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 | Director of Legal Affairs
James plans and executes legal strategies that provide 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 provides research and development support for ADHRB’s ongoing advocacy programs and helps to implement new projects by analyzing emerging human rights issues in the Arabian 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.
Erin Sigmon | Advocacy Assistant
Erin is an Advocacy Assistant at Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain. She provides assistance for the organization’s advocacy programs both domestically, at the US Congress, and internationally, at the United Nations Human Rights Council, in order to promote ethical foreign policy and reform in the Gulf region. She also works to document abuses and coordinate services for victims of human rights violations in the region. Erin graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in International Studies from North Carolina State University.
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.
Tyler Pry, MA | Advocacy Fellow
Tyler is a graduate of the London School of Economics where he received his Master’s degree in International Relations. He focused on the Middle East and the relationship between the state, power, and violence. Through his studies, he gained an interest in human rights. He hopes to pursue this interest by gaining further experience and continuing work on human rights and the issues of politics and violence relating to the Middle East.
Farah Kader | Advocacy Fellow
Farah received her BA in Public Heath from University of California, Berkeley in 2014, concentrating in infectious disease and global health. As an undergrad, she conducted water quality research related to endocrine disruption, and provided case management services to undocumented immigrants and refugees seeking asylum. She was also involved in student advocacy surrounding political strife in the Middle East, Islamophobia in the U.S., and human trafficking/exploitation in the Bay Area. From 2014 to 2016, Farah was a Research Associate for the California Medical Association.
Leah Schulz | Advocacy Fellow
Leah assists ADHRB’s advocacy programs focusing on Saudi Arabia. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Bates College in 2014. As an undergrad, she majored in Politics and studied abroad in Morocco and Saudi Arabia. After graduation she spent seven months studying Palestinian Arabic in the north of Israel. Prior to joining ADHRB, Leah was a research intern with Human Rights First where she provided support to their Human Rights Defenders program.
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.