Jeri Laber is a founding member of Human Rights Watch and the author of numerous human rights reports, articles, and books. She worked as executive director of Human Rights Watch from 1978-1998, and as Senior Advisor until 2000. She was the director of Helsinki Watch, which later became the Europe and Central Asia division at Human Rights Watch, and continues to support the division as a member of it's Advisory Committee. Jeri Laber is the author of "A Nation is Dying: Afghanistan Under the Soviets," and "The Courage of Strangers: Coming of Age with the Human Rights Movement." In 2000, she was granted the Czech Republic’s Order of Merit from then-president Vaclev Havel.