Mike Amitay

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Mike Amitay "is a Senior Policy Analyst for the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia at the Open Society Policy Center. In this capacity, he serves as a liaison between OSI's network in these regions and the international policy community in Washington, DC. Amitay works with the U.S. Congress and other Washington-based policy makers to inform and influence U.S. policy and to support the work of OSI partners and grantees.

"Amitay has extensive experience in human rights and foreign policy issues in the Middle East, Europe and elsewhere. From 1996 to 2005 he served as Executive Director of the Washington Kurdish Institute (WKI), a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization he helped establish. Traveling extensively in the region, Amitay focused on a wide range of issues affecting Kurdish communities in Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria. Under Amitay's direction, WKI and partners initiated humanitarian medical treatment and research programs in Iraqi Kurdistan to address long-term health effects of exposure to chemical weapons. Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to correlate WMD attack sites with medical and environmental data, WKI established community-based heath education and service delivery platforms operated by women in isolated rural areas.

"From 1987 to 1996, Amitay served as a professional staff member at the US Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission), a government body which monitors human rights compliance among 55 participating states in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Amitay coordinated activities related to Turkey, Greece, and Cyprus and specialized in Kurdish affairs. Amitay served on official U.S. delegations to numerous OSCE meetings, organized US and European parliamentary delegations to Turkey. Also responsible for the Commission's work in the United States, he authored a 1991 report on homelessness in the U.S. and organized an extensive examination of migrant worker conditions. Amitay organized extensive examinations of the applicability of the OSCE model in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia. In 1995, Amitay founded Human Rights Access (HRX), a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization that promoted human rights and development of international law through arts and education." [1]

"He chaired the Washington Coalition on Human Rights from 1996-1998, and served at the Helsinki Commission from 1987 to 1996, where he coordinated activities related to Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, and the Kurdish regions of the Middle East." [2] (Middle East Institute Policy Paper)