SPLC – Thursday at 9:30 am
Executive Director, SPLC
Hadar Harris, a human rights attorney and non-profit leader with a passion for working with and on behalf of students, is executive director of the Student Press Law Center. Prior to joining SPLC, she served as the executive director of the Northern California Innocence Project. For 13 years, Harris was executive director of the Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law at American University Washington College of Law where she worked on projects in more than 25 countries, focused on domestic implementation of international norms, gender equity, the human rights of persons with disability and implementation of UN human rights treaty law. Earlier in her career, Harris served as executive director of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, a bipartisan legislative service organization of the US House of Representatives, under the leadership of the late Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA). Harris holds a BA in Political Science from Brown University and a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Senior Legal Counsel, SPLC
Mike Hiestand has been integral to SPLC’s success since 1989. He was an SPLC intern, its first legal fellow and then served as full-time staff attorney from from 1991-2003. Over the years, he has assisted over 18,000 student journalists and advisers. As the SPLC’s Senior Legal Counsel, he currently works from the west coast on the SPLC hotline and related projects. In 2013-14, Hiestand traveled around the country with free speech icon Mary Beth Tinker, teaching and speaking out on behalf of student press rights and free expression. “Tinker Tour USA” kicked off on Constitution Day at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia and logged just under 25,000 miles while speaking at schools, colleges, churches, a youth detention facility, courts and several national conventions. Hiestand, who grew up in Alaska, graduated from Bartlett High School in Anchorage and went on to Marquette University’s College of Journalism and Cornell Law School.