Heather Brandon-Smith

Legislative Director, Militarism and Human Rights


Heather Brandon-Smith

Heather Brandon-Smith is FCNL’s Legislative Director for Militarism and Human Rights. Heather leads FNCL’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.

Heather is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center. Her writing has appeared in The Hill, Lawfare, Just Security, and Intercross (the blog of the International Committee of the Red Cross).

She holds an LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A. in Politics and International Relations, an LL.B., and an LL.M. from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

Articles by Heather Brandon-Smith

Letter 42 Organizations Urge Support for AUMF Repeal 

On March 13, a diverse group of 42 organizations from across the political spectrum sent a letter to Chairman Elliot Engel (NY-16) and Ranking Member Michael McCaul (TX-10) of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, urging them to bring up Rep. Barbara Lee’s (CA-13) legislation to repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force for prompt consideration in Committee.

Background End the Blank Check for War 

Since 9/11, three different U.S. presidents have used the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) and the 2002 Iraq AUMF to justify U.S. military action across the globe without effective Congressional review. At the end of 2018, according to public records, U.S. military personnel were deployed and equipped for combat in 18 different countries.