Brian Dooley

Senior Advisor

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.

Recent Articles:

On Bloody Sunday’s 50th Anniversary: Frustration at New British Proposal to Hide the Truth Blinken’s Decision Imminent on Funding an Egyptian Government that Enables Terrorism Time for Biden to Call for Prisoner Releases in Bahrain as Medical Neglect Continues The F1 Grand Prix: A Chance to Spotlight Bahrain’s Abysmal Record on Rights For the Biden Administration, 10 Lessons from 10 Years of U.S. Mideast Policy Bahrain Stages Fake Elections For Poodle Parliament Trump Prepares Dangerous Sale of F-16s to Bahrain Bahrain Travel Bans Reveal Insecurity Biden Administration Faces Imminent Decision on Egyptian Military Aid as 12 Await Execution Cairo Family Targeted as US Embassy Tweets Support for Egypt’s Security Forces Members of Congress Should Question Egyptian Ambassador About Rights Activist Kharkiv Battles on Despite Russian Rocket Attacks Responsibly Researching War Crimes in Ukraine Air Raid App Offers Reassurance in Ukraine Ukraine’s Public Mobilizes to Document War Crimes Underground in a Ukrainian City at War: How Kharkiv’s Metro System Offers Shelter Biden to Visit Saudi: Recalibration of the Relationship or Rehabilitation of MBS? Biden Administration Should Move to End a Decade of Pain in Bahrain What’s Happening Behind the UAE's PR Mask Biden Faces Golden Opportunity To Send Signal to Cairo on Human Rights New Report Details Abuse and Radicalization of Children in Egyptian Jails Poland's Secret Heroes Biden Should Speak Out on Trans People Blocked from Leaving Ukraine The Polish Catholic Group Taking Risks to Help Refugees Listening to Survivors of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence in Ukraine A Taste of Normal Life in a Ukrainian City at War Leading Rights Activist Joins Ukraine’s Army and is Taken Prisoner Ten Years But Still Counting – UAE Fails To Release Jailed Activist Al-Roken International Expert Panel: State Impunity and the Northern Ireland conflict "There is a Shortage of Body Bags" U.S. Should Spell Out How It Will Help Activists Needing to Flee Ukraine Human Rights Activists in Ukraine Call for Swift Response Leading Human Rights Figure Under Attack in Northern Ireland State Department’s Second Chance To Get HRD Guidelines Right Families Preventing Britain from Burying the Truth on Irish Conflict British Government Proposes Amnesty for Killings That’s Worse Than Pinochet’s Ballymurphy Families Win Decades-Long Fight For Official Truth Lessons for the Next US Ambassador to Bahrain The Biden Administration Can and Must Help Save Abdulrahman al-Sadhan Do Not Split: An Illuminating Look at Hong Kong’s Pro-Democracy Uprising COVID Outbreak in Prison Sparks New Protests in Bahrain Reimagining Protection for Human Rights Defenders Celebrating 2021 Martin Ennals Award Winner Yu Wensheng Hong Kong Human Rights Icon Albert Ho Battles On How AI Could Help the Fight for Accountability and Justice Cover-up in the Finucane Case + Brexit = Trouble in US-UK relations How LGBT Groups in Kharkiv Help The City Fight Back November Offers Ideal Time for Bahrain to Release Jailed Activists Crimea Offers Disturbing Blueprint for Russian Takeover of Ukraine Mila Yankina’s Medical Work in the Violence of Kyiv Driven by Humanity: One Polish Volunteer's Efforts in Ukraine Tracking War Crimes in Ukraine with the Truth Hounds Ukraine Medics Face Rocket Attacks with Defiance Lviv Offers Fast Track to Safety Four Reasons Middle East Governments Should Release Prisoners UN Makes Public Independent Experts’ Fears Over Attacks on Hong Kong Medics Egypt Activist Mozn Awaits April 22 Court Verdicts Putin Presses Gulf Advantage with Saudi Visit October 1: A Turning Point for Hong Kong Protests? Hong Kong Volunteer Lawyers Provide Public Education During Unrest Congress Pushes Back Against Trump's Erratic Saudi Friends Response to Egypt's Referendum on Constitutional Changes How ISIS Recruits in Egyptian Prisons Trump's Extreme Hypocrisy: Venezuela & Egypt Trump Clings to MBS as Saudi Arabia Targets Americans Bahrain Stages Fake Elections For Poodle