the American People, and—with his wife, Abigail—America in Black and White: One Nation, Indivisible and No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning. He was the editor of the Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups (1980) and the co-editor of Beyond the Color Line: New Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity (2002) and Nineteenth-Century Cities: Essays in the New Urban History (1969).

His writings have been awarded the Bancroft Prize in American History, the Harvard University Press Faculty Prize, the Waldo G. Leland Prize, the R.R. Hawkins Award, the Peter Shaw Award, the Caldwell Award, and the Fordham Foundation Prize. In 2007, he and his wife, Abigail, received the Bradley Prize for Outstanding Achievement. He has held fellowships from the John S. Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Social Science Research Council, and the John M. Olin Foundation, and research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mathematical Social Science Board, the American Philosophical Society, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Earhart Foundation, and the Smith Richardson Foundation. He also has written widely in periodicals for general audiences, including The New Republic, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Times Literary Supplement, The Public Interest, the Los Angeles Times, Commentary, and National Review.

Additional information and copies of many of his articles and are available at