Thor Halvorssen: An Advocate for Human Rights

Thor Halvorssen is best known as a human right advocate. He is also known as a film producer with contributions to public policies, civil liberties and individual rights. He is also president of the Human Rights Foundation which focuses on human rights and freedom on a global level. He has been a contributor to make publications and television programs including the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, NPR, BBC, Fox News, al Jazeera, MSNBC, CNN, and HBO.

He was born in Venezuela in 1976. Both of his parents were heavily involved in the Venezuelan government and politics. His father was imprisoned due to money laundering. His mother was also shot at a peaceful protest by Venezuelan security team. He attended college at the University of Pennsylvania. He received both an undergraduate and graduate degree in political science at the university.

Thor Halvorssen focuses his energies on anything that is a threat to democracy such as slavery, dictatorships, and human trafficking. Throughout the years Halvorssen has founded or been involved in various foundations and movements that have furthered these causes. He is also a successful film producer that focuses on many of these causes. He has also been awarded many recognitions for his fight for human rights and democracy.

One of his biggest projects was the Human Rights Foundation. He created the foundation in 2005 in New York. He is not only the founder but also the CEO. Its main focus was to empower people to fight for their basic human liberties. Many well-known political advocates have been involved in his foundation throughout the years. The foundation has involved itself with many hot button topics as well. Click here to know more.

His other major accomplishment is being a critically acclaimed film producer. His films have debuted in several popular film festivals. His film Freedom Fury documented the uprising against dictatorships that occurred in the late 1960’s. His film Sugar Babies documented human trafficking in the Dominican Republic. His newest project, 2081 is about a dystopian society that is run by a tyrannical government. His is listed as the sole producer. His main goal is and will always be fighting for human rights whether it be with films, organizations, or advocacy.


Dr. Clay Seigall’s Answers Why He Founded Seattle Genetics

Seattle Genetics, Inc. is a pharmaceutical company headquartered near Seattle, Washington. It focuses on developing targeted therapies for diseases that current drugs are not effectively treating. It was founded by Dr. Clay Seigall in 1998 and he serves as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. His leadership has brought Seattle Genetics to the forefront of the targeted therapy industry.

The main type of drugs that Dr. Clay Seigall focuses on is antibody-drug conjugates which can destroy diseased cells while not having the side effects like current drugs of also destroying healthy cells as well. He created the first antibody-drug conjugate to receive FDA approval which was a drug that helps cure people of lymphoma. Additionally, Seattle Genetics have over 20 other drugs in the pipeline in various stages of research.

When talking about why he founded Seattle Genetics, Dr. Seigall boils it down to three reasons. The first was that he developed a passion for curing disease early in life, especially when his father died of cancer while Dr. Seigall was at a young age. His next reason was that at his prior positions, including as a Senior Researcher at Bristol-Myers Squibb, he felt constricted by the company in what he could do and research. Thirdly, he said that he resented that his patents and the profits that the company made off of them didn’t make him any money outside of what they regularly paid him. He decided to found his own company so that he could fairly profit from his work and have the latitude to effectively perform his work.

Beyond Seattle Genetics, Dr. Clay Seigall very good reputation has led to him being named to the boards of other pharmaceutical companies. He sits on the Board of Directors for Ultragenyx which creates cures for metabolic genetic diseases. He is also on the board of Mirna Therapeutics which creates microRNA therapeutics. Alder BioPharmaceuticals, which researches therapeutic antibodies, is another company that he is on the board of. Dr. Clay Seigall attended George Washington University and graduated with a Ph.D. in Genetics.