Introducing Sam Gregory, our new Executive Director

We are thrilled to announce that Sam Gregory will be stepping into the role of Executive Director at WITNESS. Sam is a highly respected human rights leader and award-winning technologist who brings over 25 years of global experience innovating and leading interventions at the intersections of video, technology, and human rights.

Sam Gregory on WITNESS’ new strategic vision to ‘Fortify the Truth’

If Sam’s name sounds familiar – it should! He has dedicated over two decades to WITNESS, most recently directing our programs and strategy. In that capacity, Sam has supported WITNESS’ global teams and partners in more than 100 countries addressing urgent issues such as land rights, state violence, and war crimes – as well as spearheading our pioneering work on emerging technologies such as deepfakes and AI. Sam brings both the history and an ambitious vision for the future of WITNESS. You can read his full bio here.

Sam steps into this role at an exceptional moment for those concerned with information technology and human rights. This era of omnipresent video, growing misinformation, synthetic media, and declining trust in a shared reality presents a serious threat to the idea of truth itself. Sam has led a global effort to ‘prepare, not panic’ for the new digital landscape, fighting for preservation of truth, trust in critical voices, and media integrity efforts. He is also a fierce advocate for centering the voices of those most removed from decision-making centers yet most profoundly impacted by the proliferation of new technologies.

WITNESS started out democratizing access to cameras, quite literally putting the power of video in the hands of activists around the globe. Today, we take that mission forward, fighting to ensure that global human rights defenders not only have access to skills and emerging tools, but are the deciders on how new tactics are used ethically and with impact, and are central voices on the development of new technologies that will hurt or could help them. -Sam Gregory

Sam’s appointment concludes an extensive global search led by a search committee, assisted by an international recruitment firm, and informed by wide-ranging input from our global staff and stakeholders. We believe Sam brings the expertise, vision, and leadership required by this moment of transition for WITNESS. Sam’s track-record and commitment to fostering a participatory culture and systematic listening also creates an invaluable opportunity for WITNESS to strengthen its DEIJ commitments across the organization.

We would also like to extend our enormous gratitude to our outgoing Executive Director, Yvette Alberdingk-Thijm, for her exceptional leadership over the past 15 years, shaping WITNESS into the global human rights organization it is today. 

Thank you for stepping up, Sam!

With Pride and Gratitude,

Monica Aleman and Polly Fields, co-chairs


Visit our new GEN-AI microsite to keep up to date with our work on deepfakes and AI.

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