Mercy Corps Names Former U.S. State Department Senior Official To Public Policy Vice President

September 18, 2017

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Dr. Dafna H. Rand will lead policy development, advocacy and research efforts

WASHINGTON, DC – The global organization Mercy Corps has appointed Dr. Dafna H. Rand, former Department of State Deputy Assistant Secretary, to the position of Vice President for Policy and Research. Rand will lead Mercy Corps’ global policy and research teams, manage the organization’s research agenda, oversee U.S. government relations and engage with global institutions supporting humanitarian assistance, conflict prevention and other development issues.

“Dafna comes to us with a deep understanding of the world’s complex conflicts and political dynamics, often shaping policy in response to them,” says Neal Keny-Guyer, Chief Executive Officer of Mercy Corps. “Her experience in the U.S. government and with think tanks makes her the perfect fit to lead our policy and learning initiatives and to help guide significant global humanitarian and development investments today.”

Rand most recently served as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) at the U.S. State Department, where she oversaw, designed and implemented diplomatic and programmatic strategies to advance human rights, civilian security and governance. In addition to representing the United States on diplomatic missions, Rand mobilized the U.S. interagency to achieve the 2016 White House Executive Order on civilian protection.

Prior to her role at DRL, Rand was a member of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff and served on the National Security Council, in addition to working in policy think tanks. She has served two tours as a staff member in the U.S. Senate, where she worked on a range of national security, budgetary, trade and development issues. She has testified multiple times in front of key Senate and House committees.

Rand holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard University and a Ph.D. from Columbia University’s Department of Political Science. She has published extensively on the political developments and international security issues related to the Middle East and North Africa.

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