FinneComm, LLC, offers writing, editing, analysis, and consulting services in the fields of human rights, public policy, and the arts. Based in Minnesota but globally-minded, we work mostly with nonprofits, other organizations, and individuals doing human rights, international development, and social justice work.

Patrick Finnegan, MPP
Chief Writer & Analyst

I am a writer, editor, and policy analyst with over 15 years of experience in Minnesota’s thriving human rights community. I believe in the power of language – especially the written word – as a tool for advocacy, persuasion, and social change. I am deeply committed to the essential principle that all human beings deserve to be treated with respect, that we all have a right not simply to survive, but to live in dignity. I view human rights as an evolving moral framework and field of advocacy concerning how human beings are and should be treated by authority and by each other.

I worked at the University of Minnesota Human Rights Center in various positions for over a decade, serving as Assistant Director from 2012-2015. In this role, I was the Center’s lead staff writer and a key administrator. I developed and edited content for human rights publications, as well as engaged in the development and financial management of the Center’s programs.

After leaving the Center, I started work as a Senior Editor & Writer to Professor David Weissbrodt (Emeritus) at the University of Minnesota Law School. In this position, I draft and revise content on a variety of human rights issues, particularly for the forthcoming new edition of International Human Rights: Law, Policy, and Process (5th ed., Carolina Academic Press, expected 2020).  I also coordinate the cataloguing and archiving of Professor Weissbrodt’s papers and research materials.

I have been a volunteer interpreter/translator with The Advocates for Human Rights for 16 years, helping French-speaking clients from Central and West Africa with their asylum cases. I also served the organization as a temporary administrator from August 2016 – June 2017, helping to fill a staffing gap during a transitional period.  I assisted with organizational operations, development, and communications projects.

I obtained my Masters of Public Policy degree from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota in 2011, specializing in Global Public Policy with a minor in Human Rights. My education and experience has enabled me to develop strong topical knowledge of economic, social, and cultural rights; the history and politics of human rights; human rights in the United States; the right to a fair trial; torture and other ill treatment; and human rights philanthropy. International travel experience has further enriched my understanding of these important issues, as well as taught me the value of observing and listening.

I blog on human rights, policy, and politics at The Ad Hoc Standing Committee. I live in St. Paul with my wife, our son, and our two cats.  I am also an amateur musician and songwriter.  I write more informally about music at Trebling Developments.


The following is a list of selected publications and other materials on which I have worked as an author, contributing writer, editor, and/or researcher:

  • Weissbrodt, David, Jena Martin, and Frank Newman. International Human Rights: Law, Policy, and Process. 5th edition.  Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, expected 2020. (Editor and contributing author).
  • Weissbrodt, David and Patrick Finnegan. “Human Rights Conditions: What We Know and Why It Matters.” Minnesota Journal of International Law, 28, no. 1 (Winter 2019): 1-53: http://minnjil.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/WeissbrodtFinnegan_v28_i1_p1-53.pdf.
  • Lord, Janet E., Katherine N. Guernsey, Joelle M. Balfe, Valerie L. Karr, and Allison S. deFranco. Human Rights. YES! Action and Advocacy on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Second Edition. Edited by Nancy Flowers. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Human Rights Center, 2012. http://hrlibrary.umn.edu/edumat/hreduseries/HR-YES/index.html.
  • Qalinle, Abdulwahid S. “Restoring Rule of Law and Rebuilding the Justice System: A Road Map.” Policy Advisor to the President of Somalia on Justice and Rule of Law, 2013.
  • Weissbrodt, David. “Professor Emmanuel Decaux and the Right to a Fair Trial: A Notable Contribution.” 2016. (Essay for an anthology volume).
  • Weissbrodt, David, and Brittany Mitchell. “The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention: Procedures and Summary of Jurisprudence.” Human Rights Quarterly 38, no. 3 (August 2016): 655-705.