David J. Kramer

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David J. Kramer
Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
In office
March 21, 2008 – January 20, 2009
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Barry Lowenkron
Succeeded by Michael H. Posner
Personal details
Education Tufts University,
Harvard University

David J. Kramer was United States Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor from 2008 to 2009. He was President of Freedom House from October 2010 to November 2014. He is currently the Senior Director for Human Rights and Human Freedoms at the McCain Institute.[1]

Life and career[edit]

David J. Kramer was educated at Tufts University, receiving his B.A. in Soviet Studies and Political Science, and then at Harvard University, receiving his M.A. in Soviet Studies.

After university, Kramer was a Lecturer in Russian Studies at Clark University and a Teaching Fellow at Harvard University. During the collapse of the Soviet Union, he was an analyst for The Christian Science Monitor Network. He later moved to Washington, D.C. and became a Senior Fellow at the Project for the New American Century, Associate Director of the Russian and Eurasian Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Assistant Director of Russian and Eurasian Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Kramer then joined the United States Department of State as Executive Director of the United States Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. He next served as Special Advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs, before becoming a professional staff member for the Policy Planning Staff. From July 2005 to March 2008, he was Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.

In 2008, President of the United States George W. Bush nominated Kramer as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, and, after Senate confirmation, he held this office from March 21, 2008 to January 20, 2009.

Kramer left his position as a Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund to become executive director of Freedom House on October 4, 2010.[2] On June 18, 2014 Freedom House announced that Kramer planned to resign that fall.[3] On October 1, 2014 Freedom House announced that Mark P. Lagon would replace him in 2015.[4] In November 2014, Kramer became the Senior Director for Human Rights and Human Freedom at the McCain Institute.[5]

In February 2013, Kramer caused controversy at the North American Invitational Model United Nations, when Kramer's opening keynote speech incited a walkout of 300 Chinese visitors.[6]

Kramer is a member of the Ukraine Today media organization's International Supervisory Council.[7] In 2016 Kramer argued that the Minsk II peace agreement should be scrapped and western sanctions on Russia maintained.[8]


  1. ^ "David J. Kramer". McCain Institute. November 2014. Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  2. ^ "Leading Expert on Ukraine Appointed to Head Freedom House". U.S.-Ukraine Business Council. 16 September 2010. Retrieved 23 September 2013. 
  3. ^ https://freedomhouse.org/article/freedom-house-announces-search-new-president#.VH9RcclD2Ow
  4. ^ https://freedomhouse.org/article/mark-p-lagon-become-president-freedom-house#.VH9RhclD2Ow
  5. ^ "David J. Kramer; Senior Director for Human Rights and Democracy". McCain Institute. Retrieved July 31, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Our Freedom of Speech". Huffington Post. February 28, 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2014. 
  7. ^ "Our mission". Ukraine Today. Retrieved 4 May 2016. 
  8. ^ David J. Kramer (28 April 2016). "The Best Ways to Help Ukraine". The American Interest. Retrieved 4 May 2016. 

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Barry Lowenkron
Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
March 21, 2008 – January 20, 2009
Succeeded by
Michael Posner