Heidi Beirich is an expert on the American and European far right, including white supremacist, antisemitic, anti-immigrant, antigovernment and other extremist movements. In 2020, Beirich co-founded the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism (GPAHE) to monitor and counter increasingly transnational hate movements, particularly in areas of the world where capacity is limited to combat far-right movements that threaten human rights and democracy.
Beirich has testified in Congress on issues related to extremism in the military and among veterans and on the dangers of accelerationist, neo-Nazi movements. The House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the US Capitol sought her testimony on the threat posed by the extremist Proud Boys and on the rise of white supremacy in the US. Government agencies and tech companies have sought her advice on how to combat hate speech, hate crimes, and domestic terrorism.
Beirich has written extensively on far-right movements and is the author of numerous academic publications on extremism. She co-edited Neo-Confederacy: A Critical Introduction, published by the University of Texas Press. She is an oft-sought speaker at conferences devoted to battling hate and extremism. She has been interviewed by hundreds of publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, BBC, and others. She has appeared repeatedly on major television networks and in documentaries and radio programs exploring far-right extremism.
Beirich earned a Ph.D. in political science from Purdue University, specializing in European fascism and far-right movements. She holds M.A. degrees in political science and economics. Before co-founding GPAHE, Beirich led the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, the premier organization tracking hate and antigovernment movements in the United States.