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.
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, MA | 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 Arab Gulf. Sam received his undergraduate degree in Philosophy & Government from Franklin & Marshall College, where he concentrated in political theory. He received his MA in Ethics, Peace, and Global Affairs at American University’s School of International Service, where he focused on human rights, conflict analysis, and international social justice.
Erin Sigmon | Advocacy Associate
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.
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.
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.
Devin Kenney | Legal Fellow