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Tom Nazario  

Attorney and Assistant Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco School of Law

Thomas Nazario is an attorney and Assistant Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco School of Law. His expertise lies in the fields of Community Civic Education, Children’s Rights, Family Law, Civil Rights Litigation, Education Policy, Human Rights and Economic Justice, particularly as they relate to women and children worldwide.

Professor Nazario has authored four books on children’s rights including the nationally acclaimed, In Defense of Children. These publications have made him a recognized expert on the legal rights and problems of children in America. He has appeared on CNN, Oprah Winfrey, Larry King, the Today Show, and the Tom Snyder Show, as well as dozens of other television and radio programs while, at the same time, serving as a consultant to law firms throughout the country litigating cases involving children who have been abused or neglected, the subject of an intense custody battle, lost in foster care, or injured or killed as a result of someone’s negligence.

Additionally, Professor Nazario has, on several occasions, drafted legislation that would ban the corporal punishment of children in California, has testified before Congress on the problems of children in America, and has served as a member of a congressional subcommittee charged with coordinating activities associated with National Children’s Day, as well as a taskforce responsible for monitoring the status of children in America. In acknowledgement of his work, Professor Nazario was named the 1997 Harvard Educator of the Year by the Harvard Club of San Francisco, and in 1998 received the Sarlo prize from his university. The Sarlo prize is his university’s most prestigious award and is given annually to the professor who has exhibited excellence in teaching and in his or her commitment to students and the community.

On the international front, in 1999, Professor Nazario was asked to travel to Dharmasala, India, to meet with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. He did so as a member of a legal team charged with preparing a report to be presented to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child intended to document human rights abuses levied by the Chinese government against Tibetan children, as well as the life experiences of the nearly 2,000 Tibetan children who each year cross the Himalayas to escape Tibet/China. The report, entitled A Generation in Peril, The lives of Tibetan Children under Chinese Rule, was presented to the United Nations on June 6, 2005. As a result of his work on this report, Professor Nazario has returned to India on more than eight occasions over the past twelve years, and in doing so, has brought students from his university to work with refugee children, has developed a scholarship program for Tibetan students and has coordinated a visit by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the University of San Francisco in September 2003. His Holiness came to USF specifically to receive an Honorary Doctoral Degree and to thank the university for the work Professor Nazario has spearheaded on the university’s behalf. Since then, Professor Nazario has continued to work with the Dalai Lama on various visits to the United Sates as well as projects related to the care and protection of the Tibetan people.

Moreover, Professor Nazario has, over the past twenty years, also worked as a Senior Trainer for the U.S. State Department, as well as an Inspector for the United Nations. As a Senior Trainer, Professor Nazario conducted workshops designed to encourage high-ranking officers within police agencies throughout the world to treat all those they serve with human dignity and with respect for their individual rights. To do his work on behalf of the State Department, Professor Nazario has traveled to Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia. As an Inspector of the United Nations, Professor Nazario was specifically charged with reporting on the condition of children worldwide and how and when the treatment children receive in various countries might amount to a violation of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child. In this capacity, and in addition to his work with Tibetan children in India, Professor Nazario has visited children living in sewers in Romania, imprisoned child soldiers in Rwanda, children sick or orphaned by AIDS in Botswana, and children sold into sexual slavery in the brothels of Thailand.

In addition to his teaching, writings and service at the University of San Francisco, Professor Nazario has also taught a course on the Constitution and the Family at the East China University of Politics and Law in Shanghai, China, and courses at Trinity College in Ireland, Pazmany Peter Catholic University in Budapest, Hungary, and at Charles University in the Czech Republic on International Rights Law and how such law relates to the rights of children worldwide.

In 2007, Professor Nazario founded an international foundation whose mission is to develop programs that will alleviate poverty and suffering associated with poverty both in the United States and worldwide, in particular, that experienced by women and children. The Forgotten International works to bring together people in the world who have great resources with people who have great needs. Over the last six years the Foundation has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help fund programs in seven countries and plans to do much more in the future. At present, Professor Nazario most recent book Living on a Dollar a Day has been published by W.W. Norton and Company in New York and will be in bookstores in April 2014. The book and documentary project to follow will, in words and pictures, tell the stories of the women, children and families around the world who work long hours, sometimes under dangerous conditions, to earn not much more than a dollar each day. Professor Nazario will be speaking around the country in 2014 to bring the issues related to global poverty to light, as well as the book's call to action.

Thomas Nazario lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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