Professional Overview

James Ron is a dynamic, creative, and adaptable senior research professional with deep and broad experience defining research approaches and methods, managing large, diverse global and domestic project teams, developing policy recommendations, and reporting results. James is respected as a published scholar, author and thought leader.
Area of Expertise

     Area of expertise

  • Survey Analysis
  • Quantitative & Qualitative Data
  • Focus Groups
  • Monitoring & Evaluation
  • Cross-Cultural Competency
  • Innovative Research Design
  • Population-based Survey Design
  • Global Experience in 16 Countries
  • Remote Research Team Management
  • Thought Leadership
  • Resource Development
  • Project Leadership
  • Relationship Building
  • Project Proposal Design
  • Elite & Key Informant Interviews
  • Reports, Policies, Books & Articles
  • Evidence-based, Actionable Recommendations
  • Work in French and Spanish


James is co-owner of Azimuth Social Research, a consulting firm providing customized quantitative and qualitative research solutions for private, public, and non-profit entities. Among other projects, Azimuth is working with On Global Leadership, a China-focused consulting firm, to manage, expand, create, and market research projects dealing with Western investment in China, and public opinion in developing countries towards Chinese infrastructure investments.

Before founding Azimuth, James taught and did research at North American universities for 21 years. He earned a BA in political science at Stanford University and an MA and PhD in sociology at U.C. Berkeley. He then held tenure-track and tenured jobs at Johns Hopkins University, McGill University (where he was also a Canada Research Chair), Carleton University, and the University of Minnesota (where he held a privately endowed research chair). He was also a visiting and affiliated professor at CIDE, a Mexican research institute, for several years, and a research fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C.

Over the years, James has worked or consulted for the Associated Press and Financial Times in Jerusalem, the Canadian government’s departments for international affairs and development assistance; the global humanitarian organization, CARE; the global rights group, Human Rights Watch; the Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross; and the Sydney-based medical charity for children with Type 1 diabetes, Life for a Child. James’ involvement with this latter group began in 2010, after discovering that his two-year old son had developed the auto-immune disease that prevents his pancreas from producing insulin.

James has published dozens of scholarly articles, newspaper op eds  and policy articles, as well as two scholarly books and four book-length reports for Human Rights Watch. In 2013, he created Open Global Rights, a multilingual, thought-leadership website for the global human rights movement. Since the 1990s, James has raised millions of dollars in funding for scholarly and applied research from the Ford Foundation, Open Society Foundations, MacArthur Foundation, National Science Foundation, and many more.

James was born in the US, grew up in Jerusalem, and then studied and worked in the US, Canada, and Mexico. His native language is English, but he speaks Hebrew fluently and does well in professional Spanish and French.

James blogs about his survey research at www.jamesron.org and about his personal experiences at www.jamesron.net. He lives in Minneapolis with his two teenaged children, life partner, and black Labrador Retriever. In his spare time he likes to travel internationally, camp with his son, work on his French and Spanish, ride his motorcycle, and watch foreign TV shows.

Please contact James Ron about consulting opportunities at jamesron2@gmail.com.



