C. Dixon Osburn

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Adjunct Fellow

Dixon OsburnExpertise: Strategic counterterrorism; human rights, rule of law and national security; targeted killing; Guantanamo; torture; LGBT rights; nonprofit strategy, management and entrepreneurship.

Dixon is the Director of Law & Security at Human Rights First where he leads efforts to end counterterrorism policies that violate the rule of law, including unlawful detention at Guantanamo, the prosecution of terrorism suspects outside of Article III federal courts, the lethal targeting by drone of suspected terrorists outside of armed conflict, and the use of torture.

Previously, Dixon was co-founder and executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, the leader in the successful effort to repeal don’t ask, don’t tell. Former Congressman Barney Frank said Dixon is “principled and effective.” Former Rep. Marty Meehan called Dixon “smart, strategic and patient.”

Dixon earned his JD/MBA from Georgetown University and an AB with distinction from Stanford University. He is a member of the bars of Pennsylvania and District of Columbia.


Selected Media Appearances 

§  FOIA suit reveals Guantánamo’s ‘indefinite detainees’,  Miami Herald, June 17, 2013
§  U.S. releases names of ‘indefinite detainees’ at Guantanamo, CNN, June 17, 2013
§  Why Gitmo Will Never Close, TIME, May 30, 2013
§  Torture, drones, indefinite detention breeding home-grown terror?, Los Angeles Times, May 24, 2013
§  Obama to address drones, Gitmo in security speech,Associated Press, May 23, 2013
§  Holder Acknowledges U.S. Citizens Killed In Drone Strikes, National Public Radio, May 22, 2013
§  Holder says four U.S. citizens killed in drone strikes,USA Today, May 22, 2013
§  Is the CIA Getting Out of the Drone Business? There’s Less Than Meets the Eye, TIME, March 21, 2013
§  Drones and their Use in Counterterrorism, The Diane Rehm Show, February 7, 2013
§  What’s At Stake in John Brennan’s Hearing to Lead the CIA, National Journal, February 6, 2013
§  Obama faces new questions on drones, Politico, February 6, 2013
§  Memo gives U.S. broad powers to kill Al Qaeda targets, Los Angeles Times, February 5, 2013
§  Does It Matter if John Brennan Was Complicit in Illegal Torture?, The Atlantic,  January 8, 2013
§  Obama: Guantánamo camps a waste of U.S. resources, Miami Herald, January 4, 2013
§  President Draws Flak For Signing Defense Bill, Wall Street Journal, January 3, 2013
§  Accused Sept. 11 mastermind to stand trial at Guantanamo, Reuters, April 12, 2012
§  ‘Underwear Bomber’ case heralds US terror shake-up, AFP, February 14, 2012

Selected Writings 

§  C. Dixon Osburn, Making Giants Dance:  Strategies for Social Change, 2013 (seeking publisher).
§  C. Dixon Osburn, “A Fresh Start on Guantanamo,” The Hill, July 24, 2013.
§  Human Rights First, “Guantanamo:  A Comprehensive Exit Strategy,” C. Dixon Osburn, et. a;. (eds.), July 24, 2013.
§  C. Dixon Osburn, “Workable Way Forward For Guantanamo,” The Hill, June 13, 2013. 
§  C. Dixon Osburn, Brennan and Obama’s Drone Playbook Must Be Debated Publicly, US News & World Report, February 7, 2013
§  Human Rights First, Blueprint:  How To Close Guantanamo, C. Dixon Osburn, et. al. (eds.), December 2012.
§  C. Dixon Osburn, “Post War Counterterrorism,” The Huffington Post, October 16, 2012.
§  Human Rights First, Blueprint:  How To Ensure that the U.S. Drone Program Does not Undermine Human Rights, C. Dixon Osburn, et. al. (eds.), December 2012.
§  C. Dixon Osburn, “A New Era For Gays in the Military,” Miami Herald, September 9, 2011.