Advisory Board

  • Nancy Abraham is Senior Vice President of Documentary Programming for Home Box Office. She is responsible for the development and production of HBO Documentary Films that have garnered numerous awards over the years including Primetime Emmy Awards, News and Documentary Emmy Awards, George Foster Peabody Awards, the Alfred I. DuPont Award and the Academy Award. Prior to joining the documentary division in 1995, Abraham was director of film acquisition for HBO, acquiring feature films and other programs for HBO’s international channels, and she spent three years in Budapest as Director of Programming for HBO Hungary.

  • Marko Ahtisaari is EVP of Design at Nokia and formerly CEO and co-founder of Dopplr, the social atlas for smart travelers around the world, which was acquired by Nokia in 2009. Previously, Ahtisaari was Director of Design Strategy at Nokia and Head of Brand and Design at Blyk, the free mobile service for young people, funded by advertising. In the nineties Marko was a lecturer, Fellow of the Faculty of Philosophy at Columbia University and played music professionally in New York. He serves on the Board of Directors of Artek and WITNESS.

  • Esra'a Al Shafei is the founder of, an open source service that tracks voices of protest from around the world by curating data. She is also the founder of, a discovery engine for underground musicians throughout the Middle East and North Africa who use music as a tool for social change.

  • Brian Byrd has considerable experience in the health and human rights field, working for organizations such as CARE USA, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Rockefeller Foundation. As a senior government relations advisor, he worked with organizations that developed public health policies and services in New York City.  He currently serves as the Program Officer for the Special Projects Fund at the New York State Health Foundation.

  • Mercedes Doretti is a co-founder and full time member of Equipo Argentino de Antropologia Forense (EAAF), an organization that applies forensic science to human rights investigations worldwide that has been a partner of WITNESS since 1994.

  • Steven Goldberg has represented WITNESS as outside counsel from its early stages as a project of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights.  He is a partner in the business practice group of Baker & Hostetler LLP and national co-leader of the firm’s M&A practice team.

  • Steve Grove leads Google’s efforts to grow the Google+ community through partnerships with influential organizations, media companies, brands, and public figures. Previously he built the news and politics division of YouTube, including CitizenTube, a channel that curates and promotes citizen-generated news clips from breaking news events like the Arab Spring. He launched the award-winning CNN/YouTube Debates, the first-ever web-to-TV political debates in which candidates answered questions submitted by users and in 2010 he hosted the first-ever social media interview with President Obama. Steve also started YouTube's nonprofit program, which allows charity organizations to harness the platform for their causes. He was named one of “12 people to watch” by Newsweek (December 2007), a “Rising Star of 2009” by Campaigns & Election magazine and is a Truman National Security Fellow.

  • Joichi Ito is the Director of the MIT Media Lab. He is the Chair of Creative Commons, on the Board of the MacArthur Foundation, on the Board of Trustees of The Knight Foundation, and co-founder and board member of Digital Garage an Internet company in Japan. He is on board of a number of non-profit organizations including The Mozilla Foundation. He is a member of the IT Strategic Headquarters of the Japanese Cabinet. He has created numerous Internet companies including PSINet Japan, Digital Garage and Infoseek Japan and was an early stage investor in Twitter, Six Apart, Wikia, Flickr,, Kongregate, Fotonauts/Fotopedia,Kickstarter, Path, Pinwheel and other Internet companies. He is the Guild Custodian of the World of Warcraft guild, We Know ( He is a PADI IDC Staff Instructor, an Emergency First Responder Instructor and a Divers Alert Network (DAN) Instructor Trainer.
    Ito was named by Businessweek as one of the 25 Most Influential People on the Web in 2008. In 2011, Ito was chosen by Nikkei Business as one of the 100 most influential people for the future of Japan and by Foreign Poicy Magazine as one of the "Top 100 Global Thinkers". In 2011, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oxford Internet Institute in recognition of his role as one of the world's leading advocates of Internet freedom.

  • Diederik Lohman is a senior researcher with the Health and Human Rights Division at Human Rights Watch, where his work focuses on access to palliative care, including controlled medicines for the treatment of pain and international drug control policy. Previously, he served as senior researcher in Human Rights Watch's Europe and Central Asia division and as the Moscow office director. Lohman has conducted extensive research on, and written about, drug dependence treatment and HIV treatment for drug users, human rights in armed conflict and inside the armed forces, and police abuse.