  1. RON, J., S. GOLDEN; D. CROW; A. PANDYA. 2017. Taking Root: Human Rights & Public Opinion in the Global SouthOxford University Press.
  2. RON, J. 2003. Frontiers & Ghettos: State Violence in Serbia & IsraelUniversity of California Press.
Scholarly Articles2020-10-01T13:26:48+00:00
  1. CROW, D. & J. RON. (2020) “Do Global Publics View Human Rights Organizations as Handmaidens of U.S. Empire?” Political Studies Quarterly 135/1: 9-35.
  2. FRIEDEMANN-SANCHEZ, G., B. CAPISTRANT, J. RON, L. NOVAK, C. ZUIJDWIJK, G. OGLE, B. ANDERSON, A. MORAN & S. PENDSEY. (2018). “Caregiving for Children with Type 1 Diabetes and Clinical Outcomes in Central India.” Pediatric Diabetes 19/3: 527-533.
  3. ZUIJDWIJK, C., S. PENDSEY, J. RON, K. WILLIAMS, A. SALWA, S. CHALKHORE, G. OGLE & A. AHMET. (2017). “Management of Type 1 Diabetes in a Limited Resource Context.” Journal of Diabetology 8/2: 37-44.
  4. PANDYA, A. & J. RON 2017. “Local Resources for Local Rights? The Mumbai Fundraiser’s Dilemma.” Journal of Human Rights 16/3: 370-387.
  5. RON, J., A. PANDYA & D. CROW. 2016. “Can Southern Rights Groups Raise More Domestic Resources?” Journal of Human Rights Practice. 8 (3): 393-405.
  6. DUPUY, K., J. RON & A. PRAKASH. 2016. “Hands Off My Regime! The Backlash Against Foreign Funding to Local NGOs.” World Development. 84: 299-311.
  7. RON, J., A. PANDYA & D. CROW. 2016.“Universal Values, Foreign Money: The Political Economy of Local Human Rights Organizations.” Review of International Political Economy. 23/1: 29-64.
  8. DUPUY, K., J. RON & A. PRAKASH. 2015. “Who Survived? Ethiopia’s Regulatory Crackdown on NGOs.” Review of International Political Economy. 22/2: 419-456.
  9. J. RON & D. CROW. 2015. “Who Trusts Local Human Rights Organizations? Evidence from Three World Regions.” Human Rights Quarterly, 37: 188–239.
  10. RON, J., D. CROW & S. GOLDEN. 2014. “Human Rights Familiarity and Socio-Economic Status: A Four Country Study. Sur: International Journal of Human Rights. 11/20: 335-351. Available in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
  11. HAFNER-BURTON, E. & J. RON. 2013. “The Latin Bias: Regions, the Anglo-American Media, and Human Rights.” International Studies Quarterly, 57/3: 474-491
  12. KINDORNAY, S., J. RON & C. CARPENTER. 2012. “Rights-Based Development: Implications for NGOs.” Human Rights Quarterly, 34/2: 472-506
  13. THOMS, O.N.T, J. RON & R. PARIS. 2010. “State-Level Transitional Justice Impacts: What Do We Know?” International Journal of Transitional Justice 4/3: 329-354
  14. HAFNER-BURTON, E. & J. RON. 2009. “Seeing Double: Human Rights through Qualitative & Quantitative Eyes.” World Politics 61/2: 360-401
  15. THOMS, O.N.T. & J. RON. 2007. “Public Health, Conflict, & Human Rights: An Agenda for Collaborative Research.” Conflict & Health 11/1: 1-38
  16. THOMS, O.N.T. & J. RON. 2007. “Do Human Rights Violations Cause Internal Conflict?” Human Rights Quarterly 29/3: 674-705
  17. RAMOS, H., J. RON & O. N. T. THOMS. 2007. “Shaping the Northern Media’s Human Rights Coverage, 1986-2000” Journal of Peace Research 44/4: 385-406
  18. HAFNER-BURTON, E. & J. RON. 2007. “Human Rights Institutions: Rhetoric & Efficacy,” Journal of Peace Research 44/4: 379-384
  19. RON, J., H. RAMOS & K. RODGERS. 2006. “What Shapes the West’s Human Rights Focus?” Contexts 5/3: 23-28. Reprinted in Goodwin, J. & Jasper, J., eds. 2010. The Social Movements Reader, Blackwell/Wiley
  20. RON, J., H. RAMOS & K. RODGERS. 2005. “Transnational Information Politics: Human Rights NGO Reporting, 1986-2000.” International Studies Quarterly 49/3: 557-587
  21. J. RON. 2004“Paradigm in Distress? Primary Commodities & Civil Wars.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 49/4: 443-450
  22. ENGLEBERT, P. & J. RON. 2004. “Primary Commodities & War: Congo-Brazzaville’s Ambivalent Resource Curse.” Comparative Politics 37/1: 61-81.
  23. COOLEY, A. & J. RON. 2002. “NGO Scramble: Organizational Insecurity & the Political Economy of Transnational Action.” International Security 27/1: 1-33. Reprinted in Prakash A. & Gugerty, M.K., eds. 2010. Rethinking Advocacy Organizations: A Collective Action Perspective. Cambridge University Press. Reprinted in Brown, M., ed. 2004. New Global Dangers: Changing Dimensions of International Security. MIT Press
  24. J. RON. 2001. “Ideology in Context: Sendero Luminoso’s Tactical Escalation.” Journal of Peace Research 38/5: 569-592. Reprinted in Chenoweth, E. ed. 2013, Political Violence. Sage
  25. J. RON. 2000. “Boundaries & Violence: Patterns of State Action along the Bosnia-Yugoslavia Divide.” Theory & Society 29/5: 609-647
  26. J. RON. 2000. “Savage Restraint: Israel, Palestine, & the Dialectics of Legal Repression.” Social Problems 47/4: 445-472. Reprinted in Stout, K. et al, Eds. 2004. Social Problems, Law & Society. Rowman & Littlefield
  27. J. RON. 1997. “Varying Methods of State Violence.” International Organization 51/2: 275-300
Edited Collections2020-10-01T13:27:27+00:00
  1. J. RON. 2017. Journal of Human Rights (16/3). Special Journal Issue on Public Opinion Surveys and Human Rights.
  2. HAFNER-BURTON, E. & J. RON. 2007. Journal of Peace Research (44/4), Special Journal Issue on Protecting Human Rights.
  3. J. RON. 2004. Journal of Conflict Resolution (49/4), Special Journal Issue on Primary Commodities and War.
Book Chapters2020-10-01T13:27:58+00:00
