Originally from Venezuela, Thor Halvorssen was born in March, 1976, and received part of his education in America, at the University of Pennsylvania. With both an undergraduate and graduate degree in History and Political Science, he was also Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude. As president of Human Rights Foundation, Thor is highly active in worldwide freedom and human rights.
With a troubled, violent yet wealthy past, Thor was related to:
- Øystein Halvorssen, the Norwegian king’s consul (grandfather);
- Thor Halvorssen Hellum, a Venezuelan ambassador (father); and
- Hilda Mendoza Denham, a child phycologist, was shot and wounded while attending a peaceful protest (mother).
Mr. Hellum was wrongfully imprisoned, tortured and beaten before his eventual release in 1993 and Thor played a significant role in his father’s full redemption. That was the beginning of Thor’s evolvement to become a formidable human rights activist.
The Human Rights Foundation (HRF), a non-profit organization was founded by Thor in 2005. Currently residing in the well-known Empire State Building in New York, HRF touts the admirable mission statement of ensuring “that freedom is both preserved and promoted.”
HRF is involved in several programs including:
- Another organization founded by Thor, Oslo Freedom Forum. In May, 2017 this annual conference event will convene for the ninth time in Oslo, Norway to not only share stories but to work towards methods to further expand freedom.
- Disrupt North Korea operates under the belief that through education and the sharing of information, North Korean people living under the strong thumb of the Kim family dynasty, will rise and protest. One of the methods used the spread the word is Flash Drives for Freedom, where flash drives are filled with painfully honest information about North Korean life and spread across the United States to encourage the nation to help fight against Kim’s dictatorship. They will accept both financial donations and donations of flash drives.
- Center for Law and Democracy, which uses HRF’s legal resources to increase the protection of our freedom of expression.
Thor is also an author, film producer and orator.