Inaugural Joe Brand Human Rights Fellow Selected

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Human Rights First and Squire Patton Boggs Foundation initiate fellowship with GW Law

Human Rights First and the Squire Patton Boggs Foundation launch the Joe Brand Human Rights Fellowship today, providing aspiring human rights lawyers with meaningful experience in the field.

“Human Rights First is proud to partner with the Squire Patton Boggs Foundation to initiate the Joe Brand Human Rights Fellowship,” said Licha Nyiendo, Chief Legal Officer at Human Rights First. “With this fellowship, we are honoring one of our organization’s early leaders while propelling new advocates into the important work of protecting human rights.”

Meredith Gusky has been selected as the first recipient of this fellowship. As the Joe Brand Fellow, Gusky will work closely with Nyiendo to advance the organization’s efforts in impact litigation. Ms. Gusky previously served as a legal intern at Human Rights First, working with the global accountability team in 2022.

“The Squire Patton Boggs Foundation is establishing the Joe Brand Human Rights Fellowship to honor and pay tribute to Joe and to pave the way for law students aspiring to follow his devotion to human rights law,” said John Oberdorfer, President of the Squire Patton Boggs Foundation. “I had the special opportunity to discuss the creation of this Fellowship with Joe in early December, and he was thrilled about it. Now it is in place, with our terrific partner Human Rights First and a superb inaugural Fellow, Meredith Gusky from Joe’s beloved George Washington University Law School, who shares his devotion to human rights.”

Ms. Gusky attends The George Washington University Law School, where Joe Brand earned his law degree, taught, served on its Board of Trustees and as vice-chair of that board, and endowed GW Law School’s Brand-Manatt Lecture, an annual presentation on international law and human rights.

“Mentorship was one of the professional roles Joe most cherished, so this fellowship is very appropriate,” said Ralph Steinhardt, Lobingier Professor of Comparative Law & Jurisprudence at The George Washington University Law School and longtime friend and colleague of Mr. Brand. “In addition to being at the top of her class, Meredith is very committed to human rights. I expect that serving as the inaugural Joe Brand Human Rights Fellow will lead her to an impactful career in human rights law and start a strong legacy for the Fellowship at Human Rights First.” 

Mr. Brand was a dedicated advocate for human rights who had a five-decade career at the firm that would become Squire Patton Boggs, LLP. The global law firm has been recognized for its pro bono representation and is dedicated to advancing the rule of law, protecting fundamental rights, and promoting equal access to justice.

Mr. Brand was involved with Human Rights First since 1992, when it was known as the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, and served on its Board of Directors from 1998 to 2002. He played a key role in establishing the organization’s refugee-related foreign policy projects and continued his involvement as an advisor after his term on the board concluded. He passed away in December 2022.  

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