Refugee Protection Program
Joined Human Rights First in 2009
As Senior Associate in the Refugee Protection Program, Jesse Bernstein is responsible for developing and implementing strategies to advance the rights of refugees and internally displaced people, with a particular focus on Iraqi refugees and displaced persons. Jesse also works with HRF’s Fighting Discrimination Program to address hate crimes and bias-motivated violence which targets refugees, displaced persons and migrants.
Prior to joining HRF, Jesse worked as a Protection Officer with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Bosnia, where he worked to strengthen the support provided to displaced persons and returnees. He also spent two years in Geneva as a Country Analyst with the Norwegian Refugee Council?s Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, where he developed advocacy and research projects on internal displacement in Africa?s Great Lakes region. Jesse has worked with local human rights organizations in different capacities in Uganda, South Africa and Egypt. He has published articles and papers on refugee rights in a number of contexts.
Jesse graduated from Sarah Lawrence College. He earned a Masters of Science in Human Rights with distinction from the London School of Economics, where he authored two dissertations on, respectively, sexual orientation and refugee protection, and the role of national courts in protecting the rights of displaced persons.