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About CDHR

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The Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia (CDHR) is a (501) (c)3 non-profit educational organization established in 2004 to promote peaceful, institutionalized political enfranchisement and human rights reforms to stabilize Saudi Arabia -- a key US strategic ally and a major actor in the turbulent and volatile Gulf Arab region which supplies a large portion of energy sources important to the economies of trading partners and allies of the United States.  Such reforms would: allow greater development of the capacities of all Saudi citizens; endow them with the liberties and rights enjoyed by citizens in Western and other democratic societies; and eliminate the export from Saudi Arabia of intolerant and destructive ideologies which lead to devastating attacks on persons and institutions in other nations of the world. CDHR believes that achieving true stability in Saudi Arabia through these reforms is vital to U.S. strategic interests in the Middle East -- encompassing national security, economic, and geopolitical components. CDHR is apolitical, non-sectarian, and does not engage in lobbying activities.

What We Do:

CDHR gathers information from a wide range of sources about current events in Saudi Arabia and analyzes and interprets their impact on Saudi society, the Greater Middle East and the international community. These unique findings are disseminated to policy makers, the public, media, educational institutions and a variety of nongovernmental organizations. The distribution of CDHR’s information is widely dispersed via our newsletter, website, Blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts. In addition, CDHR’s staff organize educational conferences, Congressional briefings and participate in a multitude of public and official events. CDHR promotes: freedom of worship and expression, transparency, accountability, empowerment of women, protection of migrant workers, establishment of and adherence to non-sectarian laws and compliance with all international declarations on human rights. CDHR rallies support for Saudi democratic reformers, highlights their initiatives and exposes the Saudi government’s heavy-handed responses to them.

CDHR Promotes:

Political Reform: Transformation of the Saudi political structure from its current autocratic one-family-rule to a representative political structure, including a constitutional monarchy, where all citizens’ and expatriates’ liberties and full rights are protected under the rule of non-sectarian laws, and where citizens are constitutionally empowered to participate in the state’s decision-making processes.

Freedom of the Press and Flow of Uncensored Information: Elimination of all forms of censorship, institutionalized free expression and uncensored flow of information into and out of the country.

Religious Freedom: Constitutionally guaranteed freedom of worship for Muslims and non-Muslims regardless of citizenship, race, gender or background.

Women’s Rights: Removal of the male guardian system; the right to drive, work, travel, and have full employment; eradication of child-age and forced marriage systems; a ban on honor killings, genital mutilation, and pleasure marriages (mut’ah); and de-legitimatizing the four wives system and gender segregation.

Minority Rights: Full and equal rights for Muslim and non-Muslim ethnic and religious minorities.

Economic Reform: Privatization of government industries and public utilities, and creation of a shareholder based public financial industry.

A Non-Sectarian Judicial System: Independent court system staffed by qualified non-sectarian jurists who are accountable to the people not the king.

Transparency and Accountability: Independent national treasury where all national income and disbursements are accounted for and open to public scrutiny.

Reform of Educational and Religious Curricula: The management of all educational and religious institutions should be turned over to non-governmental bodies. As required by the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Dec. 10, 1948), courses about women, human rights and other religions must be part of all educational curricula at all levels in public and private institutions of learning.

CDHR's Activities:

1) Provides thought provoking and accurate information and analysis of Saudi events and policies via its widely read website and 5,000 strong newsletter recipients worldwide. CDHR’s director analyzes current Saudi news and policies for the benefit of the readers who would otherwise take the highly censored Saudi news for face value. 2) Operates a Blog, Twitter and Facebook accounts to spread information and engage readers in open discussions about issues that affect them, but which they cannot initiate from or discuss openly in Saudi Arabia.

3) Organizes in-depth public and official conferences and round table discussions in which qualified speakers present current different prospective and analysis about Saudi policies, US-Saudi relations and the Saudi role in the financing and spread of its austere brand of Islam, Wahhabism.

4) Monitors and conducts research on human rights, women’s and minority rights, rights of expatriates, religious tolerance and freedom of worship and expression.

5) Networks with other groups, think tanks and Congressional staffers in Washington, to provide them with current information about Saudi Arabia as it relates to the US and its interests.

6) Networks with pro-democracy and human rights groups in the US, Europe and individuals in the Arab and Muslim communities.

7) Provides presentations at conferences and other events, utilizing the knowledge of the Executive Director as a native of Saudi Arabia and an expert intimately familiar with its history, composition, and peoples.


Subscribe to Our Newsletters:

CDHR sends out regular newsletters twice a month to our readers with analysis of events in Saudi Arabia, upcoming CDHR events, and reports on the progress of our ongoing campaigns. Subscribe Now!

Board of Directors:

Dr. Ali Alyami, Executive Director

Phone: 202–413–0084
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Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Ali Alyami is a native of Saudi Arabia. He has lived in the United States for many years and has been an avid advocate for political reforms in Saudi Arabia most of his life. He holds a Ph.D. in Government from the Claremont Graduate University in Southern California, and a Master’s Degree from California State University in Los Angeles. Ph. D. doctoral theses: The Impact of Modernization on the Stability of the Saudi Monarchy. He has worked for and with different groups and organizations, including the Arab Organization for Human Rights based in Cairo, Egypt, the Saudi Institute in Washington, DC, and the American Friends Service Committee in San Francisco, among others. Dr. Alyami provided expert testimony regarding human rights in Saudi Arabia before the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. He also organized and participated in many conferences and discussions about Saudi Arabia, its policies and their impact on the Saudi people, the Middle East, and the international community. Alyami has spoken at conferences in the United States, London, Egypt, Sudan, and Israel.

