Staff

Thomas M. Kellenberg

Thomas M. Kellenberg is the executive director of International Human Rights Advocates (IHRA).

Tom is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Harvard Law School, where he was a Harvard Human Rights Fellow and a C. Clyde Ferguson Fellow of Human Rights and Development.  Before and during law school, Tom spent several years in Latin America working with various human rights organizations, including the Vicaria de la Solidaridad.

In addition to his work with IHRA, Tom is also the executive director of the University of Notre Dame Washington Program, where he teaches courses in law, public policy and human rights. He has also taught in the law schools at the University of Washington and Catholic University.

Tom has worked in private practice as an associate with the law firm of Perkins Coie, and as of counsel with Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Together with Kirkland & Ellis, Tom helped organize post-conviction representation for Virginia death row inmate Robin Lovitt, who was ultimately granted clemency.

After law school, Tom served as a judicial clerk to Judge John C. Coughenour of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington and Judge Robert R. Beezer of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  He is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Sean O’Brien

Sean O’Brien is the legal director of International Human Rights Advocates (IHRA).

Sean holds three degrees from the University of Notre Dame, completing his J.D. in 2001 and his LL.M. summa cum laude in international human rights law in 2002. During law school, he practiced immigration law at the Notre Dame legal aid clinic and interned with the Belfast law firm of Madden & Finucane in their practice before the Bloody Sunday Inquiry in Derry, Northern Ireland.

Previously, Sean was a fellow and staff attorney at the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) in Washington, D.C., litigating cases in the Inter-American human rights system. He worked as Chief Counsel for Immigration and Human Rights at the Center for Multicultural Human Services (CMHS) in Falls Church, VA, directing a legal services program for survivors of torture and war trauma.

In addition to his work with IHRA, Sean is the Director of Academic Programs at the Center for Civil and Human Rights at Notre Dame, where he teaches in the area of international human rights law. He is admitted to practice in Illinois, where he serves on the Human Rights Section Council of the Illinois State Bar Association.