Balazs Denes is a Hungarian lawyer and a human rights activist. In 1997 he joined the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU), the country’s leading civil liberties watchdog organization, and after holding various positions he served as its Executive Director from 2004 to 2012. Since 2013, he is the Director of the European Civil Liberties Project at the Open Society Foundations. He is a founding member of many Hungarian NGOs, and serves on the board of the Common Sense for Drug Policy Foundation. He focuses on civil liberties, human rights, communication and new forms of civic advocacy and activism. Denes received his law degree in 1998 from ELTE University Budapest and is a 2003-2004 Columbia University/PILnet Fellow. From early 2017, he will serve as the first Executive Director of the Civil Liberties Union for Europe, a new European human rights watchdog organization.