Michael Breen Named President and CEO of Human Rights First

Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today announced that its board of directors has chosen Michael Breen as the organization’s next president and chief executive officer. Breen, who currently serves as president and CEO of the Truman National Security Project, will begin at Human Rights First on October 1.

“We are delighted to bring someone with Mike’s vision, expertise, and personal commitment to American ideals to Human Rights First. This organization has, for 40 years, been led by extraordinary individuals, including Michael Posner and, more recently, Elisa Massimino, who have challenged the United States to be a beacon for human rights. We are confident that Mike will build on this tremendous legacy to usher Human Rights First into a new era,” said Tom Bernstein and Bill Zabel, co-chairs of Human Rights First’s board of directors.

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.

“The work of Human Rights First is vital, now more than ever. At a time when the United States is withdrawing from its leadership role on the world stage, and when our nation’s commitment to human rights is under threat, I’m thrilled at the prospect of leading this group of passionate individuals working to guarantee that the protection of people’s fundamental rights remains a core American value,” said Breen.

Human Rights First is an independent advocacy and action organization that challenges America to live up to its ideals. For 40 years the organization has worked to press the U.S. government and private companies to respect human rights and the rule of law. When they fail, Human Rights First steps in to demand reform, accountability and justice. Human Rights First is based in New York, Washington D.C., Houston, and Los Angeles.


Published on September 6, 2018


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