• News

Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s eighth Secretary General, to join Harvard Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy as Senior Fellow in 2018-19

Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) announced today that Salil Shetty, the outgoing Secretary General of Amnesty International, will join the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy as a Senior Fellow for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Salil Shetty will be stepping down as the Secretary General of Amnesty International on July 8 2018, where he held the position for eight years. A long-term activist on issues of poverty and justice, Salil Shetty led the movement's worldwide work to end human rights violations and spearheaded a significant shift of Amnesty International's operations to the global south. The organization, which already has a presence on the ground in more than 70 countries, has recently attracted over a million new members from countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.

We want to thank Salil Shetty for the contribution he has made to Amnesty International over his past eight years as Secretary General.
Mwikali Muthiani, chair of Amnesty International's board

Under Salil Shetty’s leadership, Amnesty International has achieved numerous important victories for human rights and justice, including the introduction of a global Arms Trade Treaty in 2013 that Amnesty had long campaigned for; breakthroughs on corporate accountability including in cobalt and palm oil supply chains; supporting activists to advance Indigenous People’s rights across the Americas; and significant wins on abolishing the death penalty.

“Salil is a dedicated leader who brings with him gravitas and a real understanding of the complex, interconnected human rights issues that our Center is grappling with,” said Carr Center Faculty Director Mathias Risse. “His expansive experience and long-term commitment to the field of justice and human rights will help us spearhead new initiatives, research, and robust programming at the Carr Center, and we look forward to having him here.”

“It is a great honor to return to the Harvard University community this fall as a Senior Fellow," said Salil Shetty. “This is an exciting new opportunity for me. Most of the challenges we face nationally and globally are rooted in the lack of accountable governance. I look forward to joining the Carr Center and benefit from the rich intellectual resources of the Harvard Kennedy School in our collective search for solutions.”

“I am humbled to have had the opportunity to lead the world’s largest human rights organization during these pivotal years for people’s rights across the globe.”

The chair of Amnesty International’s board, Mwikali Muthiani, said: “We want to thank Salil Shetty for the contribution he has made to Amnesty International over his past eight years as Secretary General. By strengthening our presence on the ground internationally, Salil has ensured Amnesty International is in a strong position to become a truly global human rights organization.”

Before joining Amnesty International, Salil Shetty was Director of the United Nations Millennium Campaign from 2003 to 2010, and Chief Executive of ActionAid.

Kumi Naidoo will succeed Salil Shetty as the next Secretary General of Amnesty International in August 2018.  

About Harvard Kennedy School

Harvard Kennedy School aims to improve public policy and public leadership in the United States and around the world through research, teaching, and direct engagement with policymakers and public leaders. Roughly 20,000 alumni of the school’s degree programs and 50,000 people who have taken executive education courses at the school work in nearly every country. In addition, faculty, staff, and students of the school are currently undertaking projects to advance knowledge and strengthen public policy and leadership in dozens of countries. Around the world, the skills and energy of the Harvard Kennedy School community are dedicated to helping make people’s lives safer, freer, and more prosperous. 

About the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy

Since its founding in 1999 the Carr Center has developed a unique focus of expertise on the most dangerous and intractable human rights challenges of the new century, including genocide, mass atrocity, state failure and the ethics and politics of military intervention.

The Carr Center's mission is to realize global justice through theory, policy, and practice. The Center brings together theorists, policy makers, and practitioners in a vital mission:  to enhance global justice.  We accomplish this though research, teaching, training, and convenings focused on a more strategic and outcome-oriented human rights practice.