Brian Rusch

Executive Director, Human Thread Foundation

Brian Rusch is the Executive Director of the Human Thread Foundation, the international nonprofit organization started by acclaimed humanitarian photographer, Lisa Kristine. The foundation's mission is to educate the public and build awareness about human dignity and human trafficking through exhibitions and educational programs. Brian was the Executive Director of the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu's US Foundation, where he has focused on he has worked to inspire young people to become change makers for peace and has developed educational youth programs that focus on reshaping conversations about peace, equality, and forgiveness. Prior to his work with Archbishop Tutu, Brian was the Deputy Executive Director of the Dalai Lama Foundation, where he specialized in developing and managing projects and curricula to guide young people on their own exploration of ethics and peace. Brian got his start in the nonprofit world at the Palo Alto-based Project Happiness, a global organization dedicated to teaching social and emotional learning to young adults. Before working in the nonprofit sector, Brian worked in the entertainment industry, first as a celebrity fashion stylist in Hollywood and as the celebrity fashion editor for Vanidad magazine. He later went on to create three multi-media companies and has authored four books, produced two audio CDs and has produced and directed more than 70 films, including the award-winning documentary Aloha Life. Brian has been featured as an expert in The Wall Street Journal, California Apparel News, The Oregonian, Portland Monthly, Prevention, DNA, The Boston Globe, Workout for Men Only, and The Los Angeles Times. His first company was groundbreaking as one of the original pop culture portals blending fashion, celebritainment and the internet and was the basis of a thesis subject at MIT.