The team at the Colibrí Center for Human Rights brings together decades of experience in the forensic sciences, the social sciences, and in non-profits, startups, and technology. Colibrí exists at the intersection between forensic science and human rights, bringing powerful technology and scientific reliability to one of today’s most pressing human concerns. This allows for streamlined communication with families and cross-border collaboration to facilitate the identification of remains.
Robin Reineke, Co-Founder and Executive Director
Robin Reineke is a doctoral candidate in the School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona. Her dissertation, “Naming the Dead: Identification and Ambiguity along the U.S.-Mexico Border,” is about the scientific, political, and social processes involved in identifying the bodies of deceased migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border. Her ethnographic research includes interviews and participant observation with forensic scientists and families of missing and deceased migrants in Mexico, Guatemala, and various parts of the U.S. Her work has been featured in the BBC, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Economist, and The Nation. She lives in Tucson, Arizona, and when not working with Colibrí, can be found writing her dissertation and hanging out with her dog, Baxter, and her husband, John.
- In progress: Ph.D., Cultural Anthropology, University of Arizona
- PhD Dissertation: Naming the Dead: Identification and Ambiguity along the U.S.-Mexico Border
- 2009 – MA, Cultural Anthropology, University of Arizona
- MA Thesis: Borderlands of Loss: The Missing of the U.S.-Mexico Border
- 2004 – BA, Cultural Anthropology, Bryn Mawr College
Science and Technology Studies, Forensic Anthropology, Human Rights, Immigration, Death and the Dead Body, Race and Categorization, Modern Material Culture
“Los Desaparecidos de la Frontera.” In No Vale Nada la Vida: Death on the U.S.-Mexico Border. Eds Rubio-Goldsmith, R., and Maribel Alvarez. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, forthcoming 2014
“Lost in the System: Unidentified Bodies on the Border.” North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA) Report on the Americas, Summer 2013.
With Dr. Daniel Martinez, “Undocumented Border Crosser Deaths in Southern Arizona.” Border Criminologies, June 22 2013. http://bordercriminologies.law.ox.ac.uk/tag/robin-reineke
With Dr. Daniel Martinez, Raquel Rubio-Goldsmith, Dr. Bruce Anderson, Dr. Gregory Hess, and Dr. Bruce Parks, “A Continued Humanitarian Crisis at the Border: Undocumented Border Crosser Deaths Recorded by the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner, 1990 – 2012.” Report produced by the Binational Migration Institute, June 2013.
With Hannah Hafter. “Will Immigration Reform Mean More Deaths on the Border?” Huffington Post Blog, March 19, 2013. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/hannah-hafter/immigration-reform-and-border-patrol_b_2906986.html
Reineke, Robin. “Arizona: Naming the Dead from the Desert.” BBC News Magazine. January 16, 2013. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21029783
William Masson, Co-Founder and Director of Operations
William Masson brings over a decade of experience in both startups and nonprofit management. As the Director of Operations William is responsible for developing plans, marshaling resources, and monitoring progress toward meeting the organizations’s performance goals. William has extensive experience as a product development specialist for small and emerging technology companies. He began his career leading business intelligence efforts as the Director of Evaluation and Accountability for the Higher Achievement Program in Washington, DC. He then progressed to technology strategy, serving as a Strategic Consultant/Project Manager with NPower Greater DC. William led the development and implementation of the first enterprise-level mobile application at the University of Arizona and the first implementation of EV1 contactless chip technology on a university campus. He earned bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Latin American studies from Oberlin College and an MBA from the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship in the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona. William can be found moving between the US and Quito, Ecuador where he lives with his wife Samantha, a cultural anthropologist and doctoral candidate at the University of Arizona.
Chelsea Halstead, Program Specialist
Chelsea Halstead is Colibrí’s program specialist, collecting information from families searching for loved ones lost crossing the US-Mexico border. Chelsea graduated in 2012 from the University of Arizona with a degree in Geography. Drawn to human rights after a year-long study abroad program in Guatemala, she returned to the U.S. with a new-found passion for social justice. The entirety of her senior year was spent researching and writing her honor’s thesis, “Contesting Notions of Illegality: Humanitarian Border Activism in Southern Arizona”. Through this work she was connected to Robin Reineke and the Colibrí Center for Human Rights, where she worked as a volunteer and eventually joined the staff.
Tom Sheridan currently holds a joint appointment in the Southwest Center and the Department of Anthropology and has conducted ethnographic and ethnohistoric research in the Southwest and Northern Mexico since 1971. Tom directed the Mexican Heritage Project at the Arizona Historical Society from 1982-1984, and was Director of the Office of Ethnohistorical Research at ASM from 1997 to 2003. Since 1997, Tom has been involved in landuse politics in Arizona and the Southwest. Tom served as Chair of the Canoa Heritage Foundation, and has been heavily involved in Pima County’s visionary Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan since 1998, chairing the Ranch Conservation Technical Advisory Team. Tom was also President of the Anthroplogy & Environment Section of the American Anthropological Association from 2003 to 2005.
Daniel E. Martinez is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at The George Washington University. Daniel received a PhD from the School of Sociology at the University of Arizona in May of 2013, and holds a MA in Sociology and MS in Mexican American Studies, also from the University of Arizona. His research and teaching interests include criminology, juvenile delinquency, race and ethnicity, and unauthorized immigration. He is particularly interested in the increasing legal and social criminalization of unauthorized migration. He is one of three co-principal investigators of the Migrant Border Crossing Study, a Ford Foundation-funded research project that involves interviewing recently deported unauthorized migrants about their experiences crossing the US-Mexico border and residing in the United States. Daniel also does extensive research on undocumented border crosser deaths along the US-Mexico border. He recently began a new project examining the immigration-crime nexus in the city of Washington DC.
Kat supports Colibrí’s intake needs and can often be found interviewing families and friends of individuals who are believed to have gone missing while attempting to cross the US-Mexico border. She has lived and worked on human rights issues in Arizona for more than thirteen years; she has worked on missing migrant reports since 2007. Kat earned an Associates of Sciences degree in Engineering Technology from Palo Alto College in San Antonio, Texas, graduated magna cum laude from California State University, Sacramento with a Bachelor’s degree in Studio Art, and holds a Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Arizona.
Bruce is the Forensic Anthropologist for the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner, in Tucson, Arizona. He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona. He is certified as a Diplomat by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology (ABFA), is a board member of the Scientific Working Group in Forensic Anthropology (SWGANTH), and served as a Forensic Anthropologist for the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) project.
Victor Braitberg is a Cultural Anthropologist whose research lies at the intersection of medical anthropology and Science and Technology Studies. His research has been broadly concerned with the ethnographic and historical study of the ways that biomedical knowledge and technological practices are used as political and ideological resources for mediating social inequalities. He is currently an Assistant Professor with the Interdisciplinary Faculty of the University of Arizona Honors College and an Adjunct Assistant Professor with the University of Arizona School of Anthropology and its Program in Medical Anthropology. He is the instructor for the Human Rights Action-Research Internship which provides University of Arizona Honors students with the opportunity to contribute to The Colibrí Center while studying the social, cultural and political-economic forces that have led to migrant deaths on the US-Mexico border.