Joined Human Rights First in 2009
A public affairs professional with more than a decade of experience in designing political and nonprofit strategic communications campaigns, Brenda Bowser Soder is Human Rights First’s Media Relations Director.
Prior to joining Human Rights First, Brenda was Director of Communications at Alliance for Justice (AFJ), a national association of environmental, civil rights, mental health, women’s, children’s, and consumer advocacy organizations. During her time there, she coordinated communications activities for a number of initiatives, including a successful national and state-level campaign to ensure justice for those harmed by dangerous pharmaceutical drugs. Brenda also served as a producer for the organization’s 2008 short documentary film “Access Denied: The Fight for Corporate Accountability.”
Earlier in her career, Brenda spent seven years as Communications Director for the Washington, DC-based Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC), the nation’s leading non-profit organization serving the media and the public with analysis and information on issues concerning capital punishment. Brenda led DPIC’s day-to-day media operations and oversaw state, national, and international communications campaigns focused on issues such as innocence, costs, and ending the execution of juvenile offenders and those with mental retardation. Brenda also authored DPIC’s media relations handbook, “Making Your Case: Elements of a Successful Media Campaign,” and frequently delivered death penalty-related messaging and communications training to elected officials, law professors, attorneys, advocates, victims’ family members, and death row exonerees located throughout the nation.
Beyond nonprofit work, Brenda has extensive political communications experience. She spent her first years in Washington serving as Senator Olympia Snowe’s (R-Maine) Deputy Press Secretary and, prior to that post, worked on a number of political campaigns. She also served as a fellow with The Widmeyer-Baker Group (now Widmeyer Communications) and as a news reporter for The Daily News, a newspaper located in Huntingdon, PA.
Brenda holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Political Science from Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA.