Diversity & Inclusion Council
Executive Director, Center for Advancement of Human Rights
Terry Coonan is the founding Executive Director of the Center for the Advancement of Human Rights, FSU's interdisciplinary center dedicated to human rights teaching and advocacy. Prof. Coonan has done victim-based advocacy for over twenty years, beginning with work with survivors of torture and families of the disappeared in Chile during the Pinochet regime. As a human rights and civil rights attorney, Professor Coonan has served with the U.S. Justice Department, the U.S. State Department, and the UN Human Rights Commission. Under his supervision, the FSU Human Rights Center offers ongoing pro bono legal representation to asylum-seekers, torture survivors, and victims of human trafficking. The Center currently provides direct victim care for numerous sex trafficking and labor trafficking victims throughout Florida, and works closely with state and federal law enforcement officials in the investigation and prosecution of these cases.
Professor Coonan coordinates FSU's human rights activities and teaches human rights courses in the FSU Law, Criminology, and Film Schools. He co-directed the 2004 research project Florida Responds to Human Trafficking. Most recently he served as the lead investigator in formulating the 2010 Statewide Strategic Plan to Combat Human Trafficking for the Florida Governor's Office. He is one of the designers of the Justice Department and FDLE training curricula on human trafficking, and has trained law enforcement agencies and service providers nationwide on the issue. He has testified before the Florida Legislature as a subject matter expert and continues to assist Florida legislators in drafting Florida's statutes combating modern slavery.