Sarah E. Mendelson

Sarah E. Mendelson was appointed director of the CSIS Human Rights and Security Initiative in January 2007. She is also a senior fellow with the Russia and Eurasia Program, which she joined in 2001. Previously, she was a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Since coming to CSIS, she has collaborated on over a dozen opinion surveys in Russia concerning views on the war in Chechnya, military and police abuse, health issues, identity in the North Caucasus, as well as knowledge and experiences with human trafficking. She has also researched the links between trafficking in humans and peacekeeping operations and, along with a team of activists, helped shape the NATO trafficking policy adopted in 2004 and the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005 (House Resolution 972). Most recently, she led a working group on closing Guantánamo, the recommendations from which were reflected in President Barack Obama’s Executive Orders signed January 22, 2009. Mendelson received her B.A. in history from Yale University, and her Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University. She has held fellowships at Stanford University and Princeton University. Her current research is supported by grants from the Ford Foundation and the Smith Richardson Foundation. She serves on the editorial board of International Security and is a member of the Europe and Central Asia Advisory Committee at Human Rights Watch and of the Council on Foreign Relations. In addition to numerous peer-reviewed and public policy articles, she is the author of Changing Course: Ideas, Politics, and the Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan (Princeton University Press, 1998); coeditor of The Power and Limits of NGOs: Transnational Networks and Post-Communist Societies (Columbia University Press, 2002); and author of Barracks and Brothels: Peacekeepers and Human Trafficking in the Balkans (CSIS Press, 2005) and Closing Guantánamo: From Bumper Sticker to Blue Print (CSIS Press, 2008). Click here for a full list of her publications.


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