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Jill Savitt, the President and CEO of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, is a human rights advocate with expertise in genocide and atrocity prevention. She assumed this leadership role in March 2019, but has been involved with The Center since 2010 when she curated the Center’s exhibit on global human rights before the Center’s opening in 2014.
Previously, Savitt was the Acting Director of the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. The Center stimulates global action to prevent genocide and to catalyze an international response when it occurs. Before taking on this role and since 2010, Savitt was a Senior Advisor at the Museum. In this role, she curated the Museum’s Wexner Center, which presents exhibitions about contemporary genocides, served on the team working to revitalize the Museum’s permanent exhibition on the Holocaust; and also managed a range of public education initiatives for the Museum.
In 2007, before working as a consultant, Savitt founded and directed Dream for Darfur, a high-profile advocacy campaign that pressed the Chinese government to take specific actions regarding the Darfur crisis in the lead up to the 2008 Beijing Games. The New York Times Magazine profiled Savitt and the initiative. Dream for Darfur was widely recognized for influencing the Chinese government to change its policies on Sudan in the lead up to the 2008 Olympics.
Savitt was the Director of Campaigns at Human Rights First from 2001 to 2007. She developed a campaign that recruited retired military leaders to bring US policies on torture and interrogation into compliance with US and international law. Earlier in her career, Savitt was the Communications Director at the Ms. Foundation for Women where she ran the successful “Take Our Daughters To Work” campaign.
Savitt taught, for three years, a course on human rights advocacy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA).
She began her career as a reporter for WAMU, the NPR affiliate in Washington, DC. Savitt graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Yale University and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.