Robert A. Destro

Robert Destro serves as Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC. He has a long history as a human rights advocate and civil rights attorney with expertise in elections, employment, and constitutional law. Assistant Secretary Destro has been on the faculty at Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law since 1982 and served as its Interim Dean from 1999 to 2001, as well as founding director of the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies. He previously served a six-year term as a Commissioner on the United States Commission on Civil Rights. His legal work includes collaboration with the Peace Research Institute Oslo in a fifteen-year dialogue among Muslim, Christian, and Jewish legal, business, and religious leaders in the United States and the Middle East and efforts promoting the release of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in the Middle East. He has also served as voting rights counsel for the Ohio Secretary of State and advocated for the First Amendment rights of individuals and organizations. He earned a B.A. from Miami University, Ohio, and a J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. He is an active member of the Bar in Ohio and California.

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