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Home / Biography / Michael Breen

Michael Breen

President and CEO

Michael Breen is president and chief executive officer of Human Rights First, one of the nation’s leading human rights advocacy organizations. Established in 1978, Human Rights First’s mission is to ensure that the United States is a global leader on human rights. The organization works in the United States and abroad to promote respect for human rights and the rule of law. Breen leads a staff with offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and Houston. Before joining Human Rights First, Breen served as president and CEO of the Truman National Security Project, a nationwide membership organization of diverse leaders inspired to serve in the aftermath of 9/11 and committed to shaping and advocating for tough, smart national security solutions.

Prior to his work at the Truman Project, Breen led soldiers in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan as a U.S. Army officer, including by serving for a year as a platoon leader in the Pech and Korengal Valleys with the 173rd Airborne. After leaving the military, he served in the Office of White House Counsel and co-founded the International Refugee Assistance Project, working with refugee families in Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. Breen holds a J.D. from Yale Law School and a B.A. from Dartmouth, having also studied in Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and the United Kingdom.

January 25, 2022
WASHINGTON – At its quarterly board meeting last week, Human Rights First elected Alencia Johnson to its board of directors.  “Alencia brings to our board of directors a deep experience in...
January 11, 2022
WASHINGTON -- Today, on the 20th anniversary of the first detainees arriving at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, Human Rights First reiterates its call to end military commissions and close the...
January 06, 2022
Human Rights First salutes democracy’s champions, opposes those who undermine it WASHINGTON -- Human Rights First acknowledged the one-year anniversary of the insurrection at the United States...
December 27, 2021
WASHINGTON – As the world mourns the passing of human rights icon and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Human Rights First memorialized Tutu’s legacy of advocacy around human rights...