Thor Halvorssen Mendoza, the founder of the Human Rights Foundation and the Oslo Freedom Forum, was born on March 9, 1976 in Venezuela. His father served as the Ambassdaor of Narcotic Affairs in President Carlos Andrés’ administration in the 1970s. Pérez Mendoza is a distant relative Cristóbal Mendoza and Simón Bolívar who were the first two presidents of Venezuela.
The Human Rights Foundation Founder came to the United States in his late teens to attend college at University of Pennsylvania. He was a thriving student, becoming a member of the Phi Beta Kappa society and graduating magna cum laude. Both his undergraduate and graduate degrees are in Political Science and History.
Thor Halvorssen founded the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) in 1999, prior to founding The Human Rights Foundation in spring 2005. The roots for this foundation started in 1989 when Halvorssen came out against the South African apartheid when Halvorssen lived in London. His father’s false imprisonment in 1993 in Venuzuela and his mother being brutally wounded and gunned down had both played a part in Thor Halvorssen’s strong interest in protecting a person’s individual rights. Halvorssen stepped down as head of FIRE in 2004 to command this new foundation. Founded in 2005, Halvorssen opened up a New York office for this foundation in 2006. HRF regularly schedules events and conferences that include panel discussions, information sessions on Capitol Hill, and guest sessions to promote individual human rights.
HRF is exposing dictatorship in public relations firms and celebrity charities. HRF came out against Kanye West performing at Kazakhstani president Nursultan Nazarbayev’s grandson’s wedding for of $3 million fee. The Kazakhstani president can not only seek election as many times as he wants to, he has also restricted freedom of speech, free assembly, and the freedom for the people of Kazakhstani to worship in any religion they choose. HRF also opposed Jennifer Lopez for accepting the $1.5 million offer to sing Happy Birthday to dictator Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, last June, who is the president of Turkmenistan.
The Human Rights Foundation plans to host a Global College Freedom Forum on Friday, March 4th at Universidad Francisco Marroquín to promote freedom of education for everyone.