Mike Amitay is the senior policy advisor for the Middle East and South Asia at the Open Society Foundations in Washington, D.C.
From 1996 to 2005, Amitay served as executive director of the Washington Kurdish Institute, a nonprofit organization he helped establish to address issues affecting Kurdish communities worldwide. The institute initiated humanitarian medical treatment and research programs in Iraqi Kurdistan to address long-term health effects of exposure to chemical weapons using geographic information systems to correlate weapons of mass destruction attack sites with health and environmental data.
From 1987 to 1996, Amitay served as a professional staff member at the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission), a Congressional body that monitors human rights, security, and economic issues among participating states in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Amitay coordinated activities related to Cyprus, Greece, and Turkey.
In 1995, Amitay founded Human Rights Access, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization that promoted human rights through arts and education.
Amitay received an MA in international history from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a BA in history from Brown University.