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 FCNL’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

Update Why Congress Needs to Reassert its Power to End Endless War 

Annual Meeting 2019

FCNL's legislative director on militarism and human rights, Heather Brandon-Smith, delivered this address at Annual Meeting 2019.

Action Alert Congress Can Repeal the 2002 Iraq AUMF and Prevent Future Wars!  

In the next couple of weeks, Congress could take a major step to rein in the president’s authority to wage war around the world.

Update The 2001 AUMF and Afghanistan, 18 Years Later 

On this day 18 years ago, President George W. Bush signed into law the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF).

Background The 2002 Iraq AUMF: What It Is and Why Congress Should Repeal It 

There are currently efforts in the House and the Senate to repeal the 2002 Iraq Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF).

Event Join a Special Screening of "An Endless War? Getting Out of Afghanistan" 

Jun 6, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. EDT | Washington, D.C.

Nearly 18 years after U.S. forces invaded Afghanistan in the wake of 9/11, the Afghan conflict has become America’s longest and costliest war. Yet today, the Taliban is stronger and controls more territory than at any time since 2001.

Action Alert Rally to #EndDroneWarfare Highlights Problems with CIA Program 

On May 3, faith groups gathered in Edward R. Murrow Park in Washington, D.C. to demand an end to CIA drone strikes and a commitment from General Atomics, the company which builds the Predator and Reaper drones, not to develop lethal autonomous weapons systems.

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 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 congressional approval or effective oversight.