For Immediate Release

Washington, January 21, 2020 - Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, one of the world’s leading defenders of universal human rights, will speak at the NAFSA 2020 Annual Conference & Expo in St. Louis, Missouri. He will address the conference on May 28, 2020.

Courageous and outspoken, Al Hussein has called on all world leaders to do more to help end human rights violations across the globe while also speaking out on the rise of populists and demagogues in both the European Union and the United States.

Zeid Al Hussein served as the sixth United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 2014 to 2018. He was also the first Arab, and Muslim to serve in that role.

A native of Amman, Jordan, he served twice as Jordan’s ambassador to the United Nations from 2000 to 2007 and again from 2010 to 2014; during which time he served as president of the United Nations Security Council in 2014. He was Jordan’s ambassador to the United States from 2007 to 2010. He also played a critical role in the establishment of the International Criminal Court and was elected the first president of the Assembly of State Parties of the International Criminal Court in 2002.

“We are honored to have Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein address our conference attendees,” said Esther D. Brimmer, NAFSA executive director and CEO. “He has a distinguished career as a champion of human rights, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding. I know our audience of international educators will benefit from and be inspired by his abiding passion for human rights.”

Zeid received the Human Rights Tulip Award in 2018, for his unique contributions in defending human rights, and the 2015 Stockholm Human Rights Award, for his work in the pursuit of advancing international justice and strengthening respect for human rights.

He was recently named the Distinguished Global Leader-in-Residence at Perry World House, the University of Pennsylvania’s global policy research institute, and is a professor of human rights and law at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law.

Al Hussein holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Johns Hopkins University and a doctoral degree in history from Cambridge University.


About the NAFSA Conference

NAFSA’s 72nd Annual Conference & Expo is the world’s largest gathering of professionals in international education with an expected 10,000 attendees from more than 100 countries. The conference offers a wide array of learning and networking opportunities for international educators and features more than 200 sessions and workshops focusing on the most crucial topics in international education and exchange and global learning. A major highlight of the conference is the International Education Expo Hall, which features more than 400 exhibitors representing hundreds of organizations from around the world, including colleges and universities; study abroad and intensive-English programs; embassies and government agencies; and more. The conference theme for 2020 is “Innovate, Influence, Impact.” It will be held in St. Louis, Missouri. May 24- 29, 2020. Learn more at

About NAFSA: Serving more than 10,000 members and international educators worldwide, NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education and exchange. Visit us at To learn more about our advocacy efforts on behalf of international education, visit Resources to guide our members on these issues can be found at