Rosa Celorio

Rosa Celorio
Associate Dean for International and Comparative Legal Studies and Burnett Family Professorial Lecturer in International and Comparative Law and Policy
2000 H Street, NW
Washington, District Of Columbia 20052
[email protected]

Rosa Celorio joined GW Law in 2018 after having worked for more than a decade as a Senior Attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States, one of the main organs of the regional human rights protection system for the Americas. During her time at the Commission, she held various leadership positions, including the supervision of all the legal work performed by the specialized Rapporteurships on the rights of women, indigenous peoples, racial discrimination, LGBTI issues, children, and older persons, as well as matters concerning South America Countries. Dean Celorio had the opportunity to profoundly shape the women's rights and discrimination work of this cornerstone institution, developing a successful gender mainstreaming strategy, promoting an intersectional approach, and supervising the first group of cases decided by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on violence against women and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. 

Dean Celorio has worked in the field of international human rights law, discrimination, and gender issues for the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM-currently UN Women) in New York and Ecuador; as a lawyer in the law firms of Murphy, Hesse, Toomey and Lehane in Boston and O’Neill & Borges in Puerto Rico; as well as in Greater Boston Legal Services and Centro Presente in Boston. She has also acted as an advisor for several global initiatives implemented by various United Nations Special Rapporteurs and Working Groups. Between 2013 and 2014, she taught the Human Rights Fact-Finding Practicum at Georgetown University Law Center, with a focus on statelessness and economic, social, and cultural rights. The resulting report received the 2014 award of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees for outstanding student research in the field of statelessness. She has appeared in various media outlets, including CNN and Deutsche Welle.

Among her recent activities, Dean Celorio is currently serving as the International Dispute Resolution Authority between the Maya Peoples and the government of Belize, supervising the compliance process related to the judicial orders adopted by the Caribbean Court of Justice to protect the rights of the Maya peoples to their land, territories, and natural resources. She also joined the OAS electoral mission to Costa Rica to observe elections on February 2, 2020 as their senior gender expert, and was an invited professor at the Masters of Human Rights Law of the University of Diego Portales in Santiago, Chile between May 8-9, 2020. Among her recent publications are Several Steps Forward, One Backward: Climate Change, Latin America, and Human Rights Resilience, 34 Md. J. Int'l L. 96 (2019), and Discrimination and the Regional Human Rights Protection Systems: The Enigma of Effectiveness, 40 U. Pa. J. Int’l L. 781 (2019). She also worked on the textbook International Human Rights: Problems of Law, Policy and Practice, co-authored with Professors Dinah L. Shelton, Hurst Hannum, and S. James Anaya (6th ed. 2018). She teaches Regional Protection of Human Rights, International Human Rights of Women and Fundamental Issues in US Law at GW Law.

Dean Celorio is from Puerto Rico. She studied international politics at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, law at Boston College Law School, and global affairs at the Political Science Institute of the University of Strasbourg in France. She has offered presentations on different human rights issues in more than 30 countries in Asia, Central America, North America, South America, the Caribbean, and Europe, and has published scholarship pertaining to these matters. She has received a number of awards for her work in the field of human rights, including the Personality of the Future Fellowship by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France, and the Amnesty International Patrick Stewart Scholarship. She is a member of the State Bars of New York and Massachusetts. She is fluent in several languages, including English, Spanish, and French, and has a working knowledge of Portuguese.




BS, Georgetown University; JD, Boston College Law School