  1. RON, J., KAIRE, J., PANDYA, A. & MARTINEZ, A. 2018. “What Will it Take to Reduce NGO Dependence on Foreign Aid?” pp. 153-160 in Rodriguez-Garavito and Gomez, eds., Rising to the Populist Challenge: A New Playbook for Human Rights Actors. Bogota: DeJusticia.
  2. RON, J.  2000. “Territoriality & Plausible Deniability: Serbian Paramilitaries in the Bosnian War.” Pp. 287-312 in Death Squads in Global Perspective: Murder with Deniability. Arthur D. Brenner & & Bruce B. Campbell, St. Martin’s
Articles & Podcasts for Policy Readers2020-10-01T16:10:51+00:00
  1. : RON, J. & D. Guthrie. (September 14, 2020). Are Today’s Police Critics Anti-Capitalists? The Numbers Say No. OnGlobalLeadership.com.
  2. LAVINE, H. & J. RON. (August 21, 2019). To Protect Human Rights Abroad, Preach to Trump VotersForeign Policy.
  3. RON, J., H. LAVINE & S. GOLDEN. (May 6, 2019). No, American’s Don’t Support Airstrikes that Kill Civilians, Even When they Target TerroristsWashington Post.
  4. KREBS, R. & J. RON. (2018, June 7). Democracies Need a Little Help From Their FriendsForeign Policy.
  5. KREBS, R. & J. RON. (2018, May 13). Why Countries Should Welcome, Not Fear, Foreign Funding of NGOs. Lawfare. Republished in Ynet in Hebrew on May 21 and in English on May 23; and in Open Global Rights in English on June 6.
  6. RON, J., KAIRE, J., PANDYA, A. & MARTINEZ, A. (2018, June 2014). Reducing Dependence on Foreign Aid: What Will it Take? Open Global Rights, June 14. Available also in Spanish.
  7. RON. J. (2017, November 23). Survey: Many Believe Human Rights are Women’s Rights. Open Global Rights. Available also in Spanish.
  8. CALL, C., D. CROW, & J. RON. (2017, Oct.3). Is the UN a Friend or Foe? Order from Chaos Brookings Institution blog, Washington D.C. Published in English in Open Global Rights on November 17. Available in SpanishFrench and Arabic.
  9. DUPUY, K., J. RON & A. PRAKASH. (2017, July 5). “Across the Globe, Governments are Cracking Down on Civic Organizations. This is Why.” Washington Post, July 5.
  10. CROW, D., J. KAIRE & J. RON. (2017, May 4). “Monetizing the Human Rights ‘Brand.’”  openDemocracy. Available also in Spanish.
  11. RON, J., D. CROW & J. KAIRE. (2017, February 15). “Ordinary People Will Pay for Rights. We Asked Them.” openDemocracy. Available also in Spanish.
  12. RON, J. & D. CROW. (2016, November 29). “Human Rights Groups are Secretly U.S. Agents. True or False?” Washington Post. Published also in openDemocracy on December 19. Available also in Spanish and Arabic.
  13. RON, J. 2016. “Earning the Trust of Human Rights Supporters.” openDemocracy. September 6. Available also in Spanish.
  14. RON, J. 2016. “A Matter of Opinion: What do we Really Think of Human Rights?” Podcast #6, Season #1, The Rights Track: Sound Evidence on Human Rights.
  15. DUPUY, K., J. RON & A. PRAKASH. 2016.  “What Drives the Crackdown on NGOs, and How Can it be Stopped?”openDemocracy, April 22. Available also in Spanish.
  16. DUPUY, K., J.RON & A. PRAKASH. 2015. Foreign Disentanglement. Stanford Social Innovation Review. 13/4: 61-62.
  17. TOUHTOU, R., J. RON & S. GOLDEN. 2015. For Moroccan Rights Organizations, Good Reputations Aren’t EnoughopenGlobalRights, July 28. Available also in French & Arabic.
  18. HAITEMI, M., S. GOLDEN & J. RON. 2015. Partners in Prayer: Women’s Rights and Religion in Morocco. openDemocracy July 7. Available also in French & Arabic
  19. RON, J., S. GOLDEN, D. CROW & A. PANDYA. 2015. Data-Driven Optimism for Global Rights ActivistsopenDemocracy June 29. Available also in Spanish, French & Arabic.
  20. RON, J. & E. HAFNER-BURTON. 2013. ¿Por qué los medios de comunicación angloamericanos estuvieron tan interesados en las violaciones a los derechos humanos en latinoamérica? Foreign Affairs Latinoamerica. 
  21. RON, J. & A. PANDYA. 2013. Universal Values, Foreign Money. Local Human Rights Organizations in the Global South. openDemocracy November 13. Available also in Arabic, French, Hindi, Spanish, Turkish & Hebrew.
  22. RON, J., D. CROW & S. GOLDEN. 2013. The Struggle for a Truly Grassroots Human Rights Movement. openDemocracy, June 18. Available also in Arabic, French, Hindi, Portuguese, Mandarin, Turkish, & Spanish.
  23. RON, J. & E. HAFNER-BURTON. 2013. “What Region Gets the Most Human Rights Coverage?” Columbia Journalism Review. January 30
  24. RON, J. & E. HAFNER-BURTON. 2013. “Anglo-American Media: Why So Interested In Latin America’s Abuses? openDemocracy, January 30
  25. DUPUY, K., J. RON & A. PRAKASH. 2012. “Foreign Aid to NGOs: Good Intentions, Bad Policy.” openDemocracy, November 15
  26. RON, J. 2011. “Palestine, the UN, and the One-State Solution.” Middle East Policy, 28/4: 59-67
  27. RON. J. 2011. “Middle East Hawks Should Welcome UN Palestine Vote.” openDemocracy (London) September 21; “Ortadogu Sahinleri, Filistin Oylamasina Kucak Acmali.” Bianet (Istanbul), September 22; “Israel-Palestina: inevitable Estado binacional.” El Universal (Mexico), September 28.
  28. RON, J. & H. RAMOS. 2009. “Why are the United States & Israel at the Top of the Human Rights Hit Lists?” Foreign Policy, November 3
  29. NEWMAN, K., M. MANN, R. COLLINS, & J. RON. “Mass Murder: What causes it? Can it be stopped?” Contexts 6/2: 25-31 Reprinted in Brym, R.  (2010). Society in Question: 6th Edition Nelson
  30. RON, J. 2001. “Kosovo in Retrospect.” International Studies Review, 3/3: 103-115.
  31. RON, J. 2001. “The Second Palestinian Uprising.” Middle East Policy 8/1: 73-80
