Thor Halvorssen

Pres & CEO
Human Rights Foundation

Thor Halvorssen is a Venezuelan-born human rights advocate and film producer. He began advocating for human rights as an adolescent in 1989 in London by organizing opposition to South African apartheid. Described by The New York Times as a “champion of the underdog and the powerless,” he is president of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation (HRF), an organization devoted to liberating political prisoners and promoting tolerance globally. He became involved full-time in the promotion of due process and individual rights after his father became a political prisoner in Venezuela.

Thor is founder of the Oslo Freedom Forum, an annual global gathering described by The Economist as a “human-rights equivalent of the Davos economic forum.” He is the Patron of the Czech-based Children’s Peace Movement, On Own Feet.

Thor has lectured at universities across the world on matters of liberty, and his opinions and views have appeared in numerous venues, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, The Washington Post, National Review, National Public Radio, TIME, The Daily Telegraph, New York Post and GQ, as well as televised outlets such as Al Jazeera, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, BBC, HBO and many others.

He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with concurrent undergraduate and graduate degrees in political science and history.

[Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.]

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.