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About Mark Ensalaco

Mark Ensalaco, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Dayton. He joined the faculty of the University of Dayton in 1989. His teaching and research concern human rights and political violence and terrorism.
Professor Ensalaco served as the director of the International Studies program from 1997 to 2006. In 1998, he founded the Human Rights Studies program, the first undergraduate program specifically concerned with Human Rights in the United States. In 1999 he co-founded the university’s Human Rights Committee composed of faculty members who teach in the human rights program and who have a professional concern for human rights and social justice.
As chair of the Human Rights Committee, Professor Ensalaco helped organize four major international conferences on Human Rights Education, the Rights of the Child, Peace and Human Rights, and Violence against Women. In 2000, Professor Ensalaco established the Archbishop Oscar Romero Human Rights Award to commemorate the ministry and martyrdom of the slain Salvadoran archbishop and to honor an individual or organization who has earned distinction in the promotion of the dignity of all persons.
Also in 2000, Professor Ensalaco co-founded the International Human Rights Education Consortium, a not-for-profit organization, to promote human rights education at colleges and universities around the world. The Consortium has more than thirty institutional members from the United States and Canada, Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia. Professor Ensalaco served as the Consortium’s first president from 2000-2005.
Professor Ensalaco has been both professionally and personally engaged in the pursuit of justice and the search for the disappeared in Chile since 1991, when he was a visiting professor at the School of Law at the Universidad de Concepción. His first book, Chile under Pinochet: Recovering the Truth (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999) examined the repression under the Pinochet dictatorship and the early efforts to recover the truth about the systematic human rights violations as a way of reestablishing democracy and the rule of law.
Professor Ensalaco is currently working on the sequel to that book, The Mark of Cain: The Prosecution of Pinochet and the Search for the Disappeared. The book is a behind-the-scenes account of the investigation, impeachment and indictment of Augusto Pinochet. The book is due out in the spring of 2008.
Professor Ensalaco has also been involved in other human rights projects. He is the co-editor (with Professor Linda Majka) and contributing author of Children’s Human Rights: Progress and Challenges to Children Worldwide, which was published by Rowman and Littlefield in 2005. Seven University of Dayton faculty members have chapters in that edited volume. Professor Ensalaco was also coeditor and contributing author of Using the Inter-American System for Human Rights: A Practical Guide for NGOs, which was published by Global Rights, a widely respected international human rights organization.
Professor Ensalaco is also an expert in political violence and terrorism. He recently completed A History of Middle East Terrorism: From Black September to September 11 for the University of Pennsylvania Press. It will appear in the fall of 2007.
Professor Ensalaco has been widely quoted as a terrorism expert by the BBC, Reuters, the Associated Press and United Press International. His comments have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Forbes, The Washington Post, Guardian, Newsday and, and other media outlets. He has been interviewed by the Voice of America, CNN Español, CNN Headline News, PBS Radio and Fox News.
Professor Ensalaco received an M.T.S. in Theological Studies at Harvard Divinity School in 1984. In 1988 he was awarded a Fulbright-Hays fellowship to conduct doctoral research at the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogota, Colombia. He was awarded a Ph.D. in Political Science from the State University of New York in 1991. He received advanced training in human rights at the Inter-American Institute for Human Rights in San José, Costa Rica in 1993 and 1994.
Ph.D. Political Science, State University of New York, 1991
M.T.S. Harvard Divinity School, Harvard University, 1984
B.A. (Magna Cum Laude) State University of New York at Buffalo, Department of Classics, 1981
• Officer/Committee Member, National
• Editorial Board. review manuscripts
• Officer/Committee Member, Co-founder and director, Abolition Ohio-The Rescue and Restore Coalition in the Miami Valley, Regional
• Editorial Board, Member Editorial Board, Georgetown University Press, Advancing Human Rights Series, International. solicited, reviewed manuscripts
• Officer/Committee Member, Member, Catholic Relief Services, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Regional
• Officer/Committee Member, Member, Executive Committee and Immediate-Past Founding President, International Human Rights Education Consortium, International
• Officer/Committee Member, Member, Peace and Justice Advisory Committee Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, National
• Officer/Committee Member, Member, Ohio Attorney General's Trafficking in Persons Study Commission, State
• Member, Catholic Relief Services Scholars in Global Solidarity project, International. (June 2012 - Present)


1989 - Present Associate Professor, University of Dayton Department of Political Science
Present Director of Human Rights Research, University of Dayton Department of Political Science

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  • Politics of Human Rights
  • Comparative Politics: Latin American
  • United States-Latin America Relations
  • Political Violence
  • Intro to Comparative Politics


1991 PhD, State University of New York at Buffalo
1984 MT, Harvard University
1981 BA, State University of New York at Buffalo

Contact Information

Phone: 937-229-2750


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