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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.

September 10, 2021
WASHINGTON - Today, ahead of the 20th anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001, Human Rights First issued 20 Years After 9/11: Rights-Based Policies for a New Era, a report detailing our...
September 10, 2021
WASHINGTON -- Human Rights First is pleased to announce the hiring of Kareem W. Shora, J.D., LL.M. as Executive Vice President for Programs and Policy, a new position at the organization.  Shora...
August 31, 2021
“The Biden administration’s August 31 deadline is not our deadline,” said veterans and advocates WASHINGTON -- Today marks President Biden’s deadline for the end of operations in Afghanistan but...
August 31, 2021
Human Rights First’s President and CEO Michael Breen responded to President Biden’s remarks on the end of the U.S. war in Afghanistan:  “The president has made clear, U.S. military’s...