Anna Neistat announced new head of research for Amnesty International

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Anna Neistat, a leading human rights expert and specialist in conflict areas, has been appointed Amnesty International’s new Senior Director for Research.  

A Russian national, Anna Neistat has been involved in international human rights work for more than 18 years.

“Establishing the facts, documenting human rights abuses and providing impartial analysis is at the core of what we do at Amnesty International,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

“We are delighted that Anna Neistat is joining our movement to take up this important role. Her experience spans years of front-line work on some of the world’s most urgent human rights issues. I have no doubt that she will help ensure Amnesty International remains at the cutting edge of high quality research, focusing the world’s attention on grave violations of rights that might otherwise go unnoticed.”

Anna Neistat will be responsible for leading and developing Amnesty International’s global research agenda, ensuring consistently high standards, as well as overseeing the organization’s global crisis response. She will provide expert political and human rights advice to the Secretary General and the movement, and represent Amnesty International at high-level government, media and intergovernmental fora. 

“I am looking forward to working with Amnesty International’s talented staff and committed supporters around the world,” said Anna Neistat. 

“High-quality research is essential for effecting change and fighting injustice. Together with my team we will ensure that our research is always credible, objective, timely, and impact-driven.”

Anna Neistat is joining Amnesty International from Human Rights Watch where, as Associate Director for Program and Emergencies, she was responsible for developing investigative methodology, training for researchers and directors and leading fact-finding missions in conflict areas around the world.

She has conducted more than 60 investigations in conflict areas including Afghanistan, Chechnya, China, Haiti, Kenya, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Syria, Yemen and Zimbabwe. She has authored numerous reports, articles and opinion pieces on these issues and is a regular media commentator on violations of human rights law and humanitarian law in crisis situations. 

Previous to this, Anna Neistat worked for Russia's leading radio station Ekho Moskvy, the Open Society Institute, and as a constitutional law researcher at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies. She holds an LL.M. degree from Harvard Law School, a J.D. and Ph.D. in law, and an M.S. in history and philology. She is a member of the New York State Bar. 

Anna Neistat will formally join Amnesty International on 1 September. She succeeds Nicola Duckworth who is retiring later that month.

“Nicola Duckworth has been an intellectual tower of strength at Amnesty International, who has dedicated her efforts to the organization since 1983. We are extremely grateful for her hard work, strategic insight and determination—she has added great value to the organization’s efforts to end human rights abuses around the world,” said Salil Shetty.  

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