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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.

October 19, 2020
NEW YORK – As threats to democracy and human rights remain on the rise and more people are displaced than at any time in history, Human Rights First is recognizing defenders of human rights and...
October 06, 2020
The annual award will honor ALQST for their work exposing human rights abuses by the Saudi regime NEW YORK — Human Rights First today announced that it will present Saudi human rights organization...
September 20, 2020
WASHINGTON – The United States, the rule of law, and the field of human rights lost a hero and a champion when Associate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away Friday.  From...
August 03, 2020
Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today welcomed Vladimir Kara-Murza, a preeminent Russian human rights activist and former political leader, as its senior advisor for human rights accountability....