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Rob Berschinski

Senior Vice President, Policy

Rob Berschinski oversees Human Rights First’s work advancing a U.S. foreign policy rooted in a strong commitment to human rights, universal values, and American ideals.

Before joining Human Rights First, Rob served in the Obama Administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. In that role, he was responsible for establishing and implementing U.S. government policies with respect to fundamental freedoms and democratic governance in 65 countries across Europe, Russia, Central Asia, and South Asia. He also served under Ambassador Samantha Power as Deputy Director of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations’ office in Washington, D.C.; worked as special assistant to then-Deputy Secretary of Defense Ash Carter; and spent three years as Director for Security and Human Rights Policy at the White House National Security Council. From 2008-2010 he served on the staff of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy as a Presidential Management Fellow, and worked as a defense fellow on the professional staff of the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee. He began his career as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Air Force, and is an Iraq War veteran.

Rob’s commentary and opinions have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Foreign Policy, Politico, CNN, and Vanity Fair, among other outlets.

Rob earned his B.A. in Political Science and M.A. in International Relations from Yale University. He is a former Truman National Security Fellow and a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Featured Work

August 18, 2017
Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today welcomed reports that White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon is leaving his position in the Trump Administration. Prior to his White House appointment,...
August 13, 2017
New York City--Human Rights First today strongly condemns the hateful gathering of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, and urges President Trump to speak out clearly and forcefully...
August 11, 2017
  Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today applauded a bipartisan congressional request for review of sanctions designations against 20 individuals...
July 13, 2017
Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today mourned the death of Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese patriot, poet, steadfast human rights defender, and winner of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize. Liu is the first Nobel...