Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor

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The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) is headed by Assistant Secretary David J. Kramer,[1] and was formerly headed by Assistant Secretary Barry F. Lowenkron.

"DRL is divided into three regional offices: Near East Asia and South Central Asia (NESCA) headed by Francisco Palmieri; Asia and Western Hemisphere (AWH) headed by Nadia Tongour; and Africa and Europe (AE) headed by Bruce Connuck. Each regional office provides leadership, advocacy and guidance on human rights and democracy issues, and formulates human rights and democracy policy related to their specific country and regional expertise. These offices are responsible for the program management and oversight of the recipients of assistance awarded through the Human Rights and Democracy Fund. These regional offices draft and prepare the annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices and the Supporting Human Rights and Democracy report, which summarizes U.S. strategies and activities. In addition they coordinate and issue the Department's advisory opinions on claims to asylum in the United States.

"DRL's programming unit, headed by Kendra Davis, manages a multi-million dollar grant portfolio for the Bureau, including the Human Rights and Democracy Fund (HRDF). HRDF is used to fulfill the Bureau's mandate to monitor and promote human rights and democracy worldwide. HRDF is the "venture capital" of democracy promotion, supporting targeted, innovative programming that responds to challenges and opportunities in democracy and human rights. Programs are implemented by U.S.-based non-governmental organizations working in partnership with in-country practitioners to help build the capacity of civil society and governments to strengthen democratic institutions and promote human rights.

"The Office of International Religious Freedom (IRF), headed by Stephen Liston, has the mission of promoting religious freedom as a core objective of U.S. foreign policy. Under the policy guidance of Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom John V. Hanford III, the office monitors religious persecution and discrimination worldwide, recommends and implements policies in respective regions or countries, and develops programs to promote religious freedom. Additionally, IRF drafts and prepares the Annual Report on International Religious Freedom.

"The Office of International Labor Affairs and Corporate Social Responsibility (ILCSR), headed by Mark Mittelhauser, promotes respect for worker rights, democratic labor movements, and corporate social responsibility. ILCSR carries out this mission through its coordination of the Labor Officer function, participation in trade negotiations, oversight of technical assistance projects, and close collaboration with partners in government, organized labor, business, and civil society.

"The Office of Multilateral and Global Affairs (MLGA), headed by Julieta Valls Noyes, has two central missions. The Multilateral Unit is responsible for advancing U.S. democracy and human rights goals in multilateral fora, including the United Nations Human Rights Council, the UN General Assembly's Third Committee, and various regional organizations. The office's Global Unit assists other bureaus and U.S. government agencies in reviewing individual political asylum claims and coordinating human rights vetting for U.S.-funded training and assistance programs or commercial munitions licenses.

"The Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism (SEAS) is headed by Special Envoy Gregg Rickman. The position and office were established by the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act of 2004, with the mandate to monitor and combat anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic incitement overseas. The Special Envoy serves as the key Departmental strategist and focal point in the design, development and implementation of policies and projects to support international efforts to address global anti-Semitism.

"The Office of Strategic Planning and External Affairs (SEA), headed by Eva Weigold, coordinates the bureau's long-term planning efforts and outreach initiatives to Congress, the media, non-governmental organizations and the American public. It also coordinates the public release of DRL's publications and reports. Working with the Program Unit and other DRL offices, SEA provides planning and performance evaluation on DRL's grants and activities to the Office of Management and Budget, and the Director of Foreign Assistance." [1]

Senior Staff


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  1. Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, US Department of State, accessed September 22, 2008.