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Home / Press Release / Senate Confirms Tom Malinowski as New Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
April 02, 2014

Senate Confirms Tom Malinowski as New Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor

Washington D.C. - Human Rights First today welcomes the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of Tom Malinowski as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. The Senate’s vote to fill this key human rights post will strengthen the United States’ ability to advance human rights around the world.

"Tom understands the importance of American leadership and the damage done when we fail to live up to our ideals," said Human Rights First President and CEO Elisa Massimino. "It matters tremendously that Tom was confirmed with bi-partisan support and without opposition to this appointment; U.S. leadership on human rights is not—and should not be—the priority of one party or another, but rather is a shared American ideal. We look forward to working with Tom to advance American policies that uphold human rights and the rule of law."

In a letter issued last week, Human Rights First along with more than 25 leading organizations working to promote human rights, democracy, and labor rights urged the Senate to take action to fill this key human rights position, arguing that "at a moment when the United States is facing significant challenges to its global leadership on democracy and human rights, the Secretary of State needs his leadership team in place to advance the important diplomatic work of promoting these universal values that strengthen our national security."

As one of Washington's most seasoned human rights experts, Malinowski will provide crucial leadership to the State Department as it navigates the many challenges to American leadership on human rights, including: the atrocities in Syria and the attendant refugee crisis; Russia's intensifying aggression against its neighbors; Bahrain's efforts to negotiate a political settlement to resolve the long-simmering violence; developing a legal response to thwart enablers of mass atrocities; combatting efforts to criminalize the human rights of LGBT people; developing a post-war counter-terrorism framework that respects human rights; and being a beacon for the defenders and activists around the world bearing the brunt of a global crackdown on civil society.

For more information or to speak with Massimino, contact Mary Elizabeth Margolis at margolisme@humanrightsfirst.org or 212-845-5269.