William Schulz is strong in his convictions. As executive director of Amnesty International U.S.A., he works tirelessly to promote human rights wherever and whenever possible. Schulz has been outspoken throughout his career in his support for women's rights, gay and lesbian rights, and racial justice and in his opposition to the death penalty. His leadership of Amnesty International U.S.A. has elevated worldwide awareness of human rights issues of any magnitude.
At a young age, William Schulz learned a valuable lesson-the importance of compromise. Throughout his career as a clergyman and as the leader of Amnesty International, Dr. Schulz has helped many to understand compromise as an improved alternative to continued conflict without progress. Dr. Schulz recently wrote an essay for the New York Times Magazine on the delicate balance between security and liberty-in essence, a series of compromises.
Dr. Schulz, an Illinois native, is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Oberlin College. He holds a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Chicago, and a doctor of ministry degree from Meadville/Lombard Theological School at the University of Chicago.
An ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, Dr. Schulz came to Amnesty after serving for 15 years with the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (UUA), the last eight as president. In this role, he was involved in a wide variety of international and social justice causes in locales around the world. From 1985-93, Dr. Schulz also served on the Council of the International Association for Religious Freedom, the world's oldest international interfaith organization.
He has been published widely, including his 2001 book In Our Own Best Interests: How Defending Human Rights Benefits Us All (Beacon Press). In his newest book, Tainted Legacy: 9/11 and the Ruin of Human Rights, published in September 2003, Dr. Schulz offers a careful argument based on moral principles, international law, and actual case studies for the idea that the balance between security and rights ought to be very carefully calibrated.
Among his many honors are the 2002 Human Rights Award from Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, and the Harry S. Truman Award for International Leadership from the Kansas City, Mo., United Nations Association. He is currently a member of the international advisory committee for the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award and the Council on Foreign Relations.