On human rights, the United States must be a beacon. America is strongest when our policies and actions match our values.More
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.

June 01, 2020
Americans of all colors, creeds, and political persuasions are justifiably outraged by the senseless killings by police of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Sean Reed, and so many others.   The...
June 01, 2020
WASHINGTON - When the President of the United States says, “I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve” a domestic issue, it threatens to cross a bright line that has helped define...
May 31, 2020
Rights Protection Must Be at the Center of Government Response to Protests WASHINGTON - In response to news that Customs and Border Patrol is “deploying officers, agents and aviation assets...
February 04, 2020
Human rights advocates present evidence of erosion of respect for human rights laws and protections for refugees and asylum-seekers WASHINGTON – In anticipation of President Donald J. Trump’s...