Dr. Rick Halperin grew up in Alabama during the height of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. He received his B.A. in U.S. History from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., an M.A. in Southern U.S. History from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, and a Ph.D. in Southern U.S. History from Auburn University. Rick Halperin has served on the Board of Amnesty International from 1989-1995 and 2004-2010. He has also served as Chair of the Board from 1992-1993 and 2005-2007.
Dr. Halperin has focused most of his work in human rights around inmate rights and abolishing the death penalty within the United States and abroad. He is a member of the National Death Penalty Advisory Committee and has worked with the U.N. Human Rights committee investigating prison conditions in Northern Ireland.
Dr. Rick Halperin has worked tirelessly to defend the rights of women, child, LGBTQIA, immigrants, indigenous peoples, political prisoners, and journalists. He also serves at the Director of the Embry Human Rights Program at Southern Methodist University. Dr. Halperin leads educational journeys for students, faculty, and community members to help spread awareness about global human rights violations, past and present. Past trips have included Poland, Rwanda, South Africa, Cambodia, and Germany.