William F. Schulz was the Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, the U.S. division of Amnesty International, from March 1994 to 2006.[1] He is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, and served as president of the Unitarian Universalist Association from 1985 to 1993. He is married to the Rev. Beth Graham, who is also a Unitarian Universalist minister, both living in New York. Dr. Schulz has two grown children from a previous marriage. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and an Adjunct Professor of International Relations at The New School.[2]


Dr. Schulz is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Oberlin College (1971), holds a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Chicago (1974), and both a master's degree in theology and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Meadville/Lombard Theological School in 1973 and 1975.[2] In addition to being awarded an honorary D.D. (Doctor of Divinity) from Meadville/Lombard in 1987, he was also awarded an honorary L.H.D.s (Doctor of Humane Letters) from Nova Southeastern University in 1995, Grinnell College in 2004, Oberlin College, the University of Cincinnati and Willamette University in 2005 and Lewis & Clark College in 2006.

Career highlightsEdit

As President of the UUA, Dr. Schulz was involved in a wide variety of international and social justice causes. He led the first visit by a U.S. Member of Congress to post-revolutionary Romania in January 1990, two weeks after the fall of Nicolae Ceauşescu. That delegation was instrumental in the subsequent improvement in the rights of religious and ethnic minorities in Romania.

Dr. Schulz spent February 1992 in India in consultation with the Holdeen India Fund, a fund dedicated to ending communal violence and to the political and economic empowerment of women, bonded laborers, and others. He led fact-finding missions to the Middle East and Northern Ireland and was instrumental in Unitarian Universalism's opposition to U.S. military aid to El Salvador.

From 1985 to 1993, he served on the Council of the International Association for Religious Freedom, the oldest international interfaith organization in the world. Throughout his career, he has been outspoken in his opposition to capital punishment and has supported women's rights, LGBT rights, and racial justice, having organized and participated in demonstrations, and written extensively on behalf of all four causes.

In 1997, he led an Amnesty mission to Liberia to investigate atrocities committed during the civil war there and, in 1999, returned to Northern Ireland with Amnesty to insist that human rights protections be incorporated into the peace process.

During his years with Amnesty, he has traveled extensively, both in the US and abroad, including a 2004 trip to Cuba under the sponsorship of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. In September 2004, Dr. Schulz participated in an Amnesty mission to Darfur, Sudan, to help redress the humanitarian crisis in that region.

Dr. Schulz has served on the boards of People for the American Way, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Communitarian Network and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, among others. He is currently a member of the International Advisory Committee for the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award and is Chair of the Board of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.

He has received the Public Service Citation from the University of Chicago, the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Oberlin College Alumni Association, been included in Vanity Fair's 2002 Hall of Fame of World Nongovernmental Organization Leaders, and been honored with the Human Rights Award from Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, the Harry S. Truman Award for International Leadership from the Kansas City United Nations Association, the Cranbrook Peace Award from the Cranbrook Peace Foundation, and the Humanitarian Award from Marylhurst University in Portland, Oregon, among others. In 2000, he was named "Humanist of the Year" by the American Humanist Association.

In the mediaEdit

He has appeared frequently on radio and television, including 60 Minutes, 20/20, The Today Show, Good Morning America, All Things Considered, Talk of the Nation, ABC World News, Larry King Live, Nightline, Politically Incorrect, and on the BBC, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, FOX News and Bloomberg News. He has published and is quoted widely in newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, The New York Review of Books, The Nation, The National Interest, and Parade.

A familiar speaker at colleges and universities, Dr. Schulz has delivered lectures at the University of Minnesota Duluth, Yale Political Union, Oxford University, McGill University, Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, Northwestern University, and many others; he taught a seminar on the role of religion in international social and political conflict at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government (Institute of Politics) in the fall of 1993. He is a frequent speaker at World Affairs Council meetings, before corporate groups, and in international settings, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

He is listed in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the East.


Schulz is the author of several books, including

  • In Our Own Best Interests: How Defending Human Rights Benefits Us All (Beacon Press, 2002) ISBN 0807002275
  • Tainted Legacy: 9/11 and the Ruin of Human Rights (Nation Books, 2003). ISBN 1560254890

About Dr. SchulzEdit

"William Schulz, the director of Amnesty International USA, has done more than anyone in the American human rights movement to make human rights issues known in the United States." The New York Review of Books, June 2002.

Political party linksEdit

From 1997 to 2005, Federal Election Commission records[3] show that William F. Schulz contributed a total of $9,450 to the campaigns of Democratic Party politicians Gary Ackerman, Geraldine Ferraro, Carolyn McCarthy, Steve Israel, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Edward M. Kennedy, Charles Schumer, John Kerry, Patrick Leahy, Bill Nelson and Al Gore.


  1. A New Morning: Farewell to AIUSA Executive Director Bill Schulz. Amnesty International USA (Spring 2006). Retrieved on 2006-11-25.
  2. 2.0 2.1 accessed 15 October 2007
  3. database of the Federal Election Commission of the U.S., checked on 00:10, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.