In keeping with the AAAS Science and Human Rights Coalition’s commitment to the principles of inclusivity, participation, decentralization, and transparency, it is structured as follows. Further information about the structure of the Coalition can be found in the Foundational Documents.


The Coalition is made up of all interested eligible scientific associations, professional societies, academies, and other formal networks of scientists, engineers and health professionals that recognize a role for science and technology, scientists and engineers in efforts to realize human rights.

Coalition Council

The Council is composed of member associations’ two official and active representatives. The Council is the Coalition’s highest policy-making and priority-setting body. It sets the direction of the Coalition, reviews recommendations from working groups, considers new initiatives, and reviews requests for new working groups.

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee ensures implementation of decisions taken by the Coalition Council; provides guidance to the working groups; and serves as the liaison between AAAS, the Coalition, scientific associations, and the human rights community. With the exception of the representatives of the human rights community and Members-at-Large, only representatives of member organizations (not affiliated organizations or individuals) can be on the Steering Committee. Current members of the Steering Committee are:

  • Brian Gran (American Sociological Association: Member-at-Large)
  • Michele Irwin (American Physical Society: Member-at-Large)
  • Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach (Association of American Geographers)
  • Oliver Moles (Capital Area Social Psychological Association)
  • Melvyn Nathanson (American Mathematical Society)
  • Karen Oates (National Center for Science and Civic Engagement: Member-at-Large)
  • Mindy Reiser (Affiliated Individual: Member-at-Large)
  • Maya Sabatello (Columbia University)
  • Margaret Satterthwaite (New York University, School of Law: Human Rights Community Representative)
  • Jeffrey Toney (Sigma Xi)
  • Sue Vaughan (Freedom House: Human Rights Community Representative)
  • Margaret Vitullo (American Sociological Association)
  • Jessica Wyndham (AAAS Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program)

Working Groups

These are composed of interested members and affiliated organizations and affliated individuals, and are focused on specific areas of activity. Working groups can be formed when two members express readiness to take the lead on an area of activity, and they (1) see no possibility of carrying out the proposed activity within an existing working group, and (2) develop a concept paper that (3) is approved by the Coalition Council. Because working groups involve additional work and require Coalition resources, new areas of activity will only be pursued when: it has been determined that there is a clear need; they are not duplicative of other Coalition efforts; and they cannot be carried out within pre-existing working groups.


The AAAS Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program serves as the Secretariat and supports the Coalition through the facilitation and coordination of its activities; organization of meetings; maintenance of a repository for Coalition documents and materials; facilitation of links with the human rights community; coordination of the listserv; recruitment of qualified interns; and fundraising.