Jack Pearce, Chairman

Mr. Pearce worked at USAID and served as Assistant Chief of the United States Justice Department Antitrust Division. He also held the position of Deputy General Counsel of the White House Office of Consumer Affairs. In private law practice, he helped found and coordinate coalitions of commercial transportation buyers, consumer groups, economists, and environmental groups supporting the successful reform of transportation regulation in the United States. He and his partners also served clients in the computer, agriculture, and electricity segments of the economy, in activities consistent with U.S. antitrust policies. Mr. Pearce founded and is President of O.S.I. Management, Inc., servicing attorneys and others in Washington, DC, and has served on the boards of several civic organizations.

Mansour Al-Hadj

Mr. Al-Hadj is Director of the Reform Project at the Middle East Media and Research Institute (MEMRI). He was born and raised in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, and immigrated to the U.S in 2005, and has a degree in Sharia and Islamic Studies from The International University of Africa in Khartoum, Sudan. Born and raised in Saudi Arabia, Mr. Al-Hadj has first-hand experience of radicalization tactics used to recruit and mobilize Muslims worldwide. His research and writings in Arabic and English have focused on understanding the root causes of violent extremism in Arab and Muslim lands. He promotes freedom of expression, religious freedom, social justice, and equality for women and minorities. Mr. Al-Hadj has testified before the U.S. Congress on the development of strategies to counter jihadist websites.

Wayne Quist

Colonel Quist has advanced degrees from the University of Southern California and The National War College in Washington, DC, specializing in the Middle East. While serving in Washington, DC, he worked in The Pentagon, later directed the Air Force AWACS program, and led the first deployment of AWACS into Saudi Arabia in 1980 following the Iranian revolution. After retiring from the Air Force as a full colonel (O-6), he headed a Fortune 500 company’s Europe and Middle East operations from Brussels, Belgium. Colonel Quist is the author of several publications and articles in the field of radical, militant Islamism, national security policy, and American history, and coauthored Winning the War on Terror: A Triumph of American Values with Dr. David Drake in 2005 and The Triumph of Democracy Over Militant Islamism in 2006. Colonel Quist has been featured as a popular speaker on the ideology of al Qaeda and has also lectured at a Nobel Peace Prize Forum.

Ghada Alkhars is a native of Saudi Arabia. She is dedicating her life to justice, with emphasis on equality for Saudi women, minorities and freedom of faith for all peoples. Like millions of aspiring and educated Saudi women, Ghada is rejecting the Saudi institutionalized male domination over many aspects of their lives and livelihood.

Ghada is advocating not only for gender equality, but for freedom of choice. She finished her high school studies in Saudi Arabia and earned a degree in chemical engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. Knowing that promoting justice, rule of non-sectarian law and religious freedom in Saudi Arabia can land her in Saudi prisons or cost her life, Ghada immigrated to the US where she can share her experiences with others and rally support for peaceful political reforms in Saudi Arabia, especially justice for Saudi women and religious minorities.

David Cade

David J. Cade (Colonel, USAF, ret.)  has broad experience in business & industry, as well as in the Department of Defense, and has traveled extensively on all continents while on the job.  Cade began his career as a U.S. Air Force officer, where he spent 22 years and had a track record of accelerated promotions in the intelligence, plans, and command career fields.

His post- military career has included executive positions in the communications, command & control, national security, and renewable energy fields with Fortune 25 companies (AT&T, and Lockheed Martin) and with smaller companies where he brought new technologies to the global marketplace.  He has been the CEO of three publicly-traded alternative energy companies, encompassing lithium battery design and production, hydrogen generation systems, and hybrid renewable energy solutions -- doing business with partners in Europe, South America, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand as well as North America.  He is co-holder of an issued patent on hydrogen generation technology.

His Air Force tours of duty included:  Executive Assistant position in the Office of the Secretary of Defense; Commander, 6931st Security Group, Crete, Greece, where he was the senior U.S. official on the island and in that capacity represented the U.S Ambassador in Athens;  and a General Officer's position at Headquarters, USAF just prior to his retirement.  During  his Air Force career he lived overseas in Germany, Panama, Vietnam, and Greece.

Cade holds an MBA from Syracuse University, and a BA from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.  He also is a graduate of Columbia University's Senior Executive Program at Harriman, NY, and the National War College at Ft. McNair, Washington, D.C.  He has written articles on Russian military strategy, General of the Army George Marshall, other World War II topics, and various renewable energy technologies.

Please donate online or by mail

The Center for Democracy & Human Rights in Saudi Arabia is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization registered in Washington, DC. Your donation is tax deductible and will help CDHR continue its democratic, nonviolent activities. Donate easily online to CDHR using PayPal or send a donation by mail to:

The Center for Democracy & Human Rights in Saudi Arabia
1629 K Street NW
Suite 300
Washington, DC 20006 USA


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