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Melissa Hooper

Director, Foreign Policy Advocacy

Melissa Hooper is a lawyer, a rule of law expert, and the Director of Human Rights and Civil Society program at Human Rights First.

Ms. Hooper’s research focuses on Russia’s foreign policy strategies influencing and undermining democratic institutions, and the intersection between these strategies and anti-democratic trends in neighboring countries, most recently in Central Europe. She recently investigated Russia’s use of non-governmental organizations to spread anti-democratic ideas and disinformation in Europe; explored the link between Russian disinformation and hate speech in the European Union and the United States; and analyzed the proliferation of Russian-style laws and policies targeting independent institutions such as civil society, media, and the judiciary in Hungary and Poland.

Ms. Hooper is the author of Poland’s New Front: A Government’s War Against Civil Society (Aug 2017 report), The non-governmental sector: pro-Russia tools masquerading as independent voices (Foreign Policy Centre; Apr 2017), the issue brief Russian Influence in Europe: Six Ways (Other Than Hacking) Russia is Exploiting Divisions and the Rise of Xenophobia in Europe (Jan 2017), and Russia’s Bad Example, a description of Russian-style anti-free expression and anti-NGO laws (2016). She has undertaken extensive research and work experience in Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan.

May 10, 2019
Washington, D.C—In advance of Monday’s White House meeting between President Trump and Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary, Human Rights First calls on the Trump Administration to raise the...
May 06, 2019
Download Statement of Melissa Hooper Human Rights First Helsinki Commission Briefing on Hungary April 9, 2019 Since coming to power with a supermajority in 2010, the Fidesz party and...
March 27, 2019
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will testify twice today in the House of Representatives to justify President Trump’s fiscal year 2020 budget plan and answer questions from lawmakers. In the morning...
February 26, 2019
Read Full Report and Download This article originally appeared in The Anatomy of Illiberal States: Assessing and Responding to Democratic Decline in Turkey and Central Europe, published by The...