Lawrence Moss is an international advocate for PHR with specific responsibility for addressing human rights crises in Syria, Myanmar, and neighboring refugee camps in Bangladesh. He began his career in human rights by preparing the initial reports of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (now Human Rights First) regarding Central America. He later represented Human Rights Watch in the UN negotiations to create the Human Rights Council, led a series of successful global campaigns to improve the membership of the Council by defeating the candidacies of violator states, advocated on crisis situations at the UN Security Council, and administered the Hellman-Hammett grants for writers around the world who faced persecution because of their work.
Moss served for five years as Distinguished Lecturer and Rita E. Hauser Director of the Human Rights Program at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, engaging leading human rights practitioners as faculty and as speakers at numerous public programs and conferences. He also taught human rights advocacy at the NYU School of Global Affairs, and spoke at universities, think tanks, and conferences in the United States, Europe, and Asia. His academic work focuses on institutional reform of the UN human rights system and the foreign policies of states regarding human rights.
Moss is a member of the New York Bar, with experience at a feminist law firm, a civil rights law firm, as a public defender in Seattle, at a major Wall Street law firm, and in his own litigation practice. He served as founding chair of the NYC Bar Association’s Special Committee on the UN and on the association’s human rights committee, and continues to represent the Bar Association at the UN and to serve on its Council on International Affairs and its Task Force on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers.
Moss served 16 years as an elected member of the New York State Democratic Committee. He led the NY Democratic Party to support universal single-payer health care, ratification of the International Criminal Court Treaty, and equal marriage rights for same-sex couples, and to oppose military intervention in Iraq. He was instrumental in the abolition of the death penalty in New York State.
Moss is a graduate of Brown University and Stanford Law School.