Photo Brigitte Schmid

Brigitte Schmid

Managing Director, Development & Global Initiatives

Brigitte joined Human Rights Watch as the first Development Director in Zurich in November 2009. Her professional life began at FIZ, a women’s rights organization in Zurich, where she conducted policy work and public education around migration and trafficking of women. From 1998 until 2009, she lived in New York where she served in program positions at WITNESS/Human Rights First and Forefront, formerly the Reebok Human Rights Award recipients’ network, and as a consultant for the US Human Rights Fund and the Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (EAAF). Brigitte has a master’s degree in contemporary and political philosophy from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland (1996) and a certificate in International Affairs from New York University. During one semester, she studied philosophy and Latin American literature at UNAM in Mexico City. 

As of mid-2022, Brigitte took on a Managing Director position in HRW’s Development & Global Initiatives department, overseeing a number of European teams to ensure successful fundraising and overall strategy and leading on central department teams and initiatives.