Back to top
27 January 2023

Andrew Anderson steps down as head of Front Line Defenders

Andrew Anderson is stepping down as Executive Director of Front Line Defenders, after two decades of leading the organisation’s work to support and protect human rights defenders at risk.

Andrew joined the organisation as Deputy Director in 2003 and has since 2016 served as its second Executive Director.

“This February marks my 20th anniversary with Front Line Defenders, an organisation I have been honoured to lead. I think it is a good time for others to take on the leadership of this exceptional organisation,” said Andrew Anderson.

“I am confident I am leaving an organisation that is in excellent shape with a hugely dedicated and talented staff team, a strong new Strategic Plan for 2023-27, robust funding and a track record of delivery on behalf of human rights defenders at risk." -- Andrew Anderson

“Last year, the organisation delivered another record of over 1,000 protection grants to the most at risk HRDs around the world, including in severe crises such as Ukraine, Afghanistan, Iran and Myanmar. With over 100 defenders in attendance, the 2022 Dublin Platform last October was again a brilliant manifestation of the range and diversity of human rights defenders we are providing support to.”

Front Line Defenders expanded significantly in size and scope during Andrew’s tenure as Executive Director, further establishing the organisation as a trusted and central partner for HRDs at risk globally In 2018 the organisation was awarded the UN Prize for Human Rights.

The Board of Front Line Defenders has asked Olive Moore to take on the role of Interim Director, supported by the organisation’s management team. Olive has served as Deputy Director of Front Line Defenders since 2020, prior to which she held a range of roles working on human rights and humanitarian issues for Trócaire, Amnesty International, The World Bank and the Irish Government.  

The Board will oversee a competitive, international recruitment process for a new Executive Director of Front Line Defenders to take forward the organisation’s work to support and protect human rights defenders at risk.

Read a farewell letter from Andrew Anderson.