Susannah Sirkin is the director of international policy and partnerships at Physicians for Human Rights. In that role she oversees international policy engagement including work with the United Nations, domestic and international justice systems, and human rights coalitions. 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; and many other investigations into consequences of human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law.
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. She currently serves as PHR’s representative on the Steering Committee of the Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition, in particular providing expertise on the ongoing attacks on medical workers and facilities in Syria.
Sirkin has a BA in European studies from Mount Holyoke College and an MEd from Boston University.