(Washington, D.C., September 21, 2021)- Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN) is pleased to announce the expansion of its Board of Directors with the election of two new members, human rights experts Reed Brody and Louis Bickford.
"We are proud to welcome to our Board, two of the most prominent names in the human rights world, Reed Brody and Louis Bickford, to guide the work of DAWN and support our mission to promote democracy in the Middle East and reform U.S. policy in the region," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director of DAWN. "Their decades of expertise in, and commitment to, truth for victims of the worst abuses and accountability for the perpetrators are central tenets of DAWN's work."
Reed Brody is an American lawyer with decades of experience in international litigation and advocacy. His work with the victims of some of the world's most brutal tyrants, including Chile's Augusto Pinochet, Haiti's Jean-Claude Duvalier, Gambia's Yahya Jammeh, and Chad's Hissène Habré, who was sentenced to life in prison for crimes against humanity in Senegal, has been featured in five films including the "The Dictator Hunter."
"The DAWN team has already made its mark challenging dictators in Egypt and the Gulf Region. I hope to lend my expertise to DAWN in harnessing the rule of law to hold accountable human rights abusers, whether they be presidents or princes."
- Reed Brody
From 1998 to 2016, Brody was Advocacy Director and later Spokesperson for Human Rights Watch, where he was author of four reports on U.S. treatment of prisoners in the "war on terror" and the book Faut-il Juger George Bush? He has also served as Deputy Chief of the UN Secretary-General's Investigative Team in the Democratic Republic of Congo (SGIT), Director of the Human Rights Division of the United Nations Observer Mission in El Salvador (ONUSAL), advisor to the government of Haiti for the prosecution of serious crimes, and Executive Director of the International Human Rights Law Group. His 1984 investigation uncovered atrocities by the U.S.-backed "contras" against Nicaraguan civilians and led to a halt in U.S. funding.
From 1987 to 1992, he was director of the International Commission of Jurists' (ICJ) Centre for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers and then ICJ Executive Secretary. Brody is on the advisory board of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights. In 1996, he was elected to the ICJ Commission.
"The DAWN team has already made its mark challenging dictators in Egypt and the Gulf Region," Brody said. "I hope to lend my expertise to DAWN in harnessing the rule of law to hold accountable human rights abusers, whether they be presidents or princes."
Louis Bickford has been working in the field of international human rights for over 20 years. He is the founder and CEO of MEMRIA, a social enterprise which develops partnerships with organizations to collect, analyze, and circulate narrative accounts of past violence with the aim of strengthening human rights. Before joining Memria, Bickford managed the global human rights program at the Ford Foundation.
"DAWN has quickly become an important voice on human rights issues for the Middle East and North Africa, and a leader in the push to dramatically reform U.S. policy in the region. I hope my experience in international human rights and my current work in amplifying the narratives around past abuses and violence will help propel the organization forward."
- Louis Bickford
Prior to joining the Foundation, Bickford served on the executive leadership team at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, and before that, was a founding staff member and director of the Policymakers and Civil Society unit at the International Center for Transitional Justice where he developed capacity building programs in every region of the world.
Bickford is also an adjunct professor at Columbia University and New York University, where he teaches regular graduate seminars on human rights. He is on the Board of FrontLine Defenders/USA and the Train Foundation, and he has a Ph.D. from McGill University and an MA from the New School, both in Political Science.
"DAWN has quickly become an important voice on human rights issues for the Middle East and North Africa, and a leader in the push to dramatically reform U.S. policy in the region" Bickford said. "I hope my experience in international human rights and my current work in amplifying the narratives around past abuses and violence will help propel the organization forward."
DAWN, founded in 2018 by Jamal Khashoggi and board members Nihad Awad, Dr. Esam Omeish, and Asim Ghafoor, was relaunched in September 2020 under the leadership of its new Executive Director, Sarah Leah Whitson. DAWN's other board members include Nobel Laureate Tawakkol Karman and law professor Sahar Aziz.
DAWN is a nonprofit organization that promotes democracy, the rule of law, and human rights for all of the peoples of the Middle East and North Africa and advocates for U.S. policies that align with these goals.