  32. RON, J. 1996. “Rabin’s Two Legacies.” Index on Censorship 5/96: 156-161. [Longer Turkish version serialized by Çumhuriyyet: Ankara, 27-29. Longer Arabic version published by Al-Mustaqbal Al-Arabi: Beirut 19/213]
Reports for Government Agencies, NGOs & Communities of Practice2020-10-01T13:30:29+00:00
  1. RON, J., B. ROOT, S. GOLDEN & H. LAVINE. Forthcoming. Taking Stock: U.S. Public Towards Human & Civil Rights in the Age of Trump Human Rights Watch, University of Minnesota, and Center for Victims of Torture.
  2. KAIRE, J., USECHE, C., CROW, D. & J. RON. 2018. Can Local Human Rights Organizations Raise Funds from the General Public in Bogotá?  University of Minnesota.
  3. ABSAR, K., D. CROW, J. RON, G. MALDONADO, J.P. BOLANOS, J. KAIRE, & A. MARTINEZ. 2017. Will Publics Pay to Protect Rights?  University of Minnesota.
  4. PANDYA, A., S. GOLDEN, J. RON & D. CROW. 2016. The Human Rights Sector in Mumbai, India: Evidence from Activists and the Public. University of Minnesota.
  5. GOLDEN, S., R. SCHMIDT, J. RON & D. CROW. 2014. The Human Rights Sector in Colombia: Evidence from the Public. University of Minnesota and the Americas and the World Project, CIDE (Mexico City).
  6. GOLDEN, S., R. SCHMIDT, J. RON & D. CROW. 2014. The Human Rights Sector in Ecuador: Evidence from the Public. University of Minnesota and the Americas and the World Project, CIDE (Mexico City).
  7. RON, J., S. GOLDEN, A. PANDYA, S. PEEK, L. SPARLING, & D. CROW. 2014. The Human Rights Sector in Mexico: Evidence from the Public, Elites, and Activists. University of Minnesota and the Americas and the World Project, CIDE (Mexico City). [English & Spanish].
  8.  RON, J. & S. GOLDEN. 2013. The Human Rights Sector in Morocco: Evidence from the Public and Activists. University of Minnesota. [English & French].
  9. THOMS, O.N.T., J. RON & R. PARIS. 2008. The Effects of Transitional Justice Mechanisms: A Summary of Empirical Research Findings & Implications for Analysts & Practitioners. Prepared for the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs & International Trade: Ottawa
  10. THOMS, O.N.T. & J. RON. Public Health Research Methods: How can They Support Conflict and Human Rights Analysis? Prepared for the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade: Ottawa
  11. THOMS, O.N.T. & J. RON. Violations of Human Rights and Civil War Onset. Prepared for the Canadian International Development Agency: Ottawa
  12. RON, J. 1998. Human Rights & Humanitarian Assistance: Evaluating CARE’s Performance in the Eastern Zaire Refugee Camps, 1994-1996. Prepared for CARE-USA: Atlanta
  13. RON, J. 1996. Compete or Collaborate? Civilian Protection in the former Yugoslavia. Prepared for the International Committee of the Red Cross: Geneva
  14. RON, J. 1995. Weapons Transfers & Violations of the Laws of War in Turkey. Human Rights Watch: New York [Available in English and Turkish].
  15. RON, J. 1994. Israel’s Interrogation of Palestinians from the Occupied Territories. Human Rights Watch: New York
  16. RON, J. 1993. Israeli Undercover Operations against “Wanted” & Masked Palestinians. Human Rights Watch: New York
Other Newspaper Commentary2020-10-01T13:31:22+00:00
  1. RON, J. 2012. “Making Schools Safe.” openDemocracy, December 16; MinnPost, December 17
  2. RON, J. 2012. “Understanding Privilege.” MinnPost & ASweetLife.com, September 12 & 4.
  3. RAMOS, H. & J. RON. 2012. “Funding Cuts Could Unshackle Canadian Civil Society.” Toronto Star, April 15; “Revolutionizing the Canadian Social Justice Sector.” openDemocracy.net (London), April 15, and IPolitics (Ottawa), April 16.
  4. RON, J. 2011. “Mexico’s Parallel Worlds” MinnPost & openDemocracy.net (London), December 8 & 11; “Meksika’nın Paralel Dünyaları.” Bianet (Istanbul), December 23.
  5. RON, J. 2011. “How Civil Servants Serve a Hated Master.” Ottawa CitizenRegina Leader-Post, Calgary Herald, Montreal Gazette & the Windsor Star, June 30, 2011. “Where Do You Draw the Political Party Line?” Edmonton Journal, July 4, 2011.
  6. PANDYA, A. & J. RON. 2011. “Social Activism Can Thrive Even Amid Mumbai’s Wild Growth.” Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, Calgary Herald & Regina Leader-Post, February 28.
  7. RON, J. 2011. “Carleton’s Painful Next Step to Excellence.” Ottawa Citizen, January 8, 2011.
  8. RON, J. & A. AHMET. 2010. “Public School should be for Diabetic Children, Too.” Ottawa Citizen, Regina Leader-Post, & the Victoria Times-Colonist, December 18.
  9. ALBIN-LACKEY, C & J. RON. 2010. “Ignatieff Has Some Explaining to Do.” Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, Windsor Star, Calgary Herald & the Regina Leader-Post, November 4.
  10. RON, J., A. AHMET & C. ZUIJDWIJK. 2010. “A Made-in-India Solution to a Tragic Health Scourge.” Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette & the Regina Leader-Post, October 5.
  11. RON. J. 2010. “What Human Rights Watch Can Teach Us.” Embassy Magazine (Ottawa). September 22.
  12. RON, J. 2010. “Faith-Based Aid Succeeds by Focusing on the Aid.” Ottawa Citizen August 27; Montreal Gazette Regina Leader-Post, August 30.
  13. RON, J. 2010. “Canada Adrift in Religious World.” Toronto Star, July 29.
  14. RON, J. 2010. “Canada on the Banks of the Nile.” Ottawa Citizen, June 21.
  15. RON, J. 2010. “What a ‘Broken’ Healthcare System Really Looks Like.” Ottawa Citizen, May 28.
  16. RON, J. 2010. “Human Rights NGOs Can’t Rely on Western Funding Anymore.” Ottawa Citizen, March 27.
