January 24, 2010
I look forward to working with the talented staff and directors of Human Rights Watch to advance human rights around the world. Human rights are critical to building a decent, just, and peaceful society.
James F. Hoge Jr.

(New York) – The distinguished journalist and editor James F. Hoge Jr. will take over the chairmanship of Human Rights Watch in October, Human Rights Watch said today. Hoge, currently editor of Foreign Affairs magazine, will become the fourth board chair in Human Rights Watch’s 32 years.

“I look forward to working with the talented staff and directors of Human Rights Watch to advance human rights around the world,” said Hoge. “Human rights are critical to building a decent, just, and peaceful society.”

Hoge, who holds the Peter G. Peterson chair at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, joined the Human Rights Watch board in 1999. He will succeed Jane Olson, a long-time human rights activist from California who has chaired Human Rights Watch’s board since 2004.

“Jim Hoge’s stature, expertise, and insight on a broad range of foreign policy issues will amplify Human Rights Watch’s voice and add immensely to our impact,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director at Human Rights Watch, who also paid tribute to Olson. “Jane Olson has been a key partner in transforming Human Rights Watch into a truly global organization with reach and recognition in capitals around the world.”

Under Olson’s leadership Human Rights Watch has doubled its budget, extended its geographic coverage, added advocacy offices in Beirut, Berlin, Johannesburg, Paris, and Tokyo, and created new research programs on health, refugees, terrorism and counter-terrorism, and the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

As editor of Foreign Affairs since 1992, Hoge has published many landmark essays, including “Tiananmen Papers,” about the Chinese leadership’s decision to crush the 1989 protests. During his journalistic career, he reported from Washington and overseas before becoming editor and publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times and later publisher and president of the New York Daily News. Under his leadership the Sun-Times won seven Pulitzer prizes and the Daily News one.

Human Rights Watch is one of the world’s leading organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights around the globe, with a staff of 280 working in dozens of countries.