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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.

June 10, 2021
WASHINGTON – Human Rights First welcomes today’s launch of the Congressional Caucus against Foreign Corruption and Kleptocracy, a bipartisan effort to curb global corruption that undermines democracy...
May 25, 2021
NEW YORK – The murder of George Floyd a year ago was not a unique event, but it was a catalyst for some qualified progress on issues of diversity, accountability, and human rights. Profound systemic...
May 19, 2021
WASHINGTON -- Today, the House of Representatives passed legislation to create a bipartisan, independent, 9/11-style commission to examine the events surrounding the Capitol insurrection on January...
April 30, 2021
NEW YORK -- Today marks one hundred days of President Biden’s administration. While the Biden presidency has brought some needed progress, the administration has considerable work ahead to re-...