Larry Cox was appointed executive director of Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) in January 2006. A veteran human rights advocate, he came to AIUSA after serving 11 years as senior program officer for the Ford Foundation's Human Rights unit, where he focused on the promotion of international justice and the advancement of domestic human rights.
In assuming leadership of AIUSA, Cox's career has come full circle. In 1976 he joined the organization as its first press officer. During the next nine years he quickly ascended through the ranks, establishing the AIUSA Program to Abolish the Death Penalty and then taking on the role as its first communications director and deputy executive director. He then spent five years as deputy secretary general at Amnesty International's world headquarters in London.
Cox also served as an AI delegate on several international missions, examining pressing human rights concerns in Australia, Guinea-Bissau, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Sierra Leone, Tunisia, the United Kingdom and Vietnam.
In 1990, Cox became the executive director of the Rainforest Foundation, an international organization that works with indigenous peoples in the Brazilian Amazon to protect their rights. During his time at the Rainforest Foundation, Cox dedicated much of his time to the issue of demarcation of indigenous territories in Brazil.
While at the Ford Foundation, Cox co-edited and co-wrote the introduction to the report, Close to Home: Case Studies of Human Rights Work in the US. The report examines the traditional human rights tools - such as fact-finding, litigation, organizing and advocacy - that U.S. human rights organizations use to reduce poverty, promote workers' rights and environmental justice, abolish the death penalty and end discrimination.
As executive director of AIUSA, Cox continues to promote human rights as the basis for peace and security in the post-September 11 era. Cox believes this mission is particularly important in the United States, a country he cites as having abdicated its role as human rights leader.
Cox holds a B.A. in history from Mount Union College, has completed graduate work at the University of Geneva and is currently pursuing an M.A. in religion and human rights at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.