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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.

June 19, 2019
New York City—In honor of World Refugee Day Human Rights First today announced that Sanja Partalo, Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Digital Development at marketing giant WPP, has...
June 12, 2019
Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today welcomed provisions in the House of Representatives’ defense bill (The National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA) that bolster national security and uphold...
May 28, 2019
Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today mourns the death of founder and former board of directors member Robert L. Bernstein, who passed away Monday evening. In response to his passing, Human...
May 07, 2019
Washington, D.C.—In response to President Trump’s pardoning of Michael Behenna, the former Army lieutenant convicted of killing an Iraqi prisoner in his custody, Human Rights First’s...