Parliament Anti-Orban Protestors Rally in Budapest New Book Details Activist Responses to Modern Authoritarianism in Hungary and Beyond Egypt Targets Disappearance Activist Working on Regeni Case Trump Prepares Dangerous Sale of F-16s to Bahrain Fears for Sudan Human Rights Defender Mudawi Middle East Activist Experts Offer Advice on Fighting Trump Policies Bahrain Travel Bans Reveal Insecurity State Department Should Speak out for Aya Hijazi, U.S. Human Rights Defender in Egypt Prison October 31 to Test Bahrain’s Reforms Apple, Shaggy, and Hacks in the Gulf Still Fighting for the Truth About Argentina’s Disappeared Bahrain’s Truth Will Out High Price for Exposing Disappearances in Egypt Time for Washington to Act as Bahrain Government Provokes Crisis Time for Washington to Act as U.S. Ally Bahrain Targets Human Rights Defenders Bahrain Targets Clerics in New Wave of Attacks Bahrain’s Money Talk 50 Days of a Broken Promise in Bahrain Bahrain’s False Claims On BICI Today is Razan Zaitouneh’s Birthday Egypt Human Rights Defender Ahmad Abdallah Accused of Belonging to Terrorist Group US Ally UAE Attacks Leading Academic Naser Bin Ghaith 5 Things Obama Should do in Saudi Arabia Finding the Key to Release Zainab Al Khawaja Six Things John Kerry Should Do in Bahrain Statement before Tom Lantos Commission: "Say Their Names" Civil Society Should Not be Locked Out of Syria Talks Bahrain's Window Dressing Reforms Can't Hide Botch Job Bahrain's Fake Human Rights Conference Another PR Disaster Five Years On, Egypt's Uprising Flagged at Tahrir Bahraini Sheikh and FIFA Presidential Hopeful Continues to Dodge Allegations over Targeting Athletes FIFA, Man United, and Torture in Bahrain Who Needs to Know at Guantanamo Guantanamo: Washington's Expensive Mistake Guantanamo September 11 Detainee Suggests Becoming His Own Lawyer Smiles Jar in Guantanamo Court Drama Kenyan Government Struggles to Fight Mombasa Terrorism No Hollywood Ending for Bahraini Opposition Leaders A Bad Year for Yara Sallam in Egypt's Republic of Fear Bahrain Medic Recounts Conditions in Jaw Prison Fighting Bahrain's Sectarian Threat 2022 Becomes a Crucial Test of Human Rights and Sport In Cairo, Kerry Should Reinforce Obama's Remarks in Kenya Kenyan Corruption Undermines Fight Against Extremism Calls for Solidarity as Attacks on Colin Harvey Intensify Top 5 Things John Legend Should Know About Bahrain Reports of Torture Haunt Bahrain's CID Why February 14 Matters in Bahrain Four Years On, U.S. Should Push Bahrain to Reform Security Forces Why Bahrain Needs Security Force Reform How CIA Torture Didn't Prevent an Attack on Heathrow Seven Helpful Things the New Ambassador To Bahrain Can Do The CIA Torture Report and the UK’s Hooded Men Five Useful Things America's New Ambassador to Egypt Can Do Ukrainian Experts Produce Guide for Journalists Reporting War-Related Sexual Violence Bahrain Human Rights Defender Faces Charges for Tweet Is the United States Government Finally Losing Patience with Bahrain? Six Things to Watch Out for in Ukraine's Elections What's Next for Maryam Al Khawaja? Ambassador Nominee States Intent to Flout Bahrain Law on Meeting Opposition A Day in the Life of Maryam Al Khawaja Abdulhadi Al Khawaja Embarks on Hunger Strike State Department Responds to Bahrain's Denial of Access to Rep. McGovern and Human Rights First Washington’s Wishful Thinking Policy on Egypt The Exceptional Egyptian Human Rights Defender Yara Sallam New Year, New Congress: What to Watch on Middle East Policy Matar Matar and Brian Dooley Discuss Bahrain’s Intensive Weeks Ahead The Beginning of the End for Bahrain’s Tolerated Opposition Bahrain Allies’ Dangerous Myopia 100 Days Later Bahrain Rewards Assad's Arms Supplier With New Contract Remnants of Revolution in Kyiv LGBT Activist Refused Membership of New Ukrainian Party Embassygate In Bahrain Not The Fundamental Problem Bahrain's Sunningdale Three Years Later, Reform in Bahrain is Nowhere to be Seen More Sisters Vanish into UAE Police Custody Stories from Bahrain's Crackdown: Dr. Ali Al Ekri Irish America's Identity Parades Cairo's Dispersal Dilemma U.S. Ambassador Donahoe