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Brian Dooley

Director, Human Rights Defenders

As director of the Human Rights Defenders program, Brian leads Human Rights First’s efforts to ensure that human rights defenders can work free from harm and interference, engaging with the U.S. government and with other partners to end threats and obstacles to human rights work.

For the 20 years prior to joining Human Rights First, Brian worked for U.S., Irish and international NGOs. Most recently, Brian led Amnesty International's work on partnering with national NGOs in the global South. Brian has also worked as Head of Media for Amnesty International in London and in Dublin, and as Director of Communications for Public Citizen in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books about civil rights and U.S. politics, and had early experience on the Hill, interning for Senator Edward Kennedy in the mid-80s as a legislative researcher, contributing to what ultimately became the 1986 Anti-Apartheid Act. Before that, he lived and worked as an English teacher and community organizer in a black township in South Africa in 1981-82, which was prohibited under apartheid’s racial segregation laws.

Brian has an MPhil in Government and Politics from The Open University in London, and a B.A. with honors in Political Science from the University of East Anglia.

September 16, 2014
Washington, D.C. – Human Rights First said that today’s Bahraini court decision to extend the detention of leading human rights activist Maryam Al Khawaja for a second time ...
September 15, 2014
Your Royal Highness, We are concerned at the continuing detention of human rights defender Maryam Al-Khawaja, who was arrested on August 30 2014, and we call for her immediate and unconditional...
September 12, 2014
Washington, D.C.  – Human Rights First today said that the ongoing trial of 23 people who are being prosecuted for violating Egypt's anti-protest law is evidence that Egypt is not on a path...