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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

July 01, 2015
Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First said that the 2015 National Military Strategy, released today, should place a greater emphasis on ensuring that U.S. partners in counterterrorism uphold human...
June 30, 2015
Egypt’s Prosecutor General Hesham Barakat was assassinated on Monday, marking a serious escalation in the increasingly violent struggle against the government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. This...
June 26, 2015
New York City—Today, in response to terrorist attacks in Kuwait and Tunisia, Human Rights First urged the U.S. government to redouble its efforts to combat terrorism and counter violent extremism...