Salil Shetty

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Salil Shetty
Salil Shetty Wikimania 2014.jpg
Salil Shetty at Wikimania 2014
Born (1961-02-03) 3 February 1961 (age 55)
Bangalore, Karnataka
Nationality Indian
Education St. Joseph's College of Commerce, London School of Economics, Indian Institute of Management
Employer Amnesty International
Title Secretary-General of Amnesty International
Term 21 December 2009
Predecessor Irene Khan
Successor Incumbent
recorded July 2014

Salil Shetty (born 3 February 1961) is an Indian human rights activist who currently serves as Secretary General of the human rights organization Amnesty International (2010–present). Previously, he was the director of the United Nations Millennium Campaign. Before joining the UN, he served as the Chief Executive of ActionAid.

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, 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.[1]

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.[2] Shetty is paid a salary of £210,000.[3]

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.[4]

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."[5]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Salil Shetty: Amnesty International's new voice in the fight against injustice - Salil Shetty wants to make Amnesty International, the world's largest human rights organisation, truly international"
  3. ^ Parfitt, Tom (2 December 2012). "Outrage as charity bosses pocket six-figure salaries from generous public donations". Sunday Express (London). Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  4. ^ Topping, Alexandra (8 June 2015). "Amnesty International staff battle management over restructuring". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 31 January 2016. 
  5. ^ 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