2020 Winner

Jared Genser

for his urgency, creativity and dedication to using the law to free political prisoners, protect human rights and challenge autocracy around the world


Jared Genser is an international human rights lawyer who has spent his career practicing law and teaching and mentoring the next generation of human rights lawyers. Referred to by the New York Times as, “The Extractor,” for his work freeing political prisoners worldwide, his client list has included people like Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Desmond Tutu, Liu Xiaobo, and Elie Wiesel. Genser has published books on the topics of arbitrary detention, mass atrocity crimes, the UN human rights system and the UN Security Council.

New thinking, new actions

Jared Genser was appointed special advisor on the Responsibility to Protect for the OAS, the Organization of American States. In this pro bono diplomatic post, he collaborated with OAS members, international organizations, and civil society to develop a regional system to prevent and respond to mass atrocities and advocated for greater global engagement to address the ongoing crimes against humanity in Venezuela. Genser believes that the challenge of this century is to get world actors to live up to a code of human rights like those represented by the UN charter. Although he’s known as a crusader, he rejects that label. And says his mission is to stand in solidarity with homegrown activists who are trying to make their communities and their country a better place. Between ongoing cases, Genser mentors the next generation of human rights representatives. Learn more

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