• Press Release

Statement on Executive Director Margaret L. Huang’s Transition to Southern Poverty Law Center

February 3, 2020

Amnesty International USA’s Executive Director, Margaret L. Huang, announced today that she will leave the organization to become the new president and chief executive officer of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and SPLC Action Fund. She begins the role on April 20.

Under Huang’s leadership of AIUSA, the organization has grown both in membership and financial stability. Her direction has seen campaigns to protect the rights of refugees and migrants at the US border, gun violence victims, survivors of torture and police brutality, among many others. She has testified before Congress, led human rights missions to our border with Mexico and has led human rights observer delegations to Baltimore, Ferguson, Missouri and Standing Rock, North Dakota. Her views and policy analyses have been published widely, including in the New York Times, Washington Post, Foreign Policy, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, The Hill, and many, many others.

“Margaret’s leadership at AIUSA has been fundamental to the strength and success of the organization and she will be deeply missed,” said Janet Lord, Amnesty International USA Board Chair. “The organization under Margaret’s leadership has grown financially, is more strategic, is committed to IDEA principles, and has a strong leadership team in place. The Board is saddened to see her go but we understand what a rare and extraordinary opportunity it will be for Margaret to lead the Southern Poverty Law Center at this particular juncture in our nation’s history. Its mission is aligned with the mission of AIUSA and we are heartened to know it will be in such strong hands.”

“In my four years as Executive Director, I have led the organization to greater stability, relevance and effectiveness,” said Huang. “The organization’s revenues have grown by 50%, putting us in strong fighting shape for the human rights challenges that lie ahead.

“Two years ago, I hired Amnesty’s first Identity, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility Director, Minjon Tholen, whose continued guidance has ensured AIUSA is on the front lines of integrating these values into every stream of our work, both internal and external. She now serves as the Chief Inclusion & Strategic Innovation Officer. I also recently welcomed two incredible new leaders for AIUSA – a new Chief Impact Officer, Tamara Draut, and a new Chief Movement Building Officer, Roger-Mark de Souza, who bring years of leadership and dynamic strategies to AIUSA’s work. AIUSA’s Board is also committed to continuing the work to build a bolder, more innovation and inclusive movement.

“It is bittersweet to leave Amnesty after all these years but I feel confident in the organization’s future, knowing there is a devoted Board of Directors, an Executive Team made up highly experienced and committed leaders, a staff who remains passionate and vigilant about human rights, and a vibrant membership who carry the banner of Amnesty into their communities every day.”

Media contact: Mariya Parodi, [email protected]