Staff & Partners

Eric Rosenthal
, Founder & Executive Director
  +1 202.296.0800 |

Eric Rosenthal is Founder and Executive Director of Disability Rights International (DRI).  In 1993, Rosenthal received an Echoing Green Fellowship to establish DRI as one of the first international human rights organizations for people with disabilities. Rosenthal has investigated human rights in 36 countries. He has published reports, articles, and op-eds, bringing attention to the concerns of children and adults segregated from society in orphanages, psychiatric facilities, and other institutions.  Rosenthal has trained activists in 40 countries and helped establish advocacy groups run by people with disabilities in Hungary, Kosovo, Mexico, Serbia, Turkey, and Ukraine.

Rosenthal received the Henry A. Betts Award from the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) in 2008 for “pioneering the field of international human rights advocacy for people with disabilities and bringing unprecedented international awareness to their concerns.” The adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is, according to AAPD, “in no small part due to Rosenthal’s role promoting disability rights as a human right.”  In 2007 Rosenthal accepted the Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights on behalf of DRI. He became an Ashoka Fellow in 2008 and received the Human Rights Award of the American Psychiatric Association in 2009. In 2013, Rosenthal received the Charles Bronfman Prize for the global humanitarian impact of his work.  In recognition of his “invaluable contribution to international human rights,” Rosenthal has been appointed the 2015-2016 Fr. Robert Drinan Chair in International Human Rights by the Georgetown University Law Center.

Rosenthal has served as a consultant to the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, and the US National Council on Disability (NCD).  Rosenthal is a board member and former Vice-President of the US International Council on Disability (USICD).

Rosenthal received a law degree cum laude from Georgetown University (1992) and a BA from the University of Chicago (1985).


Eric Rosenthal is the 2013 recipient of the Charles Bronfman Prize. Watch a brief documentary about his work below: