Rita Siemion

As International Legal Counsel at Human Rights First, Rita Siemion serves as the organization's expert on international law, including human rights law, the law of armed conflict, and interstate use of force. She advocates for U.S. national security and counterterrorism policies that respect human rights and the rule of law. She leads the organization’s effort to ensure that the permissive standards of war are not used outside the bounds of armed conflict and to ensure that the targeted killing program does not undermine human rights.

Before joining Human Rights First, Rita worked on a range of national security issues as Senior Counsel at The Constitution Project and spent several years in private practice litigating civil and human rights matters.

Rita 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. Rita 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 and Writing. While in law school, she co-founded the Human Rights Law Society, litigated national security cases with the International Human Rights Clinic, and studied human rights and counterterrorism law at Oxford University. She has a B.A. in English, with a minor in Philosophy, from Seattle University, where she graduated from the Honors Program.

Currently Teaching

Degrees & Universities

  • B.A., Seattle University
  • J.D., George Washington University School of Law (with honors)
  • LL.M., Georgetown University Law Center (with distinction, National Security Law with a certificate in International Human Rights Law)