Robin Lerner's Story
Robin Lerner is a Senior Advisor and Counselor in the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues. In this position, she serves as a key advisor on adolescent girls education and empowerment globally, economic empowerment, and gender-based violence, among other issues. Ms. Lerner previously served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Private Sector Exchange at the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). In this capacity, she oversaw the J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program, a public-private partnership mechanism which annually brings some 300,000 foreign citizens - mostly youth - to the United States to study, build skills and teach through sponsored programs. Ms. Lerner came to the Department from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee where she served as Counsel, leading on the Committee's policy and budget positions regarding gender equity, human rights, refugees, migration, trafficking in persons, international education and public diplomacy. While on the Committee, she was a leading voice on public and privately-funded educational exchange programs and mechanisms, as well as virtual and digital educational and cultural exchange. She was the lead drafter of a number of human rights bills and resolutions on women's and girls, trafficking in persons and freedom of the press, among others. Prior to the Committee, she worked in various capacities for the Department of State for nearly seven years, including in the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, the Bureau of Legislative Affairs and U.S. Embassies Cairo and Baghdad. Ms. Lerner, a lawyer by training, began her career as a Legal and Human Rights Advisor for Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Missions in Croatia and Kosovo, where she handled violence against women, human trafficking, and minority and property rights.