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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.

May 07, 2020
WASHINGTON –  As foreign leaders use the battle against COVID-19 to censor their populations, erase checks on their rule, and discriminate against minority populations, human rights...
April 16, 2020
After Observation of Commission’s Public Meetings, HRF Recommends Commission Focus on Correcting Administration's Abysmal Human Rights Record WASHINGTON - Human Rights First today strongly urged...
April 14, 2020
Department of State Commission on Unalienable Rights C/O Mr. F. Cartwright Weiland, Office of Policy Planning Prof. Mary Ann Glendon, Chair U.S. Department of State 2201 C St., NW Washington, DC...
February 10, 2020
Proposed budget undermines human rights abroad, expands detention of asylum seekersHuman Rights Advocates Respond to Trump Budget Proposal WASHINGTON – The Trump Administration on Monday released...