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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.

October 28, 2016
Washington, D.C. - Human Rights First today said that the outcome of two major court verdicts scheduled for Monday in Bahrain will be a vital test of the regime’s response to international...
October 24, 2016
This blog is cross posted from The Huffington Post: Monday October 31 will be a vital test for Bahrain. Two scheduled court verdicts will give a major indication on whether the regime is taking...
October 05, 2016
Washington, D.C. - Human Rights First today urged the U.S. government to link the proposed sale of F-16 fighter jets to Bahrain to the acquittal of jailed Bahraini human...
September 14, 2016
This is a cross-post from the Huffington Post: Remember the Eldarats, the U.S. citizens tortured and jailed in the United Arab Emirates for nearly two years while the Obama administration sat...