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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 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...
April 19, 2016
High Stakes for Syria at GCC Meeting How President Obama Should Urge Gulf Leaders to Help Syria  Download the Brief When President Obama meets the leaders of the Gulf...
April 18, 2016
This blog is cross posted from The Huffington Post: President Obama arrives in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday this week and attends a summit of Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) leaders there the...
April 14, 2016
Human Rights Defenders and Political Prisoners in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain Saudi Arabia: Waleed Abu al-Khair: Imprisoned in Saudi Arabia on Politicized Charges...