"Amnesty International USA Names NAACP'S Steven W. Hawkins as Executive Director," is the title of a news release issued by Amnesty International USA, via PR NewsWire.
Amnesty International USA's (AIUSA) Board of Directors announced today that it has named Steven W. Hawkins as executive director. As Executive Vice President and Chief Program Officer of the NAACP, Hawkins is a nationally renowned attorney and grassroots advocacy leader at the forefront of social justice issues, including death penalty abolition, criminal justice system reform and defending civil liberties. He will officially become executive director on September 25.
"Steve Hawkins has an innate understanding of grassroots advocacy and the power of people to bring about social change. He will be a galvanizing force in inspiring and engaging our members, volunteers, supporters and staff," said Shahram Hashemi, Chair of the Board of Amnesty International USA. "We are excited to have Steve at the helm. He is a leader with the heart, vision and drive to help us win the human rights battles ahead."
Hawkins began his career in social justice as an attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, where for nearly six years he represented African American men facing the death penalty. During this period, he investigated and brought litigation that led to the successful release of three teenagers wrongfully convicted in Tennessee. He later became the executive director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (NCADP) where he helped end the death penalty for juvenile crimes. Hawkins then moved into philanthropic work as senior program manager at the JEHT ("Justice, Equality Human dignity and Tolerance Foundation, and later as program executive at Atlantic Philanthropies, where he directed the foundation's investment in a $60 million campaign to protect and defend human rights against abusive national security policies.
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