Turdi Hoja – Chairman of The Advisory Board

Turdi Hoja works as a Research Scientist at one of the major pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. He was compelled to be involved in activism after the Ghulja protests in February of 1997. As he watched the TV footage recorded from the official Chinese broadcasting, he realized that the protesters are about his age and if he didn’t speak up then, he wouldn’t ever be able to visit his family and friends back home. Being one of the few Uyghurs in the U.S., he found it his duty to speak up on behalf of the fallen young men. After reports were becoming widespread, Turdi first became involved when he organized a protest with some friends to publicize the Chinese atrocities. In 1998 he and his friends founded the Uyghur American Association where he served on the board of directors until 2000 and then president between 2000-2002. He has since then been a vocal supporter of the Human Rights activities of Uyghur organization throughout the years.

Eric Brown – Advisory Board Member

Eric Brown is a Senior Research Scientist at the College of William & Mary’s Global Research Institute, where he is developing research and educational programs on world politics, applied history, and security. Mr. Brown is also a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, focusing on Asian and Middle East affairs, international security and development, alternative geopolitical futures, and U.S. diplomacy and strategy.  His work focused on the contest over order in West Asia, the geo-strategic ramifications of growing Trans-Asian connectivity, coping with state fragility, and US security strategy.

Mr. Brown conducted research across Eurasia on strategic, governance, educational and political issues as well as on developing new expeditionary diplomacy and stabilization tools and plans. He has a special interest in the geopolitics of mountainous areas, from the Zagros to the Himalayas. Mr. Brown’s rich experience has equipped him with invaluable insights that will contribute significantly to  CFU’s mission of defending the human rights of Uyghurs and holding China accountable for its ongoing genocide in East Turkistan.

Scott Busby – Advisory Board Member

Scott Busby has spent over 30 years working on human rights, refugee, and migration issues in a variety of positions with the U.S. government and United Nations (UN).  He is currently a Distinguished Fellow at the Human Rights Institute of the Georgetown University Law Center.

Most recently, Scott served for ten years as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the U.S. Department of State, where he oversaw, at different times, the bureau’s work on East Asia and the Pacific, Africa, the Western Hemisphere, multilateral issues, business and human rights, labor rights, and human rights-based sanctions.  He also served as Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for an extended period of time where he managed the bureau’s budget, personnel, and programs.

In other U.S. Government positions, Scott did two stints as a director on human rights and refugee issues at the National Security Council (1997-2000; 2009-2011), directed the Office of Policy and Resource Planning at the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration in the Department of State (2000-2005), and worked as an asylum officer and lawyer with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Scott has also served with two international organizations:  as a lawyer at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Washington, D.C. (1992-1995) and  as Coordinator of the Intergovernmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees (2005-2009), which is administered by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) – the UN’s migration agency.

Scott received the F. Allen “Tex” Harris Diplomacy Human Rights Award from the United Nations Association–National Capital Area in 2020 and was a Finalist for the Career Achievement Award of the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals (SAMMIES) in 2022.

He holds advanced degrees in sociology and law from the University of California at Berkeley and received his B.A. from Amherst College.

Dr. Rebecca Clothey – Advisory Board Member

Dr. Rebecca Clothey is an Associate Professor of Education and the Director of Global Studies at Drexel University. Her research interests primarily include ethnicity and community-driven education initiatives. In particular, her recent research has focused on the efforts of the Uyghur community to maintain and preserve their culture for the next generation both within China and in the Diaspora. She has published various articles on this topic in journals such as the Asian Ethnicity and Comparative Education Review. She has received grants for her research from the Fulbright Student Program (one for China and one for Uzbekistan), the Spencer Foundation and the American Research Institute in Turkey together with the National Endowment for Humanities.

Dr. Peter Jan Honigsberg – Advisory Board Member

Dr. Peter Jan Honigsberg is a Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco. His research focuses on the rule of law and human rights violations.

Dr. Sean Roberts – Advisory Board Member

Having conducted ethnographic fieldwork among the Uyghur people of Central Asia and China during the 1990s, he has published extensively on this community in scholarly journals and collected volumes. In addition, he produced a documentary film on the community entitled Waiting for Uighurstan (1996).

From 1998 to 2000 and 2002 to 2006, he worked at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Central Asia on democracy and governance programs, designing and managing projects in civil society development, political party assistance, community development, independent media strengthening, and electoral assistance.

From 2006 to 2008, Dr. Roberts was a post-doctoral fellow in Central Asian Affairs at Georgetown University. At the same time, he continued to work on development projects for a variety of NGOs and served as a Senior Program Officer at the Center for Civil Society and Governance at the Academy for Educational Development where he managed a peace-building project in Darfur, Sudan and an anti-corruption project in Moldova.

His present research is focused on China’s development of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region as well as on democracy development in former Soviet Central Asia. Roberts continues his applied work on the design and evaluation of democracy and governance projects in the former Soviet Union, most recently in Ukraine where he worked on a USAID project to support decentralization and anti-corruption.

Dr. Roberts recent book published in 2020, “The War on the Uyghurs”, highlights China’s oppressive regime against the Uyghur people through broad surveillance and mass detention in concentration camps.