‘Setting the Human Rights Priorities for the New Administration’


David J. Kramer

Freedom House

Elisa Massimino
President and Chief Executive Officer

Human Rights First


David Keyes
Executive Director

Advancing Human Rights

Dr. Paul Marshall
Senior Fellow, Center for Religious Freedom

Hudson Institute

Moderator: Douglas Murray, Associate Director, The Henry Jackson Society


Thursday December 6th 2012

Reception: 5.30pm – 6pm   Panel Discussion: 6pm – 7.30pm

Room 710, UJA Federation of NY, 130 East 59th Street, New York, NY 10022

To attend please RSVP to: hanna.nomm@henryjacksonsociety.org

Senator Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson made an indelible mark in the various fields in which he played a key leadership role. His dedication to bipartisanship and public dialogue shaped the perspectives of many in government from 1912, until his untimely passing in 1983. This year marks the centennial of his birth, and in order to celebrate his legacy the Henry Jackson Society and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation have partnered together to organize a series of events to discuss the key global challenges facing the world today. We are delighted to invite you to the fourth and final event in the series, a reception and panel discussion entitled, ‘Setting the Human Rights Priorities for the New Administration’.

2012 has been a challenging year for the protection of human rights. Recent events across North Africa and the Middle East have thrown into sharp relief the extent of human right abuses across the world today, reminding us of the fundamental importance of protecting the universal values they encompass. Fractious relationships between States and their peoples present a severe threat to the protection of already precarious human rights principles in many countries.

The world’s failure to respond effectively to conditions such as those seen in Syria and North Korea will be an ongoing concern as the Obama administration embarks on a second term. The need to work with new, less experienced emerging regimes will no doubt create further concerns. In this context, many questions will need to be answered and challenges risen to.

Setting the Human Rights Priorities for the New Administration’ will encompass a broad subject matter, examining the status of human rights across the world today and in the future. Questions will range from what priorities the new US administration should set in the area, to debate about whether the cause of human rights is advancing or in retreat globally. The role of human rights agencies will be explored and the question of whether human rights agencies are focusing on the ‘right’ issues internationally will be confronted. Key to the discussion is a concern regarding how we can develop better human rights enforcement mechanisms to deal with this fundamental issue.

David J. Kramer, President of Freedom House; Elisa Massimino, President and Chief Executive Officer of Human Rights First; David Keyes, Executive Director of Advancing Human Rights; and Dr. Paul Marshall, Senior Fellow of the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute, will all be joining the panel to offer their thoughts on this timely topic. The distinguished panel will offer views on the role the USA is able to play in dealing with the complexities of human rights issues around the world. The discussion will be moderated by Douglas Murray, Associate Director at the Henry Jackson Society.

RECEPTION: 5.30pm – 6pm

PANEL DISCUSSION: 6pm – 7.30pm

DATE: Thursday December 6th 2012

VENUE: Room 710, UJA Federation of NY, 130 East 59th Street, New York, NY 10022

To attend please RSVP to:


David J. Kramer is President of Freedom House, which he joined in October 2010. Prior to joining Freedom House, Kramer was a Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. He was an Adjunct Professor at the Elliott School for International Affairs at The George Washington University. Before joining GMF, Kramer served as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor from March 2008 to January 2009. He also was a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, responsible for Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus affairs as well as regional non-proliferation issues. Previously, he served as a Professional Staff Member in the Secretary of State’s Office of Policy Planning. Before that he served as Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs. He was also the Executive Director of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy in Washington.

Before joining the U.S. Government, Kramer was a Senior Fellow at the Project for the New American Century, Associate Director of the Russian and Eurasian Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Assistant Director of Russian and Eurasian Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, all in Washington.

Prior to moving to Washington, he was a Lecturer in Russian Studies at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. and a Teaching Fellow at Harvard University.

Elisa Massimino was named President and Chief Executive Officer of Human Rights First in September 2008. Massimino joined Human Rights First as a staff attorney in 1991 to help establish the Washington office, and from 1997 to 2008 she served as the organisation’s Washington Director. As Human Rights First’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Massimino provides overall leadership and strategic direction for the organisation and manages its 70 person staff in New York and Washington.

Massimino has a distinguished record of human rights advocacy in Washington. As a national authority on human rights law and policy, she has testified before Congress dozens of times and writes frequently for mainstream publications and specialised journals. Previously, Massimino was a litigator in private practice at the Washington law firm of Hogan & Hartson, where she was pro bono counsel in many human rights cases. In May 2008, the influential Washington newspaper The Hill named her one of the top 20 public advocates in the country. Massimino appears regularly in major media outlets and speaks to audiences around the country.

David Keyes is the executive director of Advancing Human Rights and co-founder of CyberDissidents.org. He served as coordinator for democracy programmes under famed Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky and assisted a former UN ambassador. Keyes was called a “pioneer in online activism” by The New York Times and is a contributor to Newsweek/The Daily Beast. He has written for The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, Reuters, The Huffington Post and many other leading publications. He has appeared on MSNBC, PBS and Bloomberg TV. Keyes spoke on human rights in the US Congress, Italian Parliament, and Google and held meetings with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President George W. Bush. Keyes created the First Annual Saudi Women’s Grand Prix. He graduated with honours from UCLA in Middle Eastern Studies and completed a Masters in Diplomacy at Tel Aviv University. He speaks Arabic and Hebrew.

Paul Marshall is a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom and the author and editor of more than twenty books on religion and politics, especially religious freedom, including more recently, Silenced How Apostasy and Blasphemy Codes Are Choking Freedom Worldwide (2011, with Nina Shea), Blind Spot: When Journalists Don’t Get Religion (2009), Religious Freedom in the World (2008), and Radical Islam’s Rules: The Worldwide Spread of Extreme Sharia Law (2005).

He is the author of several hundred articles, and his writings have been translated into Russian, German, French, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Norwegian, Danish, Albanian, Japanese, Malay, Korean, Arabic, Farsi, and Chinese. He is in frequent demand for lectures and media appearances, including interviews on ABC Evening News; CNN; PBS; Fox; the British, Australian, Canadian, South African, and Japanese Broadcasting Corporations; and Al Jazeera. His work has been published in, or is the subject of, articles in the New York Times, Wall St. Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, Boston Globe, Dallas Morning News, Christian Science Monitor, First Things, New Republic, Weekly Standard, Reader’s Digest, and many other newspapers and magazines.


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