When you know a little about his ancestry it’s no wonder Thor Halvorssen is one of the leading human rights activists on the planet. Born in Caracas, Venezuelan in 1976 he is Norwegian and Venezuelan.
His paternal grandfather diverted Norway’s merchant fleet to Venezuela, rather than have it fall into German hands, at the start of World War II. His mother is Venezuelan, and a descendant of the first president of Venezuela. Thor’s parents have fought for human rights their entire lives.
In 2005 Thor founded the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) where he now serves as president. Working with a small staff of only a dozen, Thor Halvorssen and his associates seek to put a spotlight on authoritarian regimes around the world.
The foundation’s goal is to give a voice to political prisoners and dissidents wherever they might be. Knowing half of the world’s population live under some form of suppression offers HRF more than enough opportunities to fight for human rights.
Accoridng to Crunchbase, Thor Halvorssen attended the University of Pennsylvania where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude with degrees in Political Science and History. Considered an expert on human rights he has lectured at many highly thought of organizations such as the Harvard Law School, the United Nations Association, and British parliament.
In 1999 Thor was instrumental in convincing Lucent Technologies to adopt an anti-slave labor policy that would require China to certify that the use of slave labor not be permitted in the manufacturing of their products.
Also, in 1999 Halvorssen became the CEO of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). FIRE is a U.S. civil liberties organization that brings together other advocacy agencies such as the Heritage Foundation, Feminists for Free Expression, and ACLU.
Thor Halvorssen has authored many articles regarding human rights, published in the Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, and The National Review to mention only a few. Halvorssen is also a well-known filmmaker having made several films, again focusing on human rights.
Very few individuals in this world have contributed as much to the human rights movement as Thor Halvorssen.