New York – Two leading human rights supporters will co-chair the board of Human Rights Watch beginning in October 2013. Joel Motley, managing director at Public Capital Advisors, and Hassan Elmasry, managing partner at Independent Franchise Partners, will succeed board chair James F. Hoge, Jr.
“I grew up in the civil rights movement, which made me passionate about the cause of human rights,” Motley said. “It’s an honor to play a leadership role in Human Rights Watch’s global effort to end abuses and push for justice and the rule of law.”
A lawyer by training, Motley served as chief of staff in New York City and surrounding counties to the late US Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan before becoming an investment banker in New York. He joined the Human Rights Watch board in 2000. Elmasry, who grew up in the United States but lives in London, came to Human Rights Watch in 2004.
“My family’s experience in America and our strong connections to the Middle East have taught me the value of living in a society where human rights are generally respected, and how difficult it is to live with dignity when they’re not,” Elmasry said. “I’ve seen first-hand the impact Human Rights Watch can have around the world. I’m thrilled to assume a leadership role in support of the exceptional staff pursuing these efforts.”
Under Hoge’s leadership, which started in October 2010, Human Rights Watch saw rapid growth, expanding its budget and adding more than 100 staff positions around the world. Key advances in human rights during his tenure include a global treaty extending labor protections to domestic workers, California’s decision to end life sentences without the possibility of parole for juvenile offenders, and a European convention to tackle the scourge of domestic violence.
“Joel and Hassan bring a deep commitment to human rights and the skills to help Human Rights Watch improve its effectiveness and extend its reach,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director at Human Rights Watch, who also paid tribute to Hoge. “Jim’s stature and foreign policy experience were essential to our credibility as we embarked on a period of rapid institution building.”
Human Rights Watch is one of the world’s leading organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights, with a staff of more than 400 working on some 90 countries.