Expertise: Advocacy, Humanitarian Issues, Public Policy, Region: Middle East
Sharon joined the International Rescue Committee in August 2012 as Vice President of Public Policy and Advocacy and head of the IRC’s office in Washington, D.C.
Sharon leads the organization’s growing global advocacy efforts, which draw on the first-hand knowledge of IRC humanitarian aid teams in 40 countries around the world and 22 U.S. refugee resettlement offices. She brings to the position a wealth of experience at the highest levels of the executive and legislative branches of the U.S. government and a reputation as an effective advocate for refugees and vulnerable populations worldwide.
Sharon served in the U.S. State Department from 2009 to 2012 as Deputy to the Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights. In that capacity, she shared oversight of the multi-billion dollar budgets and policy work of five bureaus and three offices, including the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. Her wide-ranging policy experience includes conflict prevention, military and civilian response to conflict, peace-keeping and peace-building and post-conflict reconciliation and reconstruction. She also has expertise in the federal budgeting process.
Before joining the State Department, she served as Senior National Security Advisor to the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy for 11 years. From 1991 to 1998, she was associate staff to the Senate Appropriations Committee, where she focused on oversight of the budgets of the Departments of State and Defense and the Agency for International Development. She also worked on a range of national security issues as senior legislative assistant to Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg.
Educated at the University of California, Berkeley and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Sharon is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.