  17. RON, J. 2009. “Ottawa Hangs Colvin out to Dry.” Toronto Star, December 4.
  18. RON, J. 2009. “What do We Tell Our Future Diplomats?” Ottawa Citizen, November 25; “Government Hangs Diplomat Out to Dry,” Montreal Gazette, November 26.
  19. RON, J. & H. RAMOS. 2009. “Statistics Tell the Real Story of Watchdogs & Israel.” Ottawa Citizen, October 31.
  20. PARIS, R. & J. RON. 2009. “Step Up, Canada: Propose a G8 Centre on Fragile States.” The Globe & Mail (Toronto), August 10.
  21. RON, J. & P. ANDREAS. 2009. “Folly of Siege Warfare.” Ottawa Citizen, January 23.
  22. RON, J. 2008. “Christmas isn’t For Everyone.” Ottawa Citizen, December 23.
  23. RON, J. 2008. “Great Universities Don’t Reward Mediocrity.” Ottawa Citizen, September 11.
  24. RON, J. & V. PERCIVAL. 2008. “We Need Brains, Not Brawn.” Ottawa Citizen, August 13.
  25. RON, J. & O.N.T. THOMS. 2008. “Jury is Still Out on International Justice,” Ottawa Citizen, July 26.
  26. RON, J. 2006. “Trapped in a Vengeful Machismo,” Toronto Star, July 28.
  27. RON, J. & O.N.T. THOMS. 2006. “Can Canada Help Curb Civil Wars?” Toronto Star, April 12.
  28. RON, J., H. RAMOS & K. RODGERS. 2005. “Finding Bias in Human Rights Reporting,” Globe & Mail (Toronto) May 31; “Skewed Reporting,” Baltimore Sun, June 3.
  29. RON, J. 2004. “Responsibility for Abu Ghraib may be Difficult to Unravel,” Baltimore Sun, May 18; “Obeir aux ordres: Qui est responsible des mauvais traitements infliges aux detenus irakiens?” La Presse (Quebec City & Montreal) May 20.
  30. RON, J. 2004. “US Doing the Right Thing in Sudan,” Toronto Star, April 22.
  31. RON, J. 2003. “Lift the Sanctions – Economic Weapons of Mass Destruction,” Globe & Mail (Toronto) May 13.
  32. RON, J. 2003. “Canada Must Push Plan to Protect Iraqi Civilians,” Toronto Star, January 2; “Protect Iraqi People from Looming Disaster,” Baltimore Sun, January 17.
  33. RON, J. 2002. “Protecting Civilians,” Montreal Gazette, December 13; “Une catastrophe humanitaire plane a l’horizon,” La Presse (Quebec City & Montreal) December 17.
  34. RON. J. 2002. “What Happened in Jenin?” Toronto Star, April 19; “Que s’est-il passé?” La Presse (Quebec City & Montreal) April 19.
  35. RON. J. 2002. “Fighting Will Only Encourage Martyrs.” Ottawa Citizen, April 2.
  36. COOLEY, A., J. RON & G. KYNOCH. 2002. “Only New Israeli Policy Will Bring Peace.” Toronto Star, January 3.
  37. RON, J. 2001. “War’s Secret Weapon.” Ottawa Citizen, November 12.
  38. COOLEY, A. & J. RON. 2001. “Relief Business Bears Watching.” Baltimore Sun, October 15; “Coming to the Aid of Afghan People.” Toronto Star, October 29.
  39. RON, J. 2001. “Self-Critical Foreign Policies Could Enhance Our Security.” Baltimore Sun, September 24.
  40. RON, J. 2001. “Stop Looking the Other Way.” Globe & Mail, August 10; “Le bras inegal de la justice internationale.” Le Devoir (Montreal) August 20.
  41. RON, J. 2001. “Vengeance is Counter-Productive.” Montreal Gazette, May 24.
  42. J. RON. 2001. “The Only Middle East Solution.” Radikal (Istanbul), April 6.
  43. J. RON. 2001. “Is Ariel Sharon Israel’s Milosevic?” Los Angeles Times, February 5; “A New Era in Israel,” Radikal (Istanbul), February 7; “Is Ariel Sharon a War Criminal?” Chicago Tribune, February 8.
  44. ANDREAS, P. & J. RON  2001. “Don’t Seal Off Mexico.” Baltimore Sun, January 7.
  45. RON, J. & C.T. CALL. 2001. “Une ‘commission verite’ pour les Etats-Unis.” Le Monde (Paris), January 11.
  46. RON., J. & C.T. CALL. 2000. “US Has Own Record of Atrocities.” Boston Globe, December 23; “Time for a US Cold War Truth Commission.” Chicago Tribune, December 24; “US Needs Its Own Truth Commission.” Montreal Gazette, December 28.
  47. RON, J. 2000. “Desperate Logic of Arms.” International Herald Tribune (international version of the New York Times) November 16; “Palestinians’ Logic Behind the Violence.” Globe & Mail (Toronto) November 16.
  48. RON, J. 2000. “Israel’s Liberals Must Speak Out for Palestinians.” Boston Globe, November 4; “A Mile in Palestinian Shoes.” Ottawa Citizen, November 1; “Jewish Liberals & Voices of Reason.” Baltimore Sun, November 10.
  49. RON, J. 2000. “America Neglects Accountability for Military Acts.” Baltimore Sun, August 7.
  50. RON, J. 2000. “Israelis Know the Occupied Territories are Not Theirs to Keep.” Baltimore Sun, August 15; “Preparing Israel for Peace.” Chicago Tribune, August 4; “For Peace’s Sake, Israel Must Return All Lands.” Globe & Mail (Toronto) July 25; “Israel’s Leaders are Not Prepared for Peace.” Daily Star (Beirut), July 28; “The Palestinians’ Lands Are Not Ours.” Milliyet (Ankara), July 29; “Preparing Israel for Peace,” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, 19 (8): 31.
  51. RON, J. & A. COOLEY. 2000. “A Lease Could Break the Palestine-Israel Deadlock.” Boston Globe, July 7; “Suppose Israel Leased the Jordan Valley from the Palestinians.” International Herald Tribune, July 8, 2000; “Land Lease for Peace.” Baltimore Sun, July 9.
  52. RON, J. 2000. “The Next Step for Israel.” Boston Globe, May 25; “Making Peace Means First Saying You’re Sorry.” Baltimore Sun, May 29; Ottawa Citizen, May 27; “After Twenty Years of Brutality, It’s Time to Right Wrongs.” Daily Star (Beirut) May 27; “The Next Step for Israel: An Israeli Soldier’s Memoirs.” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, 19 (7): 22-23.
Advisory and Research Experience

