Kenneth Roth

Executive Director,
Human Rights Watch

Kenneth Roth has served as Executive Director of Human Rights Watch since 1993. Under his leadership, Human Rights Watch has gone global, growing eight-fold in size and vastly expanding its reach. It now operates in more than 90 countries, among them some of the most dangerous and oppressed places on Earth.

During Mr. Roth’s tenure, Human Rights Watch has worked tirelessly to bring justice to victims of the worst abuses, documenting war crimes from Bosnia to Congo, from Iraq to Sierra Leone. Hard-nosed advocacy laid the groundwork for international treaties banning landmines, cluster munitions, and child soldiers. Under Mr. Roth’s leadership, Human Rights Watch has expanded its work on the rights of women, children, refugees, and migrant workers. It has helped spotlight previously ignored topics such as the rights of gays and lesbians, and, prompted by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the link between health and human rights.

Mr. Roth, who graduated from Yale Law School and Brown University, has authored more than 160 articles and chapters on a wide range of human rights topics. Before joining Human Rights Watch as deputy director in 1987, Mr. Roth served as a federal prosecutor in New York and on the Iran-Contra investigation in Washington.