About

SERA Founders

SERA was founded in 2021 by Diane F. Frey, Elena K. Taborda and Gillian MacNaughton. All three founders work in the field of economic and social rights and believe that there is a gap in support for dissertation research in this field. SERA was established to begin to address this gap and to foster further interest and enthusiasm for research on economic and social rights.


Diane F. Frey, PhD, is Lecturer in Labor Studies at San Francisco State University and an adjunct lecturer in negotiation at the Harvard University Extension School. Diane’s research examines worker rights in comparative perspective, drawing on international labor standards and human rights law, and appears in the Global Labour Journal, the Journal of Workplace Rights, Advances in Industrial and Labor Relations, the International Journal of Human Rights and the Georgetown Journal of International Law, among other journals, as well as in edited volumes published by the International Labour Organization and UNESCO. She is a co-editor of Economic and Social Rights in a Neoliberal World (Cambridge University Press 2018) and Human Rights and Economic Inequalities (Cambridge University Press 2021). Previously, she was the Director of Labor Studies at the National Labor College. Prior to her academic career, she was a labor organizer, field representative and director, working with unions for over two decades. Diane received a PhD in International Comparative Employment Relations from the London School of Economics.



Elena K. Taborda, PhD, is a Career and Academic Pathways Lead at Dorcas International Institute, a refugee resettlement agency in Rhode Island. A native of Russia, Elena is a former international student in the US. Now a US citizen, Elena’s research focuses on the economic, social, and cultural rights of foreign-born individuals living in the United States. In particular, she has spoken at conferences and workshops across the US and internationally on the socio-economic wellbeing of long-term international students in the US. Elena’s most recent research examines international F-1 visa student experiences in their workplaces and analyzes these experiences and US employment-related immigration policies from a human rights perspective. She has dedicated much of her professional and academic career to serving international students—at the University of Massachusetts Boston, Bentley University, Salem State University and Wellesley College—and researching strategies for improving their livelihoods. Her recent publications are in the Journal of Social Inclusion and the Health and Human Rights Journal. Elena earned her PhD in Global Inclusion and Social Development from the University of Massachusetts Boston.



Gillian MacNaughton, JD, DPhil, is an international scholar-practitioner who works on economic and social rights, particularly the right to health, and their relation to equality rights, as well as human rights-based approaches to social justice. She is a co-editor of Economic and Social Rights in a Neoliberal World (Cambridge University Press 2018) and Human Rights and Economic Inequalities (Cambridge University Press 2021), and she has published over 50 refereed articles and book chapters. Gillian was previously Associate Professor of Human Rights at UMass Boston, Executive Director of the Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy at Northeastern University School of Law, and a Senior Research Officer at the Human Rights Centre, University of Essex, UK. Her research has been funded by the World Health Organization, the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and the Law and Society Association, and she has consulted for WHO, UNICEF and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health. She received her doctorate in law from the University of Oxford.