Executive Team


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Executive Director

Paul O’Brien has been the Executive Director at Amnesty International USA, based in Washington, DC since April 2021.  Previously, Paul worked at Oxfam.  Before he left Oxfam, he co-led their worldwide influencing network’s efforts to change government policies, corporate practice and public opinion related to pandemic response. For the previous decade, he oversaw Oxfam America’s advocacy with the US government and corporations. He has been an advisor to the President of Afghanistan, the Africa Policy Advisor for CARE, and an organizer in Nairobi’s informal urban settlements. He co-founded a community organizing institution in Kenya and a human rights research consortium in Afghanistan. He was the President of the Echoing Green Foundation, a litigator in New York for Cravath, Swaine and Moore. He has a JD from Harvard Law School and has published on power and rights for more than three decades.  Before joining Amnesty, he published “Power Switch” How We Can Reverse Extreme Inequality.”


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Chief Movement Building and Member Engagement Officer

Bethany Criss joins AIUSA as Chief Movement Building and Member Engagement Officer. She brings seventeen years of leadership experience in strategy and movements and a deep passion for justice and humanity. She joins us from Leading Educators where she served as Chief External Relations Officer, leading Advocacy, Board Engagement, Communications, and Development.

She has also served as Director of Development with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Managing Director of Development with The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and as National Director of Membership with the National Office of the NAACP. She is a proud alumnus of Northwestern University and serves on both the Board of Trustees of The Barrie School and the Board of Directors of EducateUs.

When not working, she can be found just outside DC, kitchen adjacent and nose in a book while something delicious bakes in the oven.

Ira Lefton

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Chief Legal and Policy Officer

Ira Lefton is the Chief Legal and Policy Officer at Amnesty International USA. He joined the organization in 2019 after having provided legal counsel in a pro bono capacity for Amnesty International USA on an ongoing basis since 2005 while a partner with two AmLaw 200 law firms, Reed Smith LLP and Eckert Seamans LLC.  In addition to his years of assisting Amnesty International USA on a range of governance, contractual, intellectual property and other issues, he provided counseling to numerous other national and regional nonprofits on a wide array of issues.  With more than forty years of experience as an attorney focusing on commercial litigation, Lefton has developed expertise in addressing and resolving challenges facing organizations in all aspects of their operations.  Lefton earned his B.A. from Yale University and his J.D. from the University of North Carolina.  He resides in Philadelphia. PA with his husband, an interior designer.

Jean-Claude Toussaint

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Chief Finance and Administration Officer

​​Jean-Claude joins Amnesty International USA as Chief Finance and Administration Officer in October 2022.  As a Haitian-American youth growing up in Brooklyn, NY, Jean-Claude served as the VP of the Youth Council for the United Community of Flatlands. It was during this time he realized the impact of his contributions to improving the community. This experience gave him a sense of pride in community service and has guided his career path.

Jean-Claude began his community service career in 1998 with the New York City Economic Development Corporation. Over the past 20 years, Jean-Claude’s progressive administrative experiences have included leading several social service organizations with strategic planning, financial management, contract development, and audit oversight. In addition, he was allowed the opportunity to drive capital planning, forecasting, and growth development for several organizations to help them realize their respective missions.  His efforts ultimately helped organizations to increase their community presence, optimize their overall operating resources, and enhance their impact. He comes from the Operation Industrialization Center of South Florida, (OIC-SFL) where he served as the Vice President of Finance and Operations.

Jean-Claude received his Bachelor of Science Degree from the City University of New York and his Master of Business Administration Degree from Long Island University.  He currently resides in Fort Lauderdale, FL with his wife and sons.

Julie Hong 

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Chief IDEA, People and Culture Officer 

Julie is AIUSA’s Chief IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Accessibility), People and Culture Officer. Julie’s (she/her) professional career has been dedicated to talent management and diversity, equity, and inclusion work in the social services, education, environmental, and human rights spaces of the nonprofit sector, and reflects her passion for embedding equity and inclusion into the culture, programs, and practices of mission-driven organizations. Prior to coming to Amnesty, she served as vice president of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice at Defenders of Wildlife, a national wildlife conservation organization. Julie earned her B.A. from the University of Washington and her M.B.A from Georgetown University. While a native Seattleite, Julie is currently based in Washington, DC.

Marcy Bourne

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Chief Development Officer

Marcy Bourne, AIUSA’s Chief Development Officer, brings 20 years of global non-profit fundraising experience and a deep passion for human rights protections to her role in overseeing the organization’s fundraising initiatives.  Marcy joined AIUSA in 2019 as the National Director of Major Gifts and Foundations where she managed all aspects of major giving, planned gifts, restricted giving and relationships with institutional funders. Under her leadership, AIUSA is now raising over $50 million annually to support the critical domestic and global efforts of Amnesty International.

Prior to joining Amnesty, Marcy served as director of special contributor programs for Greenpeace USA, where she significantly grew revenue channels, both domestic and globally, through a variety of fundraising and leadership positions during her 17-year tenure.

In addition to her professional role with AIUSA, Marcy volunteers with a local refugee resettlement agency and a local community food bank and regularly provides pro bono fundraising advice.  She currently resides in Wake Forest, NC with her husband and two children.


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Chief Strategy and Impact Officer

Nadia Daar joined AIUSA as Chief Strategy and Impact Officer in 2023 overseeing Campaigns, Programs, Research, Marketing & Communications, Government Relations, and the Silicon Valley Initiative. Prior to joining AIUSA, Nadia was on Oxfam International’s senior leadership team and Head of their Washington DC Office for several years, leading Oxfam’s advocacy, policy and activating their worldwide network to influence the World Bank and IMF across a range of issues, from fiscal justice to climate change, civic space and accountability. She was also a co-host on their podcast EQUALS for three years. Prior to joining Oxfam in 2015, Nadia spent seven years working with civil society across the MENA region at the Bank Information Center (“BIC”) on stakeholder engagement, upholding community rights in development projects, and leading BIC’s Yemen program.

Through more than 20 years of social justice and human rights work including as a student and community organizer, Nadia has cultivated deep experience in driving impact through evidence-based research and policy proposals, media, and alliance building among others.

Nadia grew up in Muscat, Oman, and holds an Honors BA from the University of Toronto and an MA from York University.

Vivek ramkumar

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Chief of Staff

Vivek Ramkumar is Chief of Staff at Amnesty International USA. In this capacity, he serves as advisor, problem solver, and strategic thought partner to the Executive Director and the executive leadership team. He is also responsible for operationalizing AIUSA’s strategic framework and for overseeing the operational heartbeat that helps ensure organizational effectiveness. Vivek has extensive experience as a strategic leader, having worked for the past two decades at all levels—from the grass roots to international policy arenas—to advance economic justice and fiscal accountability in a diverse set of countries. Prior to joining AIUSA, Vivek worked at the International Budget Partnership for more than 17 years, progressing to the position of Senior Director of Policy. He also worked in India as a community organizer with the MKSS—a farmer and workers cooperative working to secure the rights of rural communities. Vivek is based in AIUSA’s Washington, D.C. office. He is a Chartered Accountant and holds an MA from the London School of Economics.