Executive Team

 

PAUL O’BRIEN

(he/him/his)

Executive Director

Paul O’Brien is the new Executive Director at Amnesty International USA, based in Washington, DC.  Previously, Paul was at Oxfam America. During the pandemic, Paul co-led Oxfam’s worldwide influencing network’s efforts to change government policies, corporate practice and public opinion. For the last 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.  He recently published “Power Switch” How We Can Reverse Extreme Inequality.”

 

Marcy Bourne

(she/her/hers)

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 $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.

 

Roger-Mark De Souza

(he/him/his)

Chief Movement Building Officer

As the Chief Movement Building Officer, Roger-Mark De Souza oversees research and programs designed to document human rights abuses and directs Amnesty International USA’s work to grow, diversify, train, and deepen the engagement of its membership base in order to leverage the organization’s grassroots activism from the local to the global level. For the last 25 years, De Souza has held leadership positions in the non-profit sector including with Sister Cities International, the Woodrow Wilson Center, PAI (Population Action International), the Sierra Club, Population Reference Bureau, and the World Resources Institute. Over his career, he has built social, economic, health and environmental programs, teams, and movements across the world to encourage local buy-in and empowerment. His commitment to promoting inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility through allyship, service, and organizational action stems from his lived experiences, his community engagement, and his deep desire to improve the welfare of diverse populations. De Souza leads with integrity and passion. He brings to bear his contagious laugh, energy, and drive to engage others, lift their aspirations, and deliver on key program objectives. Outside his professional life, he thrives on his Caribbean heritage, loves to cook, is an avid traveler, and enjoys the outdoors with his wife, sons, and rescue dogs.

 

Tamara Draut

(she/her/hers)

Chief Impact Officer

Tamara Draut is the Chief Impact Officer at Amnesty International USA where she leads the organization’s campaigns, public affairs and government affairs teams. Draut has nearly 20 years of experience advancing social change across a wide range of issues, communications, campaigns, policy development and research. Prior to joining AIUSA, Draut worked for 17 years at Demos, a progressive policy and advocacy organization that addresses economic, political and racial inequality. During her time there, she developed winning campaigns and innovative programs to address credit card debt, college affordability and student debt, worker protections and wages, money in politics and the racial wealth gap. She led the organization through a major re-structuring and mission re-alignment process, resulting in greater external impact, internal cohesion, and stronger organizational stability through a significant increase in unrestricted revenue. She is the author of Strapped: Why America’s 20- and 30-Somethings Can’t Get Ahead and Sleeping Giant: The Untapped Economic and Political Potential of America’s New Working Class (Doubleday 2006, 2016). Draut received her undergraduate degree in journalism at Ohio University and her master’s degree in public policy from Columbia University. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.

 

Ira Lefton

(he/him/his)

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.

 

Minjon Tholen

(she/her/hers)

Chief Inclusion & Strategic Innovation Officer

Minjon Tholen is the Chief Inclusion & Strategic Innovation Officer at Amnesty International USA. She is responsible for leading holistic culture change efforts across the organization to build a bigger, bolder and more inclusive human rights organization. She is a passionate and seasoned global organizational transformation strategist with a specialization in diversity, equity & inclusion and has extensive experience in developing and implementing innovative culture change initiatives at a wide variety of organizations. Prior to joining Amnesty, Tholen was a Senior Consultant at a leading consulting firm specializing in organizational transformation and diversity, equity & inclusion management, where she partnered with leaders at Fortune 500 companies, public institutions and nonprofits all over the world. Prior to this, she worked at several nonprofit and educational organizations in the US and The Netherlands. She is the Co-Founder and Principal Advisor at Inclusion NextWork and serves on the Board of Directors of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Tholen received her Bachelor’s degree cum laude from the University of Utrecht in The Netherlands, holds a Master’s degree in Gender and Women’s Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has certificates in Executive Leadership and Strategic HR Leadership from Cornell University. She was born in Sri Lanka, grew up in The Netherlands, and resides in the Washington DC area with her husband and dog.