Matthew Smith, Executive Director

Matthew Smith is the founder and executive director of Fortify Rights and a 2014 Echoing Green Global Fellow. He previously worked with Human Rights Watch (2011-2013), where he authored several reports on critical rights issues in Myanmar and China. Matthew also served as a project coordinator and senior consultant at EarthRights International (2005-2011). His work has exposed wartime abuses and forced displacement, crimes against humanity, “ethnic cleansing,” multi-billion dollar corruption, "development"-induced abuses, and other human rights violations. He has written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, and other outlets. Before moving to Southeast Asia in 2005, Matthew worked with Kerry Kennedy of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights on Speak Truth to Power. He also worked as a community organizer in New York City and as an emergency-services caseworker in Mobile, Alabama. He has an M.A. from Columbia University and a B.A. from Le Moyne College.

OUR International Advisory Board

  • Kerry Kennedy, President of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights
  • Tomas Ojea Quintana, UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar
  • Phil Robertson, Deputy Asia Director at Human Rights Watch
  • Victor Biak Lian, human rights and democracy activist, 2010 recipient of St. Stephen’s Prize from Norway’s Stefanus Alliance International
  • Tyler Giannini, Clinical Professor and Director of the International Human Rights Clinic, Harvard Law School

Our Board of Directors

  • Rob Kilpatrick, Chairman
  • Gerald Bourgeois
  • Oddny Gumaer
  • Brad Hazlett
  • Matthew Smith
  • Isabelle Bourgeois