Aryeh Neier

Before joining the Open Society Institute and the Soros Foundations as President in September 1993, Aryeh Neier spent twelve years as Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, of which he was a founder in 1978. Prior to that position, he worked for the American Civil Liberties Union for fifteen years, including eight as national Executive Director.

Mr. Neier served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at New York University for more than a dozen years [1978-1991] and has lectured at a number of the country's leading universities and at universities in many other countries. He is the recipient of six honorary doctorates (State University of New York-Binghamton, Hofstra University, Hamilton College, American University, University of Connecticut, John Jay College of Criminal Justice) and the American Bar Association's Gavel Award.

The author of six books (Dossier [1975]; Crime and Punishment: A Radical Solution [1976], Defending My Enemy [1979], Only Judgment [1982], War Crimes [1998]), and Taking Liberties [2003], Mr. Neier has also contributed chapters to more than twenty-five books.

He has been a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books and has also published in such periodicals as The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, Foreign Policy, Dissent and a number of law journals. For a dozen years he wrote a column on human rights for The Nation.  He has contributed more than a hundred and fifty op-ed articles to newspapers, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, and The International Herald Tribune. Many of his articles have been syndicated internationally.

Mr. Neier was born in Nazi Germany and became a refugee at an early age.  An internationally recognized expert on human rights, he has conducted investigations of human rights abuses in more than forty countries around the world. For more than two decades he has been directly engaged in efforts to promote compliance with international humanitarian law (the laws of armed conflict), and in the global debate on accountability, bringing to justice those who have committed crimes against humanity. He played a leading role in the establishment of the international tribunal to prosecute those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the former Yugoslavia.

Source: University Programs and Events Planning Resources, February 2006