Rosa Brooks

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Rosa Brooks

Template:TOCnestleft Rosa Ehrenreich Brooks was a senior advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Michele Flournoy.

In 1970 Rosa Brooks was born to prominent socialist activists Barbara Ehrenreich and John Ehrenreich[1]. She was named after Rosa Parks and Rosa Luxemburg, the German revolutionary, as well as a great-grandmother[2].

Until her appointment to the Obama administration, Professor Rosa Ehrenreich Brooks served on the Georgetown Law full-time faculty. Brooks, who wrote a weekly opinion column for the Los Angeles Times, holds degrees from Harvard, Oxford, and Yale Law School.


Rosa Brooks received her A.B. from Harvard in 1991 (history and literature), followed by a master's degree from Oxford in 1993 (social anthropology) and a law degree from Yale in 1996.

Leftwing teen

In the mid '80s, teens Rosa and Benjamin Ehrenreich were active in Students Against Drunk Driving on Long Island. "They both consider themselves leftwing."[3]


From 2001-2006, Brooks was an associate professor[4]at the University of Virginia School of Law. In 2000-2001, she was a fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a consultant to the Open Society Institute and to Human Rights Watch.

Rosa Brooks worked at the U.S. State Department until 1999, where she was senior advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.

Before joining the State Department, Brooks was a lecturer at Yale Law School, where she also served as acting director of Yale's Schell Center for International Human Rights Law and faculty supervisor of the Lowenstein Human Rights Law Clinic. Her current research focuses on human rights, terrorism and the law of war, and post-conflict rule of law issues.

Her government and NGO work has involved field research in Iraq, Indonesia, Israel, Palestine, Kosovo, China, Russia, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, and Sierra Leone, among other places.

Kerry/Edwards campaign

In 2004 Brooks served as director or the Kerry-Edwards campaign's task force on democracy, development & human rights.

Soros connection

On November 29, 2006 Open Society Institute held a roundtable discussion entitled "How Do Progressives Connect Ideas to Action?"

Individuals and organizations with similarly progressive goals often dilute their power by working alone or even working at cross-purposes. As Americans who are politically left of center move forward, questions of infrastructure, communication, and collaboration are particularly important.

Participants included several key leaders of the "progressive" movement[5];

  • Eric Foner Columbia University, Department of History


Brooks has also served as a senior advisor at the U.S. Department of State, a consultant for Human Rights Watch, a fellow at the Carr Center at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, a board member of Amnesty International USA, a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a lecturer at Yale Law School, a member of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law, and a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on fragile States. She currently serves on the board of the National Security Network and on the Steering Committee of the White Oak Foreign Policy Leaders Project.


Rosa Brooks' book, "Can Might Make Rights?" (Cambridge, 2006), was co-authored with David Wippman and Georgetown Law professor Jane Stromseth, the book looks at the difficult issue of restoring the rule of law in the wake of military interventions.