Hits Back at Bahraini Media Distortion of Meeting with Regime Officials The United States should Speak Out on Bahrain Abuses Bahrain No More Stable as Nabeel Rajab Marks One Year in Custody Bahrain Torturers Must Be Held Accountable American Recounts Arrest in Egypt Bahrain’s Soldier Sailor Sunni Shia Struggle State Department Report on Bahrain Confirms Extent of Repression Brian Dooley Lift UAE Dissident's Travel Ban U.S. State Department Country Report on Bahrain Highlights Key Abuses Manchester United, Denis Law, and Torture by the Bahrain Regime Silent Witness - The U.S. Government and the Trial of Bahraini Human Rights Defender Abu Deeb A Message from Nabeel Rajab Egyptian Police: Million Man Mafia? Crimean Human Rights Lawyers Appeal for Solidarity in Wake of Attacks Maryam al Khawaja Accepts Baldwin Medal of Liberty Ordeal Continues for Targeted Bahraini Medics Americans Jailed in UAE For A Year Without Charge Saudi Arabia Threatens FATF Progress A Generation of Fighting for Human Rights Bahrain's Prisons At Their Breaking Point Is Bahrain the New Apartheid State? Bahrain Medics Still in Prison Same-sex Partnerships In Ukraine Would Show Its Values One Year Later, Bahrain Reform Remains Shallow Promise Questions Remain Unanswered Eight Years After Munir’s Death Derision on Prison Indecision Bahrain Escalates Attacks on Civil Society Younis Ashoori: One of Bahrain’s Forgotten Prisoners Salah Alshayeb: One of the Overlooked Victims of Bahrain's Revolution Bahrain’s Hokey Pokey Dance Seven Things to Watch For in Bahrain's Upcoming Elections “Prison Atlas” details Egyptian Cases, Prisoners, and Judges Special Envoy Kennedy Faces Crucial Year in Northern Ireland Coping in the Kharkiv cold DIVOCHE.MEDIA: Amplifying Voices of Women in Ukraine Ukraine’s Gwara Media Fights For Truth in Kharkiv Ukrainian Activists Urge Reform on Prisoner Swaps and Military Ombudsman Calling for Justice in the Murder of Human Rights Lawyer Thulani Maseko No Room For Silence in Hong Kong’s Mass Trial As Human Rights Researchers Denied Entry to Bahrain, U.S. Embassy Stays Silent Irish America, Give Us a Hand This St. Patrick’s Day Civilians Organize to Resist Russian Occupation in Ukraine What Biden Should Say in Belfast About Human Rights NGO Sphere Provides Resistance and Aid in Kharkiv Undaunted by War, Ukrainian Anti-Corruption Activists Track Public Spending Civilians Under Air Attack in Ukraine Warned: "Overconfidence Is Your Weakness" How the Ukrainian village of Tsyrkuny Survived Russian Occupation Two Ukrainian Children at Risk of 20 Years in Russian Prison Time to Compel Social Media Companies to Protect HRDS Polish Authorities Continue to Attack Human Rights Defenders Near the Belarus Border Amendments to UK’s Northern Ireland Conflict Bill Compound Injustice Bombed Out and Occupied Another Northern Ireland Human Rights Lawyer Under Attack High Stakes for Human Rights as Kharkiv Battles Corruption Fight corruption, support Ukraine Since the Rabaa Massacre Bahrain Faces New Crisis As Prison Protests Escalate Double Jeopardy: Russia Threatens to Invade Kupiansk Again Two Prisoners on Hunger Strike in Bahrain Tell of Their Ordeal Belfast Judge Offers Hope to Springhill/Westrock Families Seeking Truth Before Deadline As UAE Waffles on Human Rights, U.S. Congress Must Act The U.S. Needs a Human Rights Institute to Reform the International System Ukraine Medics Defy Missiles and Mud to Bring Aid to Civilians on Front Lines Liptsi medics restore services after Russians destroyed their hospital Ukraine's Winter War 25 Years After the UN Declaration To Protect HRDs, Much More Has To Be Done As British Soldier Finally Faces Murder Charges for Bloody Sunday, Victims’ Families Speak Why Bahraini prince must be sanctioned for human rights violations Hidden Harm Ireland Takes British Amnesty Law to Court Applauding a New Bill to Better Protect Human Rights Defenders Kharkiv’s Frunze Kitchen Feeds a City at War Six Key Takeaways as Ukraine Marks Two Years of War Inch by Inch Hong Kong’s New Security Law Spells Further Repression Ukraine’s Intelligence Services Harass Anti-Corruption Activists