Susannah Sirkin oversees PHR’s international policy engagement, including our work with the United Nations, domestic and international justice systems, and human rights coalitions. Sirkin is also responsible for managing and multiplying PHR’s strategic partnerships globally, expanding our volunteers from the medical and scientific community, and increasing our partnerships with NGOs, medical institutions, and other relationships that can enhance PHR’s effectiveness and grow the field of human rights activists. Sirkin joined PHR’s staff in 1987 shortly after its founding. She serves as a senior advisor across all areas, particularly PHR’s work to stop sexual violence in conflict zones – an initiative she created in 2011.
Sirkin has organized health and human rights investigations for PHR in dozens of countries, including documentation of genocide and systematic rape in Darfur, Sudan; exhumations of mass graves in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda for the International Criminal Tribunals; investigations into consequences of human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law in Afghanistan, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Kosovo, Kuwait, Somalia, Turkey, and the United States, among others.
She has worked on studies of sexual violence in Bosnia, Chad, Sierra Leone, and Thailand. She has authored and edited numerous reports and articles on the medical consequences of human rights violations, physical evidence of human rights abuses, and physician complicity in violations.
Sirkin served as PHR’s representative on the Steering Committee of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines from 1992-1997, a campaign for which PHR shared in the 1997 Nobel Prize for Peace.
Sirkin has a BA in European studies from Mount Holyoke College and an MEd from Boston University.