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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 16, 2014
Washington, D.C. – Human Rights First today released a blueprint for the U.S. government on how to promote Ukraine’s democracy. The blueprint comes as Ukraine is set to vote in legislative elections...
October 14, 2014
This is a cross-post from the Huffington Post Within two weeks of releasing leading human rights defender Maryam Al Khawaja from jail the Bahrain authorities detained another. On September 30...
October 07, 2014
Geneva -  The Martin Ennals Jury today presented Alejandra Ancheita with the 2014 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders (MEA).  The Award is given to human rights defenders who...