Voices Against Indifference Initiative

Father Robert F. Drinan Event: Reflections of a Human Rights Activist: From Vietnam to the Middle East

May 2002

Father Robert F. Drinan is a Jesuit Catholic priest, lawyer, human rights activist, and a former Democratic U.S. Congressman from Massachusetts. He has been a professor at the Georgetown University Law Center since 1981.He teaches classes on international human rights, constitutional law, civil liberties, legislation, and advanced legal ethics. He has been the recipient of 21 honorary degrees and has been a visiting professor at four American universities. He also served as the dean of Boston College Law School.

Father Drinian served as a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts for five terms, sitting on several congressional committees, including serving as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee’s Criminal Justice Subcommittee. Drinan is a regular contributor to several law reviews and policy journals and is the author of 11 books on major public policy issues.

Father Drinan’s advocacy for human rights issues spans three decades, including travel to more than 18 countries on official congressional delegations and privately sponsored human rights missions. He serves on numerous committees devoted to the furtherance of human rights and sits on the board of directors of the International League for Human Rights, Bread for the World, the Lawyer’s Committee for International Human Rights, the Council for a Livable World Educational Fund, Americans for Democratic Action, People for the American Way and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. He is one of the founders of the Lawyer’s Alliance for Nuclear Arms Control and the National Interreligious Task Force on Soviet Jewry.  Drinan is also the vice chair of the National Advisory Council of the ACLU and a member of the Helsinki Watch Committee.