Victoria Riskin

Human Rights Activist; Writer-Producer; Former President of the Writers Guild of America

Victoria Riskin enjoyed a long career first as a psychologist and then as a writer and producer for television, with credits that include The Last Best Year, The Member of the Wedding, My Antonia, A Town Torn Apart and World War II: When Lions Roared, for which she was named Television Producer of the Year by the Producers Guild of America.

Riskin is the former president of the Writers Guild of America, West (2001-2004). Her honors include the Chairman’s Award from the Caucus of Writers, Producers and Directors; the Justice Rose Bird Person of Courage Award from Death Penalty Focus; the Horace Mann Alumna of the Year Award of Antioch University Los Angeles, and the Human Rights-Defender of the First Amendment Award by the ACLU of Southern California. She received the Writers Guild 2009 Valentine Davies Award for bringing "dignity and honor to writers everywhere” and was named Woman of the Year from Santa Barbara in 2012 by Assemblyman Das Williams. In 2016, she was named Woman of the Year by Santa Barbara State Senator Hannah Beth Jackson.

Riskin served on the Board of Directors of Human Rights Watch for twelve years, and was a founding member of Human Rights Watch in Southern California. The former co-chair of the Human Rights Watch Santa Barbara Committee, she now serves as Human Rights Watch’s Ambassador for Santa Barbara. For ten years she served as Chair of the Hellman-Hammett Prize Committee, aiding writers around the world who have been victims of political persecution. She chaired the Board of Trustees of Antioch University Santa Barbara for seven years, and is currently the Chair of the Antioch Santa Barbara Leadership Council. She is on the Board of Directors of NPR station KCRW and chairs the KCRW Advisory Board in Santa Barbara. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Humanities from USC, a Master’s degree in Psychology from Antioch University Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, also from USC.