Rita Siemion is Chief National Security and Human Rights Counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee where she handles a range of legislative and policy matters for Chair Durbin. Before her work in the Senate, Professor Siemion was the Director of National Security Advocacy for Human Rights First where she served as the organization’s expert on international law, including the law of armed conflict, international human rights law, and the jus ad bellum. She also led the organization’s advocacy efforts to ensure that U.S. national security policies respect human rights.

At Georgetown, she teaches a fall seminar on War Crimes, Terrorism, and International Criminal Law, and a spring seminar on National Security and Human Rights. She has also taught courses at Georgetown on foreign relations law and covert action.

Previously, Professor Siemion was an editor at Just Security, an online forum for rigorous analysis of U.S. national security law and policy, and an Associate Adjunct Professor of Law at American University Washington College of Law where she taught courses on targeted killing, surveillance, and espionage. She also worked on a range of national security issues as Senior Counsel at The Constitution Project, and spent several years in private practice litigating 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.