James Ron

Independent Researcher 

About James

Independent Researcher

James Ron lives in Minneapolis with his two teenaged children and partner. He has a Ph.D. in sociology from UC Berkeley and worked for over twenty years as a tenured professor in the US, Canada, and Mexico.

Over the years, James has conducted research on political violence, human rights, civil society, international aid, and other international topics. His research has taken him to Africa, Central Asia, the former Yugoslavia, Latin America, and South Asia.




James Ron was born in the US and moved with his family to Jerusalem at the age of nine. He graduated from high school in the city and was drafted into the Israeli military from 1985 to 1988, where he served in the airborne. 

Upon his release, James earned a BA in political science from Stanford University and worked at the Jerusalem bureau of the Associated Press.


In the early 1990s, James began working for Human Rights Watch, an international rights advocacy organization. He researched and published reports on violations of human rights law in the Palestinian territories (see here and here) and Turkey, and then conducted fieldwork in Albania, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, and Russia. James has maintained a 30-year relationship with the rights group and most recently, helped design a national survey of U.S. public opinion towards human rights issues. 

James Ron has done research with financial support of the International Committee of the Red CrossCARE, Canadian government agencies, and US foundations, including the Ford Foundation and the Open Society Foundations.

In 2016, James received Ford funding to create Open Global Rights, a multilingual, online platform for international rights strategizing. 

James’ son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was two years old. Soon after, James began volunteering for Life for a Child, an Australian charity supplying insulin to tens of thousands of children in low and middle-income countries.

James’ work for the group has taken him all over the world, including India, Mexico, Morocco, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

For more information, please visit www.jamesron.com

From My Blog

James Ron

Senior Research professional

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