  • Juan Mendez, a native of Argentina, has dedicated his legal career to the defense of human rights and has a long and distinguished record of advocacy throughout the Americas.

  • Sevil Miyhandar is Corporate Vice President and Managing Director of CCS. She has experience working with non-profits from all sectors, including national and international civil liberties and human rights advocacy and service NGOs. She has assisted her clients with fundraising, organizational development, leadership and major donor programs, and training. Her clients have included: Africare, American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the NAACP, and Women for Women International. Sevil is also co-founder of NY Coed Soccer, an adult co-ed recreational soccer league based in New York City.

  • Patrick Montgomery is a leading authority on the licensing of stock footage and photographs. He is the founder of Archive Films/Archive Photos, an historical stock film and photo agency which he sold to The Image Bank, a division of Eastman Kodak, in 1997.

  • Annie Ohayon is the curator of Annie O, a travel and design gift store in the Hotel on Rivington in New York.  She is the former president of Annie O. Media, a public relations and media consulting firm specializing in artist development within the music and entertainment industry.

  • Drazen Pantic is the founder of OpenNet, the Internet department of the pioneering independent media organization Radio B92 in Belgrade. Presently, he serves as Co-Director of Location One, a digital arts gallery in New York. Drazen is a founding member of the Open Source Streaming Alliance, collective blog Unmediated and Direct Video Network.

  • Eli Pariser is the President of the Board at and a senior Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. As Executive Director of, he directed the campaign against the war in Iraq which nearly tripled the organization's membership. His first book is The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You.

  • Izhar Patkin was born in Israel, 1955. He is a visual artist known for working in narrative form. His work not only tells stories but deals with reinventing the structure and technique of visual narrative itself. The results are paintings and sculptures in diverse and innovative media, making imaginative use of materials and highly complex visual metaphors. Patkin’s work is included in many permanent collections, including those of The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York: and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; among others. He currently lives and works in New York City.

  • Harry Pearce is a Partner of Pentagram’s London office. He is a  graphic designer and also a founding partner of Lippa Pearce Design, one of the U.K.’s most respected design companies. He is a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale.

  • D.J. Ravindran is a human rights lawyer and founder of the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (Forum - Asia).  He currently serves as Director of the Human Rights Office of the U.N. Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET).

  • Tim Robbins is an actor, screenwriter, producer, and director renowned known for such films as "Short Cuts" and "The Shawshank Redemption" and for his Academy Award-winning performance in "Mystic River."  He is actively involved in social and political causes.

  • Ian V. Rowe is the CEO of the Public Preparatory Network, a non-profit organization that manages the highest performing, single sex public charter schools in New York City. Prior to the Public Preparatory Network, he worked at The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, MTV, Teach For America, and as the Director of Strategy and Performance Measurement for USA Freedom Corps at the White House.

  • Sebastião Salgado is an exemplar of the tradition of "concerned photography." Originally trained as an economist, Salgado has been awarded virtually every major photographic prize for his work on behalf of the world's oppressed.

  • Susan Sarandon is an Academy Award-winning actor best known for her portrayal of Sister Helen Prejean in the film "Dead Man Walking." She is also well known for her commitment to human rights.

  • Paula Silver, the former President of Marketing and Publicity at Columbia Pictures, and the marketing visionary behind such recent feature film hits as My Big Fat Greek Wedding, synergizes complex marketing strategies with grassroots campaigns to support her projects.  President/Founder of Beyond the Box Productions, Silver utilizes a multi-media approach to develop, produce and promote socially conscious projects through popular culture.

  • Jeffrey C. Walker is a consultant and advisor to non-profit organizations, social enterprises and their CEOs and executive directors. He serves on numerous boards and advisory committees supporting arts and business innovation organizations. He has been a lecturer at Harvard Business School, the Chairman of Millennium Promise, an incubator to eliminate extreme poverty, and is the co-founder and Chairman of Npower, an organization that provides shared technology services to nonprofits. Jeff was previously CEO and co-founder of CCMP Capital, the successor to JPMorgan Chase & Co’s global private equity group.

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