The purpose of World on Trial is to elevate public awareness of important human rights issues and the international treaties that govern state conduct with respect to human rights. World on Trial explores the tension between universalist and culturally-relative notions of human rights, as well as the various defenses states might use with respect to alleged human rights abuses within their territories or control. World on Trial will be broadcast on public television stations throughout the U.S. A distance education program integrated with the series and website is being planned for high school, college and adult learners.

World on Trial was conceived of and is hosted by acclaimed human rights advocate and author Randall Robinson, perhaps best known for organizing the international corporate boycott of South Africa that was instrumental in ending apartheid. His personal hunger strike during the Clinton administration contributed to the change in U.S. policy that led to the restoration to power of the first democratically elected government of Haiti. Randall Robinson is Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Penn State Law and at Penn State's School of International Affairs.

Project Team

Penn State Law and Penn State's School of International Affairs

Randall Robinson, creator and host, is a distinguished scholar in residence at Penn State Law and Penn State's School of International Affairs. He is an acclaimed human rights advocate and author with interests in U.S. foreign policy towards the Caribbean and Africa; the use of foreign policy to achieve social goals; and racial equity. Robinson played critical roles in helping to end apartheid in South Africa and restoring democracy to Haiti.

Amy Gaudion, legal advisor, is the executive editor of the Penn State Journal of Law & International Affairs, and teaches courses in constitutional law and national security law at Penn State Law and Penn State's School of International Affairs. Following law school, Professor Gaudion served as a law clerk to the Honorable William H. Yohn of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining Penn State, she was an associate with Hangley Aronchick Segal & Pudlin, where her portfolio included white collar crime and antitrust matters.
Storyshop LLC

Tom Keiter, executive producer, is a partner in the creative production firm storyshop LLC. He has twenty-five years experience as a documentary filmmaker and fifteen years experience on the film and video faculty at Penn State. His work has received national recognition from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (Emmys), CINE Golden Eagle, the International Film and Video Festival, and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.


Joe Myers, executive producer, is a partner in the creative production firm storyshop LLC. Joe previously served as creative director and senior producer for Penn State Public Media. He has directed nationally broadcast documentaries including "A Road to Independence," "The Grange Fair: An American Tradition," and "Telling Amy's Story," which was selected to represent the U.S. at INPUT 2011 in South Korea. Currently, he directs the original series "You Can't Say That" which will air on the World channel and which was selected to represent the U.S. at INPUT 2013. His work has appeared on PBS, World, and the Discovery Networks among others, and his honors include Mid-Atlantic Chapter National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Emmy awards, the Silver Screen Award, a CINE Golden Eagle, and prominent festival awards. Joe is a 2008 fellow of the CPB/PBS Producer's Academy. He recently formed Trial Story, with Professor Gary Gildin of Penn State's Dickinson School of Law, a firm that will consult with trial attorneys to develop the factual story of the case. An inventor, designer, and worldwide bicycle traveler, Joe believes there can be creativity in everything we do.

Stephanie Ayanian, producer, is a partner at storyshop LLC, an independent production house for creative media. She produced Kinderwald, a narrative feature film that was an Official Selection of the 2013 Munich International Film Festival. Previously, Ayanian worked as a senior producer/director for Penn State Public Broadcasting where she was the producer and director of Liquid Assets: The Story of Our Water Infrastructure, for which she received the American Association of Engineering Societies Award for Journalism. She produced and directed the Geospatial Revolution Project, which was released episodically on the web and has screened worldwide. She holds an MFA in Film and Media Arts from Temple University. She teaches feature film producing at Drexel University.

Lindsey Whissel, producer, earned her degree in cinema and digital arts from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA. She has produced a variety of broadcast and non-broadcast media projects for television, radio, and the Web. In addition to her role as a producer for Penn State Public Broadcasting, Whissel serves as coordinator for the Penn State Forum Speaker Series.
Mindy McMahon, producer, has for years been producing award-winning, client-driven media projects. Her portfolio includes both broadcast and non-broadcast productions used for marketing, promotion, fundraising, and recruitment. Her work has received recognition from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Association of American Medical Colleges. She holds a Master's degree in Corporate Communication from Duquesne University, and is currently a lecturer in Communications at Penn State. Prior to her Penn State career, she was an Executive Producer with PMI, a Pittsburgh based television production company.