Husain Abdulla, MA | Executive Director

Husain Abdulla, originally from Bahrain, is the founder and Executive Director of Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain. As Executive Director, Husain leads the organization’s efforts to ensure that US policies support the democracy and human rights movement in Bahrain. Husain also works closely with members of the Bahraini-American community to ensure that their voices are heard by US government officials and the broader American public.

Husain holds a Master’s degree in Political Science and International Relations from the University of West Florida and a B.A. in Political Science and Mathematics from the University of South Alabama.

R. James Suzano, JD | Acting Director of Advocacy & Legal Affairs

As the director of the Washington office, James plans and executes advocacy strategies that advance support for human rights in Bahrain and the GCC. He also implements ADHRB’s international law initiatives, advocating with both domestic and international organizations to further press for the cause of human rights and democracy in the GCC. James additionally provides direct victim services to individuals that have been harmed by the GCC governments, advocating on their behalf to the United Nations and other organizations. Before joining ADHRB, James assisted the United Nations in Italy, where he was instrumental in the creation of a legal database on nautical piracy offenders. He has additionally served in multiple managerial roles for companies in China.

James received his J.D. from UCLA School of Law, where he focused on international human rights, refugee, and asylum law, especially as it related to emerging refugee crises resulting from conflicts in northern Africa. While at UCLA, James wrote multiple papers on the potential for international criminal prosecution of war crimes offenders in Libya. He received his B.A. in political science from the University of California, San Diego.

Michael B. Payne | International Advocacy Officer

Michael leads ADHRB’s international advocacy efforts, develops new initiatives, and serves as the primary liaison with ADHRB’s international NGO and think tank partners to advance support for democracy and human rights in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and other GCC States. Michael directs all of ADHRB’s advocacy to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva and at the UN General Assembly (Third Committee) in New York. He also works to advocate directly with foreign governments and other international institutions. Michael has represented ADHRB at public events in Geneva and Washington, as well as with national and international media outlets.

Before joining ADHRB, Michael assisted in the development of research and advocacy initiatives at the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) and worked in the United States Senate. Michael received his B.A. with honors in International Relations from Knox College with a focus on developing political movements in the Middle East. Michael has conducted research and programmatic work for two Egyptian NGOs, the Ibn Khaldun Center for Democracy Development and the Egyptian Democratic Academy, while simultaneously completing a year of intensive Arabic language study at the American University in Cairo.  Michael has traveled extensively in the MENA region including Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates.

Sam Jones | Research and Development Associate

Sam assists ADHRB’s ongoing advocacy programs and will help to implement new projects as the organization expands its mission in the Gulf. Sam received his undergraduate degree in Philosophy & Government from Franklin & Marshall College, where he concentrated in political theory. He is currently a M.A. candidate in the Ethics, Peace, and Global Affairs program at American University’s School of International Service, where he focuses his studies on human rights, conflict analysis, and international social justice.  Sam previously worked with ADHRB as an Advocacy Intern.

Mobashra Tazamal, MA | Advocacy Fellow

Mobashra assists ADHRB’s ongoing advocacy programs throughout the GCC and MENA region.  She received her undergraduate degree in Government and Middle Eastern Studies from the College of William and Mary, where she focused primarily on Middle East history and policy and completed an independent study on the rise of Islamophobia pre- and post- 9/11.  She attained her M.A. in Islamic Societies and Cultures from SOAS, University of London, completing her dissertation on the secularization of Shari’a in Saudi Arabia and focusing on the hadd crime of apostasy.

Brittany Hamzy, MA | Advocacy Fellow

Brittany researches human and sex trafficking in the GCC and assists in ADHRB’s ongoing advocacy programs. She received her undergraduate degree in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies from New York University. While at NYU, she worked with several NGOs fighting for civil and human rights domestically and in the Middle East. She obtained her Master’s degree in Near and Middle Eastern Studies from SOAS, University of London where she focused on Middle Eastern politics, history, and law. She has studied in the UAE and travelled throughout the GCC and MENA regions.

Sarah DeLong | Legal Fellow

Sarah is a law student at The George Washington University Law School. She graduated from Allegheny College in May 2014, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History with a minor in Religious Studies. Through her studies, Sarah has developed an interest in international human rights law, specifically as it pertains to post-conflict societies. She hopes to further pursue this interest while gaining experience advocating on behalf of victims who have suffered human rights abuses at the hands of their governments.