Human rights leader Jeri Laber Human rights leader Jeri Laber. Shes one of the founders of Helsinki Watch, which eventually became Human Rights Watch. Her new book, The Courage of Strangers: Coming of Age with the Human Rights Movement is a memoir that is part personal history and part history of the human rights movement. Laber was executive director of Helsinki Watch from 1979 to 1995 and has written many articles for newspapers and magazines. She's been awarded the Order of Merit by President Vaclav Havel on behalf of the Czech Republic, and she's also won the prestigious MacArthur Grant.