Cheryl Thomas
Photo by Dan Seipp of Con Tiempo

Cheryl Thomas is an attorney and Director of the Women's Human Rights Program, a program she founded at The Advocates for Human Rights (formerly Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights) in 1993.  Since 1994, Ms. Thomas has traveled throughout Central and Eastern Europe and former Soviet Union countries and Morocco to work with local groups and individuals to promote women's human rights.  She has published numerous articles and reports on violence against women as a human rights abuse.  Ms. Thomas was honored as a 2005 Changemaker by Minnesota Women’s Press.  In 2008, she was selected to be one of 15 experts from around the world to participate in a United Nations Expert Group Meeting on good practices in legislation on violence against women.  After receiving her law degree from the University of Minnesota in 1983, Ms. Thomas practiced law at the Minnesota Attorney General's office and was a partner at the law firm, Briggs and Morgan. She was an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota Law School where she taught Women’s International Human Rights from 1996 – 2002.   From 1999 to 2001 she served as Executive Director of WATCH, a court monitoring organization focused on cases of violence against women and children.