Heather Brandon-Smith (@HBrandonSmith) is Legislative Director for Militarism and Human Rights at the Friends Committee for National Legislation (FCNL). She leads the organization’s work to repeal the 2001 authorization for war, promote respect for human rights and international law, and reduce U.S. armed interventions around the world.
Prior to joining FCNL, Heather served as the Advocacy Counsel for National Security at Human Rights First, where she worked to advance U.S. national security policies that are consistent with human rights and the rule of law.
She specializes in the domestic and international legal frameworks governing the use of force and has worked to reform key post-9/11 counterterrorism policies, including indefinite detention and military commissions at Guantanamo and U.S. war authorities, including the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF).
Heather holds an LL.M. from Georgetown University Law School, where she graduated with distinction and was co-chair of Georgetown Law’s Human Rights Action – Amnesty International LL.M. committee. Heather taught at the University of New South Wales Law School and Macquarie University Law School (both in Sydney) and worked at the law firm Ashurst in Sydney. She has a B.A. in Politics and International Relations/LL.B. and an LL.M. from the University of New South Wales. She is also on LinkedIn.
Articles by this author:
Opaque Transparency on the Use of Force: Observations on the 2022 “1264” Report
by Heather Brandon-Smith and Brian Finucane
Mar 14th, 2023
Missed Opportunities and Minor Progress: The FY 2023 National Defense Bill and War Powers
by Brian Finucane and Heather Brandon-Smith
Dec 15th, 2022
The Biden Administration Should Begin its “War on Secrecy” by Releasing Key War Powers Reports
Aug 26th, 2022
Toward a New Approach to National and Human Security: End Endless War
by Rita Siemion, Scott Roehm, Hina Shamsi, Heather Brandon-Smith, Kate Kizer, Annie Shiel, Colleen Kelly and Mandy Smithberger
Sep 11th, 2020
Toward a New Approach to National and Human Security: End Unlawful, Secret, and Unaccountable Use of Lethal Force
by Rita Siemion, Hina Shamsi, Daniel R. Mahanty, Heather Brandon-Smith, Priyanka Motaparthy and Matt Hawthorne
Sep 11th, 2020
New Legislation Offers Opportunity to Address 2001 Authorization for Use of Force, Amid Fears of War with Iran
May 21st, 2019
Senator Merkley’s Smart New Alternative AUMF Proposal
May 24th, 2018
Takeaways from this Week’s House AUMF Hearing—on Authorizing War Against ISIS
by Scott Johnston and Heather Brandon-Smith
Jul 27th, 2017