Skip to content

Chelsea Halstead


Chelsea L Halstead is the Associate Director of the Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, where she oversees the center’s strategy, advocacy, and fundraising efforts. Prior to her appointment at CCDPW, Chelsea co-founded the Colibrí Center for Human Rights in Tucson, Arizona. Colibrí combines forensic science with human rights advocacy to identify the remains of people who have died in their attempt to cross the U.S.-Mexico border while calling attention to failed immigration policy. Chelsea helped design the organization’s innovative DNA program, which has facilitated the identification of over 200 previously unidentified human remains. Her work been recognized in USA Today, The Guardian, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Al Jazeera, and other media. Chelsea holds a B.A. in Geography from the University of Arizona and an M.P.A. from Cornell University.

Chelsea is a 2021 – 2022 Racial Equity Grant recipient. The Racial Equity Grant, launched in Summer of 2020, is a 10-month grant which provides support to Humanity in Action Fellows and Senior Fellows as they defend racial equity and the #BlackLivesMatter movement through their projects. Generously funded by William H. Donner, it provides for dynamic civic action, critical social change and transformative promise as it relates to reckoning of past and present racial injustices. For more information on the grantees click here.

Updated February 2022