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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.

April 15, 2019
New York City—Human Rights First today announced that it was recently presented a grant from The New York Bar Foundation worth $7,500. The grant will be used to support their Refugee Representation...
January 29, 2019
Washington, D.C.—In response to today’s hearing at the House Armed Services Committee hearing entitled, “Department of Defense’s Support to the Southern Border,” at which DoD personnel defended...
December 10, 2018
Washington, D.C.—Today, as the world recognizes Human Rights Day and marks the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Human Rights First President...
November 21, 2018
Washington, D.C.—In response to reports that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly signed a memo allowing troops stationed at the border to use lethal force and perform law enforcement actions, Human...