THE HAGUE – 15 December 2023: Earlier this month, Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) announced the addition of three new members to its Board of Directors, reinforcing its commitment to civilian protection policy and practice. 

The new board members, Juan E. Mendez, Basim Razzo, and Abigail Linnington, will begin their terms in January 2024.

“We are thrilled to welcome three new members to our Board of Directors. Their experience, skills, and vision will be invaluable to CIVIC as we confront a world where armed conflict is rife. We look forward to benefiting from their leadership, insight, and strategic wisdom to help the organization navigate both the challenges and significant opportunities ahead,” said Udo Jude Ilo, Interim Executive Director of CIVIC.

About the New Members

Abigail Linnington

Colonel (Ret.) Abigail Linnington, a Professor of Practice at the Fletcher School at Tufts University, has 25 years of service in the U.S. Army as a military strategist and aviator, retiring at the rank of Colonel. From 2016 to 2018, she served as a special assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and director of the Chairman’s Action Group. In this capacity, she provided support in the chairman’s role as a senior military advisor to the president, secretary of defense, the National Security Council, and Congress.

Juan E. Mendez

Juan E. Mendez, a veteran in the human rights field, was formerly a human rights lawyer in Argentina. Mendez’s justice activism led to his arrest, detention, and torture for nearly a year. Upon arriving in the United States, he assumed the role of Director of the Americas division at Human Rights Watch, focusing on Central and South America. Mendez has served for six years as UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and is currently a professor of human rights and humanitarian law at the American University College of Law in Washington, DC.

Basim Razzo

Basim Razzo, an Iraqi survivor of conflict, brings a unique perspective to CIVIC as its first board member with personal experience as a victim of conflict. In 2015, Razzo lost his wife, daughter, nephew and brother in coalition airstrikes on their side-by-side homes in Mosul, Iraq. Razzo works with World in Conversation (Winc) at Penn State University, a program that facilitates dialogues, including students from the University of Mosul. It has since expanded to five locations. Currently residing in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan, Razzo’s commitment to peace and understanding further strengthens CIVIC’s advocacy.


Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC), with a dual headquarters in Washington, DC and The Hague, is a go-to source for effective civilian protection policy and practice, advocating for civilians living in conflict throughout the world.


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