Saturday, February 28, 2009

Human Rights First founder appointed to State Department

On the brink of her much talked about trip to Israel, Clinton plans to add a prominent Jewish activist to head the State Department bureau overseeing human rights issues.

She will officially name Michael Posner, president of New York-based Human Rights First, as assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor, according to State Department sources.

This appointment comes right when Hillary has been getting a lot of criticism for her trip to China and how she addressed the human rights issue there. Also, just after

The State Department's 2008 Country Reports on Human Rights, which was very well received by Michael Posner's own Human Rights First.

Human Rights First is unique among the major human rights watchdogs in that it targets governments for not doing enough to combat hate crimes. HRF works in Guatemala, Russia, Zimbabwe, Indonesia and many other countries. Here is a link to the Human Rights First website.

Well after reading about this appointment, I was curious because I had never really heard anything about an assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor before in the news. But as it turns out, there has always been this post. (maybe i just never paid attention, or maybe the previous administration didn't WANT to shed too much light on this nook of the State Department...)

Either way here is a small list of the past assistant secretarys of state for democracy, human rights and labor: John Shattuck - June 2, 1993 - November 13, 1998 - Bill Clinton Harold Hongju Koh- November 13, 1998 - January 20, 2001 -Bill Clinton Lorne Craner - June 4, 2001 - July 31, 2004 - George W. Bush Barry Lowenkron - Oct 14, 2005 - August 28, 2007 - George W. Bush David J. Kramer - March 21, 2008 - January 20 2009 - George W. Bush

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