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Home / Biography / Neil Hicks

Neil Hicks advises Human Rights First programs on a wide variety of international human rights issues, and serves as a resource to the organization in identifying opportunities to advance human rights around the world. Neil also writes and conducts advocacy on issues relating to human rights promotion in the Muslim world, and on the impact of counterterrorism measures on human rights. Between 2002 – 2007, Neil was the director of the Human Rights Defenders Program.

Before joining Human Rights First, Neil worked as a researcher for the Middle East Department of Amnesty International in London, where he worked between 1985 and 1991. He has also served as human rights project officer of Birzeit University in the West Bank.

In 2000-2001, Neil took a year-long sabbatical from Human Rights First; he spent his leave as a Senior Fellow in the Jennings Randolph Fellowship Program of the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C. Neil is the author of many reports and scholarly articles, including, “The Public Disorder of Blasphemy Laws: A Comparative Perspective,” The Review of Faith & International Affairs, Volume 13, 1, Spring 2015; “Transnational Human Rights Networks and Human Rights in Egypt,” in Anthony Chase and Amr Hamzawy (ed.) Human Rights in the Arab World, Independent Voices, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006; and, “The Impact of Counter Terror on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: A Global Perspective,” in Richard Wilson (ed.) Human Rights in an Age of Terrorism; Cambridge University Press, 2005.

Neil holds a B.A. (Hons.) in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from St. Cuthbert’s Society, University of Durham (1983) and studied at the Arabic Language Unit of the American University in Cairo (1981/82). He studied international refugee law at the Refugee Studies Program, Oxford University (1991). Neil has taught Human Rights in the Middle East at Fordham Law School. Neil has published articles on human rights in such publications as The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Times, The Christian Science Monitor, Defense One, AlMonitor and Al-Ahram Weekly.

Featured Work

March 23, 2018
The negative global impact of the Trump Administration’s disturbing affinity with authoritarianism can be seen in the lack of integrity and fairness in the forthcoming presidential election in...
February 13, 2018
Human Rights First mourns the passing of the courageous, pioneering Pakistani lawyer and human rights defender, Asma Jahangir. We are proud of our long history of cooperation with Asma, dating...
January 18, 2018
Peter Hoekstra, a former Republican member of Congress from Michigan, was a leading supporter of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. He was rewarded by being appointed U.S. Ambassador to the...
January 18, 2018
Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First calls on Vice President Mike Pence to urge Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to adopt effective, comprehensive strategies to combat ...