Press Room

CIVIC Announces New Board Leadership

Aryeh Neier, OSF President Emeritus, is New Chair

CIVIC, whose mission is to improve the protection of civilians caught in conflicts around the world, is pleased to announce the appointment of Aryeh Neier, a towering figure in the defense of human rights around the world, as the new Chair of its board. Alongside Mr. Neier, Susan Osnos, who brings a wealth of knowledge developing focused growth strategies and improving organizational structures within the non-profit community, will take up the position of Vice-Chair. 

“It is an honor for me and all my colleagues to welcome Aryeh Neier as our new Chair, and Susan Osnos as Vice-Chair,” said Federico Borello, CIVIC’s Executive Director. “Under their leadership, we are determined to double our efforts on behalf of civilians in conflict.”

“I’ve been a staunch supporter of CIVIC since its earliest days, and I’ve been amazed at its continuing accomplishments,” Mr. Neier added. “Today’s world can seem indifferent to the suffering of civilians in conflicts—such as Syria, South Sudan, and Ukraine—but CIVIC has consistently proved that more can and must be done to protect them better. It trains militaries on the best way to minimize harm to civilians; it helps develop policy for governments to make amends to civilians who are harmed; it works to strengthen the United Nations’ ability to protect, and most importantly it continues to speak for those men, women, and children who might never be heard in the world’s defense ministries and war rooms. As CIVIC’s role and impact in the world continue to grow, I am honored to increase my role with CIVIC and to support the expansion of these efforts.”

Mr. Borello added: “I cannot thank enough Anil Soni, our outgoing Chair, for his tireless efforts in getting CIVIC to its current position. We couldn’t have grown so much, so quickly, without his guidance, support and faith in our mission, and we greatly look forward to and appreciate his continued support as a Member of our Advisory Board.”

Background:
Aryeh Neier is president emeritus of the Open Society Foundations and served as president from 1993 to 2012. Before that, Mr. Neier worked with the American Civil Liberties Union for 15 years, including eight years as National Executive Director, until he founded Human Rights Watch in 1978. He led HRW for 12 years as Executive Director before his work with OSF.  

He served as an adjunct professor of law at New York University for more than a dozen years and has taught at Georgetown University Law School and the University of Siena (Italy) also. Since 2012, he has served as Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Paris School of International Affairs of Sciences Po.

Neier is a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books and has published in periodicals such as the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, and Foreign Policy. For a dozen years, he wrote a column on human rights for The Nation. He has contributed more than 350 op-ed articles in newspapers including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and the International Herald Tribune. Neier is the author of seven books, with his most recent, “The International Human Rights Movement: A History” published in 2012. He has also contributed chapters to more than 20 books.

He has lectured at many leading universities in the United States and worldwide. He is the recipient of seven honorary degrees and numerous awards from such organizations as the American Bar Association, the Swedish Bar Association, the International Bar Association and the Committee to Protect Journalists.

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Notes to editors:
Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC)'s mission is to improve protection for civilians caught in conflicts around the world. We call on and advise international organizations, governments, militaries, and armed non-state actors to adopt and implement policies to prevent civilian harm. When civilians are harmed we advocate for the provision of amends and post-harm assistance. We bring the voices of civilians themselves to those making decisions affecting their lives. More information available here.

To speak to Executive Director Federico Borello, or for more information, contact Christopher Allbritton at +1 (917) 310-4785 or via email.

Contact

For media inquiries please contact:
Christopher Allbritton at +1 (917) 310-4785 or chris@civiliansinconflict.org