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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.

May 09, 2016
Washington, D.C.—In response to reports that the Bahraini government publicly announced that is has fully implemented the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) recommendations, Human...
May 04, 2016
Washington, D.C. - Human Rights First today urged the U.S. Embassy in Bahrain to send an observer to tomorrow’s scheduled court verdict following the unfair trial of Bahraini peaceful opposition...
April 29, 2016
This blog is cross-posted from the Huffington Post: Syrian human rights defender Razan Zaitouneh turns 39 today. She was kidnapped in December 2013 with three colleagues—her husband Wael...
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...