Originally from Los Angeles, CA, Erin Rattazzi has a bachelor of arts in English and a bachelor of arts in history from UCLA and a master of philosophy in justice and transformation, specializing in human rights, from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Before joining the State Department, Erin worked for Human Rights Watch in London, England for several years where she created and developed the “London Network”, a young professionals group mobilized to achieve outreach, fundraising and advocacy objectives. Erin had been living in London when terrorists launched a series of coordinated attacks using the public transportation system on July 7, 2005. It was shortly after these attacks that Erin began considering a job in the Foreign Service.
Erin joined the State Department in 2008 where she spent a year learning Vietnamese before heading to her first post in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. While in Vietnam, she managed a S/GWI grant to support women’s rights and gender equality for a rural community and development center. She also started a Ho Chi Minh City consulate cheerleading team! After her tour in Vietnam, Erin served in Kabul, Afghanistan as assistant information officer. It was an eventful year in Afghanistan, which included attacks on the Embassy, one Presidential visit and two Secretarial visits. While in Afghanistan, as part of the “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence” campaign, Erin worked with the local videographer to film sixteen public service announcements featuring prominent and influential Afghans condemning gender-based violence.
Currently, as the public affairs officer in the Office of the U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Erin leads the Department’s public diplomacy and public affairs work to advance Sudan and South Sudan policy and helps to align these efforts with the President’s strategic goals toward Sudan and South Sudan, focused on supporting the development of two viable states at peace internally and with each other. Erin speaks Vietnamese and Spanish.
Before pursuing her master’s, Erin worked for Scott Free Films (Gladiator, Black Hawk Down, and others). Erin is a proud daughter, sister, aunt, friend, and godmother. In her free time, Erin volunteers with Homeward Trails, which rescues over 1,000 homeless cats and dogs annually and adopts them to homes in the DC/NoVA area. Erin is also the captain of a kickball team, which is looking forward to starting their season on April 7!