Advisory and Research Experience

James Ron, PhD, has been engaged in advisory and research activities for over two decades. This work has taken him across Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, typically in collaboration with international and local partners. James has led research on a variety of international projects, including:

1. Advisory and Research Services for On Global Leadership
On Global Leadership is a private consulting firm providing original data, analysis, advisory services, executive education, and coaching to companies worldwide, with a special focus on Chinese markets and investment opportunities.

In this ongoing collaboration, James is working with On Global Leadership director Doug Guthrie to design and manage two projects: the first is devoted to analyzing the potential of secondary Chinese cities to be sites for foreign investment, while the second involves public opinion towards Chinese infrastructure investments in the developing world.


2. Advisory and Research Services for Human Rights Watch 

  • Co-leading a survey of 3,000 US adults to assess current attitudes towards human and civil rights. Ron is the lead author of the forthcoming report on the survey findings. The project’s goal is to provide a snapshot of American attitudes during the Trump presidency; provide a baseline for future studies and help shape the focus of rights organizations’ advocacy strategies. The report will be published in fall 2020 as a joint project of HRW, the Center for Victims of Torture, and the University of Minnesota.
  • Directing multiple teams of graduate students at the University of Minnesota, over multiple years, to propose new research and evaluation methods to HRW, in conjunction with HRW’s program department.
  • Conducting investigations in seven countries in or adjacent to armed conflict, including Albania, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Palestine, Turkey, and Russia. In these locales, Ron worked with local and international colleagues to interview hundreds of civilians, soldiers, government officials, journalists, civil society activists, and others to assess violations of the International Laws of War and International Human Rights Law.   
  • Overall, James has written three book-length reports for HRW documenting abuses and providing recommendations for policy change, as well as a fourth report devoted to the results of a representative survey of US public opinion towards human and civil rights.

3. Advisory and Evaluation Services for Life for a Child

Life for a Child is a charitable organization affiliated with the International Diabetes Federation, supplying insulin, blood glucose tests, and other critical supplies to over 17,000 children with Type 1 diabetes in under-resourced countries. After discovering in 2010 that his two-year-old son had developed the auto-immune disease, James began working with the Sydney-based non-profit group.

James Ron’s advisory and evaluation work for Life for a Child includes traveling to five countries (India, Mexico, Morocco, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan) to assess the medical needs of children with Type 1 diabetes; explore the particular of existing Life for a Child programs; evaluate these programs’ impacts on juvenile health outcomes; and recommend programmatic changes. In the process, James has interviewed and collaborated with dozens of physicians, government officials, civil society activists, patients, and patients’ families.

4. Research and Advisory Services Supported by the Open Society Foundations
The Open Society Foundations (OSF) are a group of philanthropic agencies focused on promoting human rights and civil society worldwide. OSF funding supports a wide variety of civic organizations throughout the world.

With OSF’s support, James Ron and colleagues surveyed residents in Bogotá and Mexico City to learn the conditions under which ordinary citizens might donate money to support the work of local civic groups. Ron and his colleagues published a series of articles and white papers from this data, helping shape the policies of OSF and its partners.

5. Cross-National Survey Research: The Human Rights Perception Polls
While at the University of Minnesota, James Ron and colleagues designed face-to-face surveys in four countries (India, Nigeria Mexico, and Morocco) to learn about public attitudes towards human rights. They published a book and numerous articles from this data, presenting findings and offering recommendations to major human rights organizations and philanthropies.

6. Advisory and Research Services with support from Global Affairs Canada
Global Affairs is the Canadian foreign ministry. Their funding has supported James’ advisory and research work on a number of issues, including transitional justice programs in post-conflict settings, the link between political violence and human rights abuse, and the use of evidence-based methods in conflict analysis.

7. International Thought Leadership Through Open Global Rights

With funding from the Ford Foundation, Open Society Foundations, and University of Minnesota, James Ron and colleagues created Open Global Rights, a leading platform for evidence-based discussions of human rights strategies, policies, and impact. The website publishes in over 20 languages and has raised over one million USD in funding. Ron was the platform’s founding editor, guiding the website’s development through its first four years, recruiting authors from all across the world and overseeing the editorial process.

8. Advisory and Research Services for CARE

CARE is an international family of humanitarian aid agencies, with affiliates in many countries. At the request of the US affiliate, James Ron researched the human rights impact of the CARE family’s programs in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He then provided a confidential white paper to the organization to help guide their future programming.

9. Advisory and Research Services for the International Committee of the Red Cross

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is a Geneva-based organization charged with monitoring the implementation of the International Laws of War. It provides medical and other humanitarian aid, registers prisoners of war, monitors their treatment, and helps prisoners and other persons displaced by war communicate with their loved ones. The ICRC operates on the basis of bilateral agreements with individual governments and has historically worked alone in an effort to safeguard its credibility, neutrality, and confidentiality.

At the request of the ICRC’s civilian protection division, James Ron researched the organization’s track record of collaboration with other international agencies in the former Yugoslavia. Based on this work, he provided an advisory white paper to help the ICRC identify opportunities and challenges in its work with other international organizations.




