Salil Shetty

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Salil Shetty
Salil Shetty at the Global Security Dinner Davos (RS394590) (BBA5303) (cropped).jpg
Shetty in 2017
Born (1961-02-03) 3 February 1961 (age 57)
Bangalore, Karnataka
Nationality Indian
Education St. Joseph's College of Commerce, Indian Institute of Management, London School of Economics,
Employer Amnesty International
Salary 5000$ per month
Title Secretary-General of Amnesty International
Term 21 December 2009
Predecessor Irene Khan
Successor Incumbent

Salil Shetty (born 3 February 1961) is an Indian human rights activist who was the Secretary General of the human rights organization Amnesty International (2010–2018) till 31st July 2018. Previously, he was the director of the United Nations Millennium Campaign. Before joining the UN, he served as the Chief Executive of ActionAid.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Shetty grew up in Bangalore. His mother, Hemlatha Shetty, was active in women’s groups and his father, V.T. Rajshekar, was active with the Dalit movement. He received a BCom in Advanced Accounting from St. Joseph's College of Commerce in 1981, an MBA in 1983 from the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, and an MSc in Social Policy and Planning from the London School of Economics in 1991. In 1983, he began working for the Indian IT company Wipro, and served as Chief Executive of ActionAid from 1998 to 2003. He was the director of the United Nations Millennium Campaign from 2003 till 2010.[2]

Amnesty International[edit]

Shetty was appointed as Secretary General of the human rights organization Amnesty International on 21 December 2009 starting work in July 2010. He succeeded Irene Khan in this post.[3] Shetty is paid a salary of £210,000.[4]

He will step down on 31st July 2018 and Kumi Naidoo will take over as Secretary General on 1st August 2018.[5]

Decentralisation controversy[edit]

The decentralisation of Amnesty International's international secretariat, led by Shetty, has caused a serious dispute amongst the organisation's staff. According to an article published by the Guardian on 2 December 2012,

the core of the dispute lies in the decision, led by the secretary general, Salil Shetty, to take the organisation "closer to the ground", opening 10 new regional "hubs" in hotspots where human rights violations occur. Some of Amnesty's 500 staff in London will be moved abroad, and those affected argue that the shift is under-planned, ill-judged and risks muddying the purpose of the organisation. For them this is not an industrial dispute over job cuts, but a battle for the organisation's soul.[6]

The British newspaper The Observer, where Amnesty International's founder launched the organization in 1961, characterized the situation caused by Shetty's sacking of staff working on core issues such as women's rights and the death penalty: "Amnesty was one of 20th-century Britain's greatest gifts to the world. Now it is a wreck."[7]


  1. ^ "ActionAid CEO moves to major UN campaign against poverty". ActionAid UK. 
  2. ^ Correspondent, Nilima Pathak, (9 January 2010). "Fighting poverty and hunger". 
  3. ^ Manzoor, Sarfraz (14 August 2010). "Salil Shetty: Amnesty International's new voice in the fight against injustice" – via The Guardian. 
  4. ^ Parfitt, Tom (2 December 2012). "Outrage as charity bosses pocket six-figure salaries from generous public donations". Sunday Express. London. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Topping, Alexandra (8 June 2015). "Amnesty International staff battle management over restructuring". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 31 January 2016. 
  7. ^ Cohen, Nick. "Amnesty International staff battle management over restructuring". The Observer. Retrieved 15 March 2014. 

External links[edit]

Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by
Irene Khan
Secretary-General of Amnesty International
Succeeded by