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Declan O’Briain

Schell Center Student Director

Declan is a J.D. candidate at Yale Law School, Class of 2024. He is here to discover creative ways that the law can be put in the service of marginalized communities around the world as they work to assert their rights, hold powerful institutions to account, and realize justice on their terms. In his first summer as a law student, Declan joined a plaintiff-side law firm where he supported litigation targeting multinational corporations for overseas human rights abuses. Declan got his start in human rights on the Thai-Myanmar border, where he had the privilege of working with several local organizations that were instrumental in uncovering and elevating human rights abuses occurring in Myanmar. Most recently, Declan was based in Beirut, where he was responsible for designing and delivering complex programming that addressed a range of human rights issues across the Middle East. Programming targeted problems with police use of force, prison overcrowding, and due process protections in the criminal legal system. Regardless of the issue area, his aim is to work collaboratively with partners on the ground, helping them bring strategic, root-cause driven thinking to whatever problem is at hand. Declan received his MPhil in Development Studies from Cambridge University and his BA in Political Science from McGill University.