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Hudson named University's Human Rights Center executive director

A distinguished scholar who has served as a consultant to the European Union and the United Nations, Natalie Florea Hudson '01 will become executive director of the University of Dayton Human Rights Center, effective June 16.

"I am honored and humbled to take on this new role working with the faculty, staff and students committed to human rights research, education and advocacy at UD, in Dayton and beyond," said Hudson, a professor in UD's Department of Political Science. She was among the first graduates of the University's human rights studies program, one of the nation's first, which began in 1998 by offering a minor. "It definitely feels like a full circle moment. I ‘discovered’ human rights at UD, and now I have the tremendous opportunity and responsibility to lead the Human Rights Center. It is a vibrant and robust space with lots of momentum, and I am most excited to work alongside the center’s core team who have long been advancing the mission."

Established in 2013, the University of Dayton Human Rights Center strives to promote human rights through research-driven advocacy and partnerships with human rights practitioners and justice organizations in Ohio, the United States and around the world.

"Dr. Hudson has been intertwined in the fabric of human rights at the University of Dayton since day one. As a student, alumna, teacher and program director, she has experienced all aspects of our growth, and embraced the University's vision of and our Human Rights Center's role in educating future human rights advocates," said Danielle Poe, dean of UD's College of Arts and Sciences. "Her experiences in those areas, plus her expertise, position her very well for her new role."

Hudson returned to the University to teach in 2007; in 2013, she started an eight-year stint as director of UD's human rights studies program, which in 2008 became among the nation's first to offer a bachelor's degree. As the program's director, Hudson revised the curriculum; creating introductory and capstone courses and adding skills-based course requirements for students.

Hudson, a scholar of women's activism in the United Nations system and the nature of transnational advocacy for women’s rights in armed conflict, wrote the book Gender, Human Security and the UN: Security Language as a Political Framework for Women.

In 2018, Hudson spoke at the United Nations Global Citizenship Education Seminar about the role of human rights and global citizenship education in the U.N.'s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, 17 goals to eliminate poverty and achieve human rights for everyone economically, socially and environmentally. In 2022, she worked with the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders to train Ukrainian women activists in supporting survivors and war crimes documentation.

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