As Senior Advisor, Brian supports Human Rights First’s work with human rights activists in hostile environments.
Prior to serving as Senior Advisor, Brian directed Human Rights First’s engagement with the U.S. government and other partners to end threats and obstacles to human rights defenders.
From 2020 to 2023, he served as Senior Advisor to the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders.
Prior to joining Human Rights First, Brian spent twenty years working for U.S., Irish, and international NGOs. He led Amnesty International’s work on partnering with national NGOs in the global South. Brian has also worked as Head of Media for Amnesty International in London and in Dublin and as Director of Communications for Public Citizen in Washington, D.C.
He is the author of several books about civil rights and U.S. politics. He had early experience on Capitol Hill, serving as a legislative researcher for Senator Edward Kennedy in the mid-1980s when he contributed to what ultimately became the 1986 Anti-Apartheid Act.
In 1981 and 1982, Brian lived and worked as an English teacher and community organizer in a black township in South Africa, which was prohibited under apartheid’s racial segregation laws.
Brian earned a PhD in the transnational history of rights from the University of East Anglia, an MPhil in Government and Politics from The Open University in London, and a B.A. with honors in Political Science from the University of East Anglia.