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Rita M. Siemion


International Legal Counsel, Human Rights First, Adjunct Professor of Law

B.A., Seattle University; J.D., George Washington; LL.M. Georgetown

Professor Siemion works as International Legal Counsel for Human Rights First where she is an expert in the intersecting legal frameworks that govern counterterrorism operations...

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Professor Siemion works as International Legal Counsel for Human Rights First where she is an expert in the intersecting legal frameworks that govern counterterrorism operations at home and abroad, including the law of armed conflict, international human rights law, and sovereignty laws. She leads the organization's effort to ensure that US national security and counterterrorism policies respect these bodies of international law and comply with domestic law governing the use of force and conduct of war.

Professor Siemion is also an Associate Adjunct Professor of Law at American University Washington College of Law where she teaches a course on national security and human rights law that covers targeted killing, surveillance, and espionage. Before joining Human Rights First, she worked on a range of national security issues as Senior Counsel at The Constitution Project, including surveillance, privacy, and constitutional rights in the digital age. Previously, she spent several years in private practice litigation human and civil rights matters. She holds an LL.M. in National Security Law, with a certificate in International Human Rights Law, from the Georgetown University Law Center, where she graduated with distinction and was a peer review editor for the Journal of National Security Law & Policy. She received her J.D., with honors, from the George Washington University School of Law, where she has also taught as an Adjunct Professor of Legal Research & Writing. She has a B.A. in English, with a minor in Philosophy, from Seattle University, where she graduated from the Honors Program.

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