1977 March 5

President Carter Names Patricia Derian Coordinator for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs


President Jimmy Carter named Patricia Derian Coordinator for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs in the State Department on this day. Introducing human rights issues into American foreign policy was one of Carter’s notable achievements as president. For that reason, Derian’s appointment had special significance, as she was the principal advocate of that position. Her previous activity had been in the areas of civil rights and civil liberties, including working with the ACLU.

Derian’s position was later elevated by Congress to Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. Derian served in the State Department from 1977 to 1981, covering Carter’s full term as president.

Read: Patricia M. Derian, Human Rights: A World Perspective (1978)

Patricia Derian Discusses “Our Disappeared” on YouTube:

Learn more about Carter’s post-presidential work at the Carter Center: http://www.cartercenter.org/index.html

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