Stephen Solarz is a former U.S. Representative who is active in foreign policy organizations, especially in human rights, as well as consulting. Coming from a multiethnic district in the Brooklyn area of New York City, he spent 24 years in both state and federal representation, joining the House of Representatives in 1974 and spending 18 years in what was then the International Affairs Committee, as a member of the U.S. Democratic Party, with direct involvement in human rights for the Philippines, Cambodia, and South Africa. He is a member of the International Democratic Institute, which is part of the National Endowment for Democracy; he works in democracy promotion.
When he left Congress in 1993, he became a Visiting Professor of International Relations at George Washington University and a Distinguished Consultant at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. In 1995, he co-founded the International Crisis Group along with George Mitchell and Morton Abramowitz, a non-governmental organization focused on early recognition of developing humanitarian crises.
In 2001, he joined the newly formed and increasingly influential U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK), which is a focal point for many senior governmental figures who are now activists.
He is a Board Member of the Center for Ethics of Brandeis University and The Campaign Against Genocide. He was an international observer or Presidential envoy to the Bangladesh elections of 1996, and to Cambodia in 1997-1999. The Cambodian effort, as a government formed in 1999, led to planing war crimes tribunals for the Khmer Rouge.