Jared Genser

Jared Genser

Freeing Prisoners of Conscience Worldwide

Jared Genser is Founder of Freedom Now, a non-profit organization that works to free prisoners of conscience worldwide through focused legal, political and public relations advocacy efforts. Genser has built an organization which now has six full-time staff and a $1 million annual budget. He has worked in 22 counties and helped secure the release of 27 individual prisoners of conscience, including Ayub Masih, a Pakistani Christian sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan; Dr. Yang Jianli, a former Tiananmen Square activist and scholar; and Professor Saad Eddin Ibrahim, a leading democracy activist in the Arab world. Freedom Now currently has 20 campaign underway. In addition, Genser has inspired and led global coalitions that have focused international attention on the world's most repressive regimes. These efforts have resulted in a UN commission of inquiry being created to investigate mass atrocities in North Korea and Burma becoming a permanent agenda item for the U.N. Security Council.

Genser is Managing Director of Perseus Strategies, a law and consulting firm that focuses on human rights, humanitarian, and corporate social responsibility projects.  Previously, Genser was a partner in the government affairs practice of DLA Piper LLP and a management consultant with McKinsey & Company.  He has taught semester-long seminars about the UN Security Council at Georgetown University Law Center and the University of Michigan and University of Pennsylvania law schools.  His pro bono clients have included former Czech Republic President Václav Havel and Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Aung San Suu Kyi, Liu Xiaobo, Desmond Tutu, and Elie Wiesel.

Genser holds a B.S. from Cornell University, an M.P.P. from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a J.D. cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School.  He is author of The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention: Commentary and Guide to Practice (Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming 2014).  In addition, he is co-editor of The UN Security Council in the Age of Human Rights (Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming 2013) and The Responsibility to Protect: The Promise of Stopping Mass Atrocities in Our Times (Oxford University Press 2011). 

Genser is a board member of Ennaid Therapeutics, an innovative biotechnology company which brings cures to incurable diseases. In addition to being the 2010 recipient of The Charles Bronfman Prize, he is the recipient of the American Bar Association’s John Minor Wisdom Award for Professionalism and Public Service. In 2013, Genser received the American Bar Associations Section of Litigation’s International Human Rights Award. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He has testified before the U.S. Congress and numerous parliaments around the world. Genser lives in Bethesda, Maryland, with his wife and two children and continues to inspire others through his words, his actions, and his perseverance.