Executive Team

PAUL O’BRIEN

(he, him, his)

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.”

Adotei Akwei

Interim Chief Membership Collaboration Officer

(he, him, his)

Adotei Akwei is AIUSA’s Interim Chief Membership Collaboration Officer for Amnesty International USA. He has served as Deputy Director for Advocacy and Government Relations for AIUSA, as the Regional Advocacy Advisor for CARE’s Asia Regional Management Unit and as Senior Advocacy Director for Africa at AIUSA. Adotei also served as Africa Director for the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, as the Research and Human Rights Director for the American Committee on Africa and the Africa Fund.

Adotei received his Master’s degree in International Relations from the College of William and Mary and his Bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York College at Purchase.

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 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.

Julie Hong 

(she, her, hers)

Interim 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.

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.

Anand Mishra 

Interim Chief Impact Officer 

(he, him, his)

Anand Mishra is Amnesty International USA’s Interim Chief Impact Officer. Anand also serves as AIUSA’s National Director of Marketing and Communications. In his roles, Anand oversees teams responsible for AIUSA’s programs, Silicon Valley Initiative, and all external communications. Anand has more than 20 years leading marketing and communications for international non-profits, including previous positions at the International Budget Partnership, World Resources Institute, World Wildlife Fund, and The Nature Conservancy. Anand is based in AIUSA’s Washington, DC office.

Jean-Claude Toussaint

(he, him, his)

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.

Rachel Ward

Interim Chief Movement Building Officer

(she, her, hers) 

Rachel Ward is AIUSA’s Interim Chief Movement Building Officer leading research, campaigns and organizing teams. Rachel has worked with the organization for over 20 years.  Rachel co-authored several Amnesty International research reports including: Amnesty International’s Concerns Regarding Post September 11 Detentions in the USA; “Why am I here?” Children in Immigration Detention and co-authored In Hostile Terrain: Human Rights Violations in Immigration Enforcement in the US Southwest; Stonewalled: Police Abuse and Misconduct Against Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender People in the US; and Maze of Injustice: The Failure to Protect Indigenous Women from Sexual Violence in the USA which resulted in the passage of the Tribal Law and Order Act.  Rachel also co-authored Deadly Delivery: The Maternal Health Crisis in the USA, and Un-Natural Disaster: Human Rights in the Gulf Coast, as part of Amnesty International’s Demand Dignity Campaign. Rachel founded AIUSA’s human rights protest monitoring team and led an investigative team to produce the report, On the Streets of America: Human Rights Abuses in Ferguson; and Deadly Force: Police Use of Lethal Force in the United States, a report which inspired and informed state and federal legislation. and led AIUSA’s response and protest monitoring during the racial justice protests in 2020 following the execution of George Floyd. Rachel has also led teams to develop research and campaigns on gun violence in the United States and worked in coalition to advance federal legislation. 

Rachel Ward is a lawyer and a member of the Law Society of England and Wales.

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