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The Obama Administration & Human Rights Conference

Thank you for joining us for this important discussion. Video of all panels have been posted.


The election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States signaled the promise of change in foreign and domestic policy and a renewed focus on human rights. This conference will examine what the Obama administration has accomplished around human rights at home and abroad during its first two years and what remains to be addressed.

The invited speakers include significant human rights figures, government officials, civil society leaders and academics. The diversity of viewpoints will offer a balanced examination of pressing human rights issues and will provide the Obama Administration with objective suggestions for policy reforms moving forward.

American University looks forward to hosting this important conversation and raising awareness for global human rights issues that impact us all.

Conference details

Thursday, April 28, 2011
Location: American University Washington College of Law
4801 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20016

Friday, April 29, 2011
Location: American University
Main Campus
4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20016

Recently Confirmed Speakers

- Adotei Akwei, Managing Director for Government Relations, Amnesty International USA
- Diane Orentlicher, Deputy, State Department Office for War Crimes Issues
- Vince Warren, Executive Director, Center for Constitutional Rights
- Suzanne Nossel, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Organizations
- Gary Motsek, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Program Support
- Joe Stork, Deputy Director of the Middle East amd North Africa Division, Human Rights Watch
- Shari Knoerzer, Social Responsibility and Community Development - Asia and Africa, Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.

Keep checking back as more speakers confirm their participation.

Event Highlights

Opening Plenary Speaker: The Honorable Maria Otero, Under-Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs,US Department of State. To learn more about Under-Secretary Otero, click here.

Thursday Lunch Keynote: Aryeh Neier, President of the Open Society Foundations. The title of Mr. Neier's keynote is "The Arab Revolutions, Human Rights and the Obama Administration.” To learn more about Mr. Neier, click here.

Friday Closing Plenary Speaker: John Prendergast, Co-Founder of the Enough Project.  The title of Mr. Prendergast's keynote is "An Emerging Civilian Protection Doctrine?  Obama and the Responsibility to Protect."  To read more about Mr. Prendergast, click here.

Continuing Legal Education Credit

A total of 9.5 credits will be offered, with 5.5 on Thursday and 4 on Friday.  The cost will be $55 per day.  Washington College of Law is an approved provider with PA, NY and VA.  All other states can be applied to upon request.