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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.

June 18, 2018
Washington, D.C.— Human Rights First today expressed deep disappointment over the Trump Administration’s decision to withdraw from the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council, the world’s...
May 09, 2018
Washington, D.C.—One hundred and fifteen retired and former career and non-career U.S. ambassadors, who served under both Republican and Democratic administrations, today sent a letter...
April 25, 2018
Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today expressed concern regarding apparent changes made to the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2017, compared to previous years’...
April 12, 2018
New York City – In advance of Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo’s confirmation hearing, Human Rights First today expressed serious concern with his prior statements and positions on...