Thor Leonardo Halvorssen Mendoza, or just Thor Halvorssen for short, is one of the leading advocates of human rights in the modern world.

Halvorssen was born into a prosperous family in Venezuela in 1976. Halvorssen’s father, Thor Halvorssen Hellum, actually worked in the Venezuelan government as the Ambassador for anti-Narcotic Affairs. So, from a very young age, Halvorssen was introduced to the complex world of globalized politics. Read more: Thor Halvorssen | LinkedIn

Thor Halvorssen always had an interest in politics and the fight for social justice. That’s why he decided to study political science and history at the University of Pennsylvania in 1993. Unfortunately for Halvorssen, the lessons of politics got a great deal more personal during his freshman year in college.

While Halvorssen was in the USA, his father was being tortured in a Caracas jail cell on charges of terrorism and money laundering. Halvorssen sought aid from Amnesty International, and eventually Thor’s father was released from jail and all the charges were dropped. Although this story has a happy ending, this incident never left Halvorssen’s consciousness. Learn more about Thor Halvorssen:

After his father was released, Halvorssen redoubled his efforts in the classroom. He was able to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania magna cum laude with both an undergraduate and graduate degree in political science/history.

Halvorssen has done many great things for human rights with his expertise. For example, Halvorssen helped create the Oslo Freedom Forum in 2009. This forum, which gathers in Norway every year, brings together some of the leading minds in human rights issues. Just a few famous people who have attended the Oslo Freedom Forum include Elie Wiesel, Jimmy Wales, and Peter Thiel.

According to Forbes, Thor Halvorssen has been extremely active in using film as a means to raise public awareness about human rights issues. Just a few films he has been a part of include the documentary on the 1956 Hungarian protests called Freedom’s Fury, a film about Soviet power and propaganda called Hammer & Tickle, and a documentary on the liberal bias on U.S. college campuses called Indoctrinate U.

In recent years Halvorssen has appeared on various media outlets around the world. He has been featured on BBC News, Fox News, CNN, and al-Jazeera. Halvorssen has also spoken at various universities and forums around the world. He is currently the president of the Human Right Foundation.


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