State’s Suzanne Nossel named Amnesty USA executive director

On Thursday Amnesty International USA named outgoing deputy assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations Suzanne Nossel its new executive director.

Nossel, a Harvard-trained human rights lawyer, most recently served as a senior State Department official dealing with the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. A former aide to the late American diplomat Richard Holbrooke at the United States mission to the United Nations, Nossel previously held senior positions at Human Rights Watch, the Bertelsmann Foundation, the Wall Street Journal and the McKinsey and Co. business consultancy.

"I am so pleased to join Amnesty International USA at this moment of challenge and opportunity," Nossel said in a press release from Amnesty. "The drive for political freedom in the Mideast and the demands for greater economic equality here at home are just two examples of the centrality of human rights to some of the most important issues on the global agenda today."

Nossel left State last month for a fellowship at the Council on Foreign Relations. In 2004, she published an article in Foreign Affairs that set out the concept of "smart power," now a central tenet in Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's approach to foreign policy.

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