Former Prisoner of Conscience Long Time Activist in Human Rights Movement
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Amnesty International USA's Board of Directors announced today that it has chosen Ann Burroughs as its Board Chair. Burroughs is the Executive Director of the Taproot Foundation in Los Angeles, Calif., a nonprofit organization that mobilizes professionals to provide pro bono services for social change.
An activist at the forefront of human rights advocacy, Burroughs was imprisoned as a young student in her native South Africa for her opposition to apartheid and named a Prisoner of Conscience by Amnesty International. She was released following an Amnesty International Special Action.
"Amnesty International is an organization that has touched me on both a personal and professional level," said Ann Burroughs, Board Chair, Amnesty International USA. "I have seen firsthand the power of its members in freeing people like me, jailed for speaking out against injustice. My understanding of Amnesty’s mission and appreciation for its grassroots mobilization has grown deeper as a member of the staff and now in this new role as Board Chair."
Burroughs served on Amnesty International USA’s staff from 1991-1999, first as the Western Regional Deputy Director and then as a national Media Director. In 2012, the AIUSA membership elected her to serve on the Board of Directors for a three-year term.
"Ann personifies the courage and conviction of our mission – going from a student who gave up her freedom to oppose injustice to a valued leader at Amnesty International," said Shahram Hashemi, outgoing Board Chair of Amnesty International USA. "Ann is taking the role of Board Chair as AIUSA welcomes its new executive director, Steven W. Hawkins. Ann's innate understanding of the power of our membership combined with Steve’s deep experience in grassroots advocacy will be an unstoppable force in exposing and fighting human rights injustices."
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.