William D. Zabel
William D. Zabel
In 2000, "Human Rights First announced today that William D. Zabel has been named the new chair of its Board of Directors...
"Mr. Zabel, a founding partner of the law firm of Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP, is one of the country's leading experts in trusts and estates...
"Mr. Zabel has long been a champion of individual rights and civil liberties. Soon after graduating from Harvard Law School, he spent the summer of 1965 in Mississippi as a volunteer civil rights lawyer with the Lawyers Constitutional Defense Committee. He authored the ACLU's amicus brief in Loving v. Virginia, the landmark case in which the U.S. Supreme Court declared anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional. Two years later, he was the lead lawyer in another important case, Aline P. Weiss v. John Gardner, which declared the loyalty oath then required by Medicare to be unconstitutional.
"Mr. Zabel’s passion for civil rights led naturally to the international arena. He joined Human Rights First's Board of Directors in 1986 and soon traveled to Chile to investigate the cases of the "disappeared" during Gen. Augusto Pinochet's "dirty war." Later missions took Mr. Zabel to Russia, Romania, the Philippines, China and Hong Kong. "Human rights will be the leading cause for good in this century," said Mr. Zabel, "and Human Rights First will be in the forefront of the fight for that great cause."
"In addition to his work with Human Rights First, Mr. Zabel serves on the boards of Human Rights Watch, Doctors of the World, the Wei Jingsheng Foundation, and amFAR. He is a founding trustee of the Sakharov Archives of Brandeis University and legal advisor to the Soros network of foundations.
"Mr. Zabel succeeds Norman Dorsen, law professor and chair of the Global Law School Program at New York University School of Law, who has served as chair since January 1996." 
- Director, Winston Foundation
- Secretary, American Foundation for AIDS Research 
- Trustee, JEHT Foundation 
- Trustee, New School University 
Resources and articles
- Human Rights Watch, "WILLIAM ZABEL NAMED CHAIRMAN OF BOARD OF DIRECTORS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS FIRST", January 27, 2000.