Nick Mottern

Nick Mottern is the founder and coordinator of  He organizes Knowdrones projects in consultation with the Knowdrones advisory council and representatives of various peace and justice organizations including: Brandywine Peace Community; CodePink; Upstate (NY) Drone Action; National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance; Veterans for Peace; Voices for Creative Non-Violence; WESPAC Foundation; World Beyond War; and World Can’t Wait.

Nick has worked as a reporter, researcher, writer and political organizer over the last 30 years.  While in the U.S. Navy he was part of the U.S. occupation of Viet Nam in 1962-63.  He graduated from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in 1966, and he has worked as a reporter for the Providence (RI) Journal and Evening Bulletin, a researcher and writer for the former U.S. Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs, a lobbyist for Bread for the World and a writer and co-organizer of speaking tours in the United States on U.S. involvement in Africa for Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers.  In this job he visited a number of African nations and war zones in Eritrea, Ethiopia and Mozambique as well as Israel and the West Bank.  He is the author of “Suffering Strong,” recounting experiences of his first trip to Africa.  He has also been involved in grassroots action in the Lower Hudson Valley, particularly against police video surveillance and abuse.  Nick’s contact:


KnowDrones Advisory Council


J. Celso Castro Alves

J. Celso Castro Alves, a native of Brazil, earned his Ph.D. in history from Yale University and works as an independent researcher, historian and photographer. His research has helped expose the involvement of Harold H. Koh, State Department Legal Advisor (2009-2013), in human rights abuses, including his legal justification for the Obama administration’s extrajudicial assassination program. He has also reported on the financiers of the U.S. drone program and, most recently, has written about abuses within the criminal justice system in the South.



Amanda Bass

Amanda Bass is a 2015 graduate of New York University School of Law, and she works as an attorney. She was one of the organizers of the student-led effort at NYU School of Law to oppose Harold H. Koh’s appointment as a “distinguished professor of human rights” in 2015 due to his involvement in human rights abuses—including providing the legal justification for the Obama administration’s extrajudicial assassination program during his tenure as State Department Legal Advisor (2009-2013). She has also written about the financiers of the U.S. drone program.



Chelsea Faria

(Bio in preparation.)


Matthew Hoh

Matthew Hoh is the Coordinator of the RootsAction Peacemaking Program, a former Marine and a State Department official who resigned from the State Department in 2009 to protest the continuation of U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan.  He describes his experience in more detail in the linked RootsAction Education Fund announcement of his appointment to head its Peacemaking Program.


James Ricks

(Bio in preparation.)







Debra Sweet


Debra Sweet is the Director of World Can’t Wait, initiated in 2005 to “drive out the Bush regime” by repudiating its program, forcing it from office through a mass, independent movement and reversing the direction it had launched.  Based in New York City, she leads World Can’t Wait in its continuing efforts to stop the crimes of our government, including the unjust occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and the torture and detention codes, as well as reversing the fascist direction of U.S. society, from the surveillance state to the criminalization of abortion and immigrants.  She has worked with abortion providers for 25 years, organizing community support and helping them withstand anti-abortion violence.  Since the age of 19, when she confronted Richard Nixon during a face-to-face meeting and told him to stop the war in Vietnam, she has been a leader in the opposition to U.S. wars and invasions.  In 2012, Debra was named Humanist Heroine of the Year by the Feminist Caucus of the American Humanist Association.  Debra says, “Stop thinking like an American, and starting thinking about humanity.”

Read Debra’s past writings on here.

She can be reached at


Brian Terrell


Brian Terrell participated in the first protests against killing by remote control in 2009, shortly after newly-elected President Obama made assassination by Predator and Reaper drones the cornerstone of his military policy. Since his arrest at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada that spring, Brian has participated in nonviolent protests around the country and abroad as this deadly technology has been proliferating. At these protests he has been arrested many times, serving jail sentences in New York and Nevada and in 2013, he spent six months in federal prison for presenting a petition at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. As a co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, he has traveled to Iraq and made several visits to Afghanistan and has met with drone victims there. He has spoken about drones at universities, high schools, churches and rallies in the United States, Europe and Asia and his writings on the subject have been widely published and translated into several languages. A peace activist for more than 40 years, Brian lives on a Catholic Worker farm in Maloy, Iowa, and is on the Nevada Desert Experience Council.   Contact him at

Some articles and interviews:


Ann Wright

Ann Wright is a 29-year US Army/Army Reserves veteran, a retired United States Army colonel and retired U.S. State Department official, known for her outspoken opposition to the Iraq War. She received the State Department Award for Heroism in 1997, after helping to evacuate several thousand people during the civil war in Sierra Leone. She is most noted for having been one of three State Department officials to publicly resign in direct protest of the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. Wright was also a passenger on the Challenger 1, which along with the Mavi Marmara, was part of the Gaza flotilla. She served in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia and Mongolia. In December, 2001 she was on the small team that reopened the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. She is the co-author of the book, "Dissent: Voices of Conscience." She has written frequently on rape in the military.