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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.

April 27, 2016
This blog is cross-posted from the Huffington Post: Ahmad Abdallah, a prominent human rights defender arrested in Egypt, is being accused by the government of a series of offenses including...
April 27, 2016
Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First, along with other members of the Martin Ennals Award jury, today announced Ilham Totti, Razan Zaitouneh, and the group Zone 9 Bloggers as the three finalists for...
April 26, 2016
This blog is cross posted from The Huffington Post: It’s emerged that leading human rights defender Naser Bin Ghaith, who was disappeared into the United Arab Emirates’ secret detention...
April 21, 2016
Washington, D.C. -- Human Rights First today welcomed reports that President Obama raised human rights during meetings with Saudi government leaders yesterday, but urged him...