Human Rights Researcher
AnnJanette Alejano-Steele serves as the research and training director of the Denver-based Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking (LCHT), a non-governmental organization that works to develop sustainable and comprehensive responses to human trafficking. LCHT is committed to combating human trafficking through community-based research: awareness and education, leadership development, and collaboration. Alejano-Steele has also been a professor in the departments of psychology and women’s studies at Metropolitan State University of Denver since 1996. Her educational background includes a Ph.D. in psychology from Michigan State University and NIH-supported postdoctoral work in psychology and medicine from the University of California, San Francisco. Her health psychology expertise has focused on local and global health access for vulnerable populations, and comprehensive services for victims of human trafficking.
She serves on the steering committee of the Colorado Network to End Human Trafficking, and also serves on a key investigative taskforce led by the State of Colorado Division of Criminal Justice. Her decades of academic experience supported her role as a law enforcement trainer for the Colorado Regional Community Policing Institute (supported by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice).
With Alejano-Steele’s various roles in the anti-trafficking movement and academe, she blended together academics with on-the-ground field experience to create a multidisciplinary undergraduate human trafficking course. Most importantly, she created and coordinated the Human Trafficking Academic Response Team, which consists of ten academic departments designed to provide wrap-around academic services for survivors of human trafficking as a form of long-term survivorship.