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Neil Hicks

Director, Human Rights Promotion

Neil Hicks advises Human Rights First programs on a wide variety of international human rights issues, and serves as a resource to the organization in identifying opportunities to advance human rights around the world. Neil also writes and conducts advocacy on issues relating to human rights promotion in the Muslim world, and on the impact of counterterrorism measures on human rights. Between 2002 – 2007, Neil was the director of the Human Rights Defenders Program.

Neil is a member of the Egypt Working Group, a bi-partisan group of policy experts that has been advocating for democratic change in Egypt since prior to the popular uprising that overthrew President Mubarak in February 2011.

Before joining Human Rights First, Neil worked as a researcher for the Middle East Department of Amnesty International in London, where he worked between 1985 and 1991. He has also served as human rights project officer of Birzeit University in the West Bank.

In 2000-2001, Neil took a year-long sabbatical from Human Rights First; he spent his leave as a Senior Fellow in the Jennings Randolph Fellowship Program of the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C. Neil is the author of many reports and scholarly articles, including, “Transnational Human Rights Networks and Human Rights in Egypt,” in Anthony Chase and Amr Hamzawy (ed.) Human Rights in the Arab World, Independent Voices, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006, and The Impact of Counter Terror on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: A Global Perspective, in Richard Wilson (ed.) Human Rights in an Age of Terrorism; Cambridge University Press, 2005.

Neil holds a B.A. (Hons.) in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from St. Cuthbert’s Society, University of Durham (1983) and studied at the Arabic Language Unit of the American University in Cairo (1981/82). He studied international refugee law at the Refugee Studies Program, Oxford University (1991). Neil has taught Human Rights in the Middle East at Fordham Law School. Neil has published articles on human rights in such publications as The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Times, The Christian Science Monitor, and Al-Ahram Weekly.

Featured Work

November 17, 2015
This blog is cross posted from The Huffington Post. The terrible attacks in Paris on November 13 should serve as a clarifying moment for the Obama Administration. This year the administration...
November 12, 2015
With the detention of prominent human rights defender and investigative journalist Hossam Bahgat, the U.S. government should take this moment to reassess its relationship with the dictatorial...
October 09, 2015
Human Rights First welcomes the award of the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet. The Quartet, which is comprised of the Tunisian General Labor Union, the Tunisian...