Supervisors and Clients2020-10-01T13:52:57+00:00

Raymond Duval

PhD. Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science; former Special Assistant to the Provost; former Dean of the College of Liberal Arts; former Chair of the Department of Political Science, University of Minnesota.

“Jim Ron was my valued colleague at the University of Minnesota.  We recruited him for the Harold E. Stassen Chair in International Affairs, a highly prestigious professorship with joint appointment in the Hubert Humphrey School of Public Affairs and the Department of Political Science.  

As Chair of the Political Science Department at the time, I was thrilled that he accepted our offer of the position, because he had emerged as our clear top choice after a thorough and extensive international search in which we considered scores of the best scholars in the field.  

He is an outstanding colleague, fully meeting our hopes and expectations for the holder of the Stassen Chair, in exemplifying scholarly commitment to innovative and top-notch research on crucially important topics in global affairs, and leading creative initiatives to translate such cutting-edge scholarship into practical action to enhance human rights worldwide.  One of the especially admirable and distinguishing qualities of Jim’s work is his sensitivity to and ability in bridging cultural differences, as beautifully evidenced by the multi-language and cross-national collaborations he has led.”

Iain Levine

Senior Human Rights Advisor, Facebook

“Jim Ron combines a broad and impressive range of skills and experiences that allow him to provide high level, analytical skills to a range of businesses and organizations. He has a strong and expert commitment to human rights and a clear understanding of human rights concepts, global priorities and the landscape of the movement. 

At the same time, he has – rarely for human rights activists – exceptionally strong methodological and analytical skills. His expertise in public opinion polling and quantitative analysis were particularly important for Human Rights Watch, where I worked as head of programs for many years. Jim led a groundbreaking initiative for HRW that addressed a profound need: to better understand attitudes to human rights in the US so as to better promote more positive and accepting attitudes. 

Jim listens carefully and looks for ways to bring his expertise in research, political analysis, data analysis and more to serve the needs of partners and collaborators.”

Graham Ogle, MD

General Manager, Life for a Child Program, Australia. Adjunct Professor, University of Sydney

“Jim has provided valuable support to the Life for a Child Program. He was instrumental in building the connections that led the Program to start in Mexico, and he has visited a number of countries to monitor and evaluate the work. These include some less-travelled countries in Central Asia. These visits require rapid adaptation to numerous very different medical and social situations, as well as diplomacy, insight, background knowledge, and warmth. He conducted these visits with great skill. Furthermore, he has also established research connections in USA, Canada and India which have resulted in various peer-reviewed publications which contribute to knowledge of diabetes care of young people in less-resourced settings.”

Kenneth Roth, JD

Executive Director, Human Rights Watch

“I began working with Jim as he was doing difficult on-the-ground research in Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory. I joined him for part of it and helped to release the resulting report. Already, at a young age, he showed unusual attention to detail, a thoroughness and professionalism in his work, and a drive to make a difference. Since then, I have worked with Jim repeatedly as he emerged as the leading pollster on global attitudes toward human rights.

Jim’s sophisticated polling in pivotal countries around the world, coupled with his deeply analytic assessment of the findings, repeatedly provided enormously helpful insights into how people think about human rights and how best to engage them in the human rights cause. Jim also was the founder and editor of the leading on-line forum for the human rights movement to evaluate and improve its work, which became a go-to source to learn about creative new approaches to human rights and to discuss the movement’s future.

Through this all, Jim has maintained a close, valued working relationship with Human Rights Watch, gaining much esteem among the staff for his skills and contributions. He combines the best, empirically based academic rigor with a passion for improving the defense of human rights. He is an enormous asset to the human rights cause.”

Eric Schwartz

President of Refugees International. Former Dean of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, and Former Assistant Secretary of State, Refugees, Population, and Migration.

“Jim Ron is a dedicated scholar and analyst whose research and published works have made important contributions to the field of human rights. His writing is thoughtful, clear, and creative. His empirical work has made a genuine and valuable difference to a norm-based discipline that has not often enough been rigorously subjected to qualitative and quantitative analysis.”


Colleagues and Collaborators2020-10-01T13:44:23+00:00

Charli Carpenter, PhD

Professor of Political Science and Legal Studies, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

“Jim is a leading expert on human rights and humanitarian affairs who has pioneered the study of human rights public opinion in the Global South. He is a wide-ranging thinker, a versatile analyst, an eclectic methodologist, who moves easily between the academic and practitioner worlds. A terrific listener who resolves conflicts with ease, he is also a delightful colleague with high interpersonal intelligence.

We first worked together on a study of the human security network funded by a major NSF grant. Jim brought to the table an entire network of global south data and an innovative methodology for sampling transnational networks through distinct nodes. He also brought to the project a level of quantitative sophistication and experiential knowledge from his practitioner days and consulting work in the NGOs world that had us all thinking more deeply, and he kept the team laughing. He was indispensable in the development of my third book, and we published an article together as well.

Beyond our collaborations I know known Jim as a dedicated humanitarian himself, highly engaged in the global health arena and always looking at issues from the perspective of the most vulnerable. He is simply a pleasure to work with.”

Alexander Cooley, PhD

Professor of Political Science, Barnard College, Columbia University; Director, The Harriman Institute at Columbia University

“Jim is one of the world’s leading experts on global non-for-profit management and operations, including organizational dynamics, funding pressures, membership and public opinion. He has pioneered new methods that have revealed new insights into our understanding of NGOs across many different regional settings and his work is highly touted in academia and the policy world. Experienced, ethical and a great listener, Jim is unsurpassed in his ability to translate his groundbreaking research into practical recommendations for the needs of donors and organizations that seek to manage complex challenges and operational environments.”

