Claret Vargas, Senior Staff Attorney, is a U.S. lawyer based in San Francisco, California. She joined CJA in 2019. She previously served as Research Director at MSI Integrity, an NGO focused on global governance and business and human rights, and as Director of Internationalization at Dejusticia (Colombia) where she focused on business and human rights. She also served as Executive Director of the Human Rights Center at Stanford Law School, where she taught courses on the Inter-American System and human rights practice. She is an expert on the Inter-American Human Rights System and is co-author of the first law school casebook in English on the subject. Her research and advocacy include forced displacement in the Americas, the Inter-American System, the palm oil and coal industries, and the victim-focused design of effective mechanisms for the protection of human rights. Dr. Vargas has experience in Alien Tort Statute and Torture Victim Protection Act litigation and in class action litigation on behalf of workers. She graduated with a B.A. in Social Studies from Harvard University. She earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in Latin American and Brazilian Literatures from Harvard University, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Prior to her work as a lawyer, she was a professor of Latin American literature focusing on violence, dictatorships and indigenous rights movements in the Americas. She is trilingual in Spanish, French and English, fluent in Portuguese, can read Italian and Latin, and has a rudimentary knowledge of Quechua. She is admitted to practice law in Massachusetts.