Jeri Laber is one of the founders of Human Rights Watch, the largest human rights organization in the United States. She is the author and/or editor of dozens of Human Rights Watch reports and more than 100 articles on human rights issues published in the New York Times, The New York Review of Books and many other publications. Her memoir "The Courage of Strangers: Coming of Age with the Human Rights Movement" was published in 2002 by Public Affairs. She is co-author, with Barnett Rubin, of "A Nation is Dying: Afghanistan Under the Soviets," Northwestern University Press.
In the course of her human rights work, Ms. Laber made many fact-finding trips to the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Turkey and the Tribal Areas of Pakistan where she interviewed Afghan refugees. She offered friendship and moral support to dissidents in the former Communist countries, many of whom, after 1989, became the leaders of their newly democratic countries.
Ms. Laber was active in the early development of the human rights movement. She served as Executive Director of Helsinki Watch from 1978–1995 and then as Senior Adviser to Human Rights Watch until 2000. She was a founder of the International Helsinki Federation and was its Vice-Chair for many years. She serves as a consultant to the International Freedom to Publish Committee of the Association of American Publishers, a position she has held since 1977.