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Yesterday afternoon during the Fourth Plenary Session held in Washington, D.C., the 48th General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) elected two new members to the Board of Directors of the Justice Studies Center of the Americas (JSCA). They are Jenny Murphy of the United States and Patricia Pérez of Chile. The members-elect will serve from 2019 to 2021.


This election is particularly significant in the context of JSCA’s Gender Equity Policy, the most important institutional change to occur over the past few years. JSCA Executive Director Jaime Arellano stated, “We at JSCA believe that in order to effectively, comprehensively and equitably fulfill our mission and goals, the gender perspective must be incorporated into the Center’s organizational culture and all of its institutional activity. This includes our staffing, processes, activities and the development of our research, projects and training programs.”


Based on the new policy and the express request issued by the Board and JSCA’s Executive Director, the member states considered applications from female candidates. The Board had been exclusively male for several periods until 2017, when Uruguay nominated Margarita de Hegedus, who was elected to serve from 2018 to 2020.

The body will thus consist of three women and four men in 2019.

JSCA has had women on its Board before, and two served as Board President: Soledad Alvear of Chile and Mónica Nagel of Costa Rica.

About JSCA

JSCA’s leadership includes its Executive Director, Jaime Arellano, and Board of Directors. The Center has a staff of 20 professionals from various countries. The Board of Directors is the corporate governance body and is charged with supervising the Executive Director’s work and approving work plans, the budget and the annual reports.

The Board is composed of seven members elected by the OAS General Assembly. Candidates are proposed by the member states through their Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Permanent Missions to the OAS. They may be re-elected once. The Board is currently presided over by Salvadoran attorney Manuel Montecino Giralt and also includes Vice President Daniel Petrone of Argentina, Douglass Cassell of the United States, Leonidas Rosa Bautista of Honduras, George Thomson of Canada, Margarita de Hegedus of Uruguay, and Alexis Mera of Ecuador.

Board members Manuel Montecino and Douglass Cassel will finish their terms on the Board on December 31.

For more information about JSCA, visit






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