Kimberly Nolan Garcia, PhD

Profesora Asociada, FLACSO-Mexico

“Jim and I worked together on a tri-national course on global development issues during his one-year Visiting Professor post at CIDE in Mexico City. We built a course across time and space with students from our home university programs in Mexico and the US, and students at an allied school in Israel.

Beyond his impeccable grasp of course content (non-state actors, international development, humanitarian intervention, international humanitarian law) and expertise on the cross-national case studies we used, I was continually struck by his ability to package content creatively, always looking for ways to push students to engage the material beyond the average classroom format.

Jim consistently came up with innovative solutions to problems of timing and calendars as they arose, met technological challenges with grace, and overall directed the class in a way that not only met all of the educational quality bars, but was also simply totally fun. In that year, Jim served as a sounding board for many of my pending research ideas, made himself available for conversations with me and many others on career choices and interests, and his visit overall strengthened our International Relations Division as an institution.

He is a solid academic, skilled researcher, a dependable and collaborative-minded colleague, and in my experience, our ongoing contact has only strengthened my own work.”

Stanley Ibe, JD, LLM

Lawyer at the Open Society Justice Initiative, Nigeria

“Jim was editor of Open Global Rights when a friend introduced the platform to me in 2013. He edited most of the articles I wrote for them. His thoughtful, probing and engaging approach to contributors’ writings was as refreshing as it was revealing of the kind of thorough, deeply passionate and exceptionally gifted researcher and academic he is. When Jim commits to a project, you can be sure he will give it undivided attention.”

Osai Ojigho, JD, LLM

Country Director, Amnesty International, Nigeria

“Jim is a visionary and aspirational leader. In the years we worked closely together on open global rights (a platform he created), I learnt a lot from him about how to be patient, review after review, and to always keep an eye on the goal of making knowledge accessible to as many people as possible. He treated everyone with respect, was very professional and dedicated to the editorial team and the contributors. Working with Jim was easy and enjoyable.”

Roland Paris, PhD

Professor of International Affairs at the University of Ottawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. Former Senior Advisor on Global Affairs and Defense to the Prime Minister of Canada

“Jim is one of the brightest people I know. I had the pleasure of working with him on a joint project for the Canadian foreign ministry. He delivered an excellent report – concise, clear, well-researched, and relevant. Jim has a remarkable ability to think through research problems, dig up and analyze the evidence, and present the results in a clear and compelling way. I really enjoyed our collaboration.”

Graduate Students, Employees & Mentees2020-10-01T16:21:08+00:00

Ghita Benessahraoui, MA

Founder and consultant, People in Action -International Development Consulting, Morocco

“I first had the opportunity to work with Jim as a freshly graduated masters student, in 2006. Hired as a research assistant to take part in an intensive field-based research project on south-based human rights organizations in Montreal, I was inspired by Jim’s passionate, dynamic, and positive leadership, as well as by his highly adaptive, problem-solving skills, hard work and competences as an outstanding researcher and team leader. 

In 2010, I took part in a global research project, designed and led by Jim, on the sustainability of rights-based organizations, involving a multicultural research team across the globe between Canada, Mexico, India and Morocco. I was yet again inspired and driven by Jim’s unwavering passion and quest for high quality research to better understand and advance the rights-based field globally. I was inspired by and learned from his ease to navigate through his sophisticated and rigorous yet pragmatic methods and approaches to research, data analysis, results formulation and policy and field applications. 

Jim’s natural, compassion-based and collaborative leadership skills, coupled with his passionate engagement and hard work, make for highly qualitative and conducive work dynamics, which transcend cultural boundaries and settings and inspire all to naturally contribute their best.”

Maya Dafinova, PhD

Program Manager, ABC Start Right at Paul Partnership, Ireland

“Jim was instrumental in starting me off on my PhD path. He taught my PhD-level ‘Applied Techniques for Policy Analysis’ course, as well as the ‘Qualitative Methods’ course. He subsequently became my first PhD dissertation supervisor. I also worked for Jim as a Research Assistant as part of a multicultural team, on a research project that explored the sustainability of rights-based organizations in the developing world. Jim’s instruction, guidance, and patience as a professor and a supervisor was what enabled me to choose my PhD dissertation topic. His professionalism, intelligence and competence shines through, and marks everything he does. The course he delivered on Grounded Theory sparked my interest in qualitative research methods. I wholeheartedly recommend his services.”

Rachel Schmidt

PhD. Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Josef Korbel School of International Studies, 2020-21

“Jim was my MA supervisor at Carleton University, my first PhD supervisor, and also my director when I started working as an editor for Open Global Rights – I have known him for 15 years. He has been one of the key mentors in my career, and I would not have embarked on my PhD journey if it were not for his encouragement. As an instructor, he was excellent and engaging, and he brought valuable fieldwork experience into the classroom. He has always been highly professional, and his feedback never failed to make my work better. He demands excellence from his students but also shows them how to achieve it, and he teaches with compassion – this is a rare combination. His research work is inspiring and groundbreaking, and he has incredible attention to detail and a keen ability to solve complex problems. I hope to be able to work with him again someday!”

Darin Zeidan, MA

Country Manager, Palestinian Association for Children’s Encouragement of Sports, Palestine

“I got to know James Ron while he was teaching at the University of Minnesota, where I visited for a year a State Department-funded fellowship. We consulted a number of times in Minneapolis on my interests, and James was very helpful. Later, I helped him plan and execute a research trip to Palestine, which he conducted with a colleague. It was a pleasure to work with him in the field. He brings integrity and knowledge to his work, connects well with people from different backgrounds, and is able to conduct and guide cross-cultural conversations with ease. I highly recommend him to anyone considering him for work in an international context.”




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