2012 marks the 35th year of the state Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. On Friday, former and current senior Department officials and others discuss the evolutioned of U.S. government human rights policy.
First, a panel discussion focused on the first decade of the bureau includes Mark Schneider, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary (1977-79); Elliott Abrams, Assistant Secretary (1981-85); and Tex Harris, a retired Foreign Service Officer. Secretary Clinton also spoke about the evolving role of the Bureau inside the agency.
The next session included Ambassador Tom Pickering, Under Secretary for Political Affairs (1997-2000); Legal Adviser Harold Koh, Assistant Secretary (1998-2001); and Ambassador Dan Fried as they outlined the bureau's role followed the end of the Cold War.
A final panel highlighted the Bureau's actions from 9/11 until the Arab Spring of last year. Speakers included clerks for the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee that deals with the Department of State and Deputy and Assistant Secretaries from the George W. Bush and Obama Administrations.