Steven W. Hawkins
Steven W. Hawkins is the Executive Director of Amnesty International USA whose deep experience and expertise in grassroots advocacy, fundraising, youth engagement and membership mobilization helps connect more people in the United States to global human rights activism.
Prior to joining Amnesty International USA, Steve worked as an attorney with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund where he represented African American men facing the death penalty throughout the United States' Deep South. He investigated and brought litigation that saved the lives and led to the release of three black teens wrongfully convicted in Tennessee.
Steve continued his work in social justice focused on abolishing the death penalty. As Executive Director of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty in Washington, D.C., he led a powerful partnership of organizations that successfully campaigned to abolish the death penalty for juvenile crimes.
Following his tenure at the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, Steve moved into philanthropy to advocate for human rights and social justice causes at the JEHT Foundation and later at Atlantic Philanthropies, where his work included directing the foundation's investment in a $60 million campaign to defend human rights against national security abuses.
Returning to the NAACP as Executive Vice President and Chief Program Officer, Steve continued at the forefront of social justice, often working in coalition with Amnesty International USA on abolishing the death penalty and national security issues.
Steve obtained his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and his law degree from New York University.