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Home / Press Release / Former Top U.S. Antisemitism Official Joins Human Rights First as Senior Advisor for Combating Antisemitism
September 26, 2018

Former Top U.S. Antisemitism Official Joins Human Rights First as Senior Advisor for Combating Antisemitism

Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today announced that Ira Forman, former U.S. special envoy to monitor and combat anti-semitism, has joined Human Rights First as senior advisor for combating antisemitism. He will lead the organization’s efforts to expose and counteract antisemitism at home and abroad in keeping with a U.S. foreign policy rooted in a strong commitment to human rights, universal values, and American ideals.  

“We’re thrilled to bring on someone with Ira’s stature and experience to work on such an important issue. With leaders in both the United States and Europe openly trafficking in antisemitic tropes, and ethno-nationalist and other bigoted voices seemingly ascendant, there’s a huge need right now for the kind of leadership that Ira provides,” said Rob Berschinski, Human Rights First’s senior vice president for policy.     

Forman was appointed as the U.S. State Department’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism (SEAS) in May 2013, serving until January 2017. From 2011-2012, Forman served as the Jewish Outreach Director for the Obama for America campaign. He also served for nearly 15 years as the executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC).  Today, he is a visiting professor and senior fellow at Georgetown University’s Center for Jewish Civilization, where he teaches courses on confronting contemporary antisemitism, and is also is a senior fellow at Moment Magazine. Forman received his B.A. from Harvard University and his MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. 

“Human Rights First has been in the forefront in the international fight against antisemitism, and outside of the Jewish communal world I know of no other major human right organization that has dedicated such resources and efforts to combating today’s multiple forms of this scourge. The resurgence of antisemitism can be seen in the use of dog whistle antisemitism by xenophobic national leaders, in violence targeting vulnerable Jewish communities, and in the indifference of civil societies. It will take courageous political leadership and dedicated civil society organizations to push back against this oldest of hatreds, and Human Rights First is uniquely qualified to take a leadership role in this effort. I’m honored to be a part of this effort going forward,” said Forman.  

Human Rights First is an independent advocacy and action organization that challenges America to live up to its ideals. For 40 years the organization has worked to press the U.S. government and private companies to respect human rights and the rule of law. When they fail, Human Rights First steps in to demand reform, accountability and justice. Human Rights First is based in New York, Washington D.C., Houston, and Los Angeles.

For more information, or to speak with Forman or Berschinski, contact Christopher Plummer at PlummerC@humanrightsfirst.org or 202-370-3310.