Holly Cartner is an internationally recognized human rights expert who has been active in the field of human rights for the past 25 years. As the director of the Europe and Central Asia division of Human Rights Watch (1995-2001; 2004-2010), she oversaw research and advocacy work in over 25 countries in Europe and Central Asia. Prior to becoming director, Cartner established and headed a field office for Human Rights Watch in Romania (1990-1991); conducted research, reporting and advocacy on human rights abuses, including in particular on the Roma minority, in numerous countries in Eastern Europe (1990-1995), and on right-wing violence in Germany (1991-92). She currently serves as a consultant conducting needs assessments and evaluations of human rights organizations for philanthropic institutions and is a member of the board of the Fund for Global Human Rights.
Cartner holds an MA in political science with a concentration in East European affairs and a law degree from Columbia University.