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Hon. Christopher H. Smith, Chairman
Hon. Benjamin L. Cardin, Co-Chairman
For Immediate Release
May 16, 2011


WASHINGTON–With the appointment last week of Republican Senators, the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) completes its full complement of 21 Commissioners from the House, the Senate and the Executive Branch. The Commission is responsible for monitoring implementation of human rights, security and economic commitments made by the 56 participating States of the OSCE. For over 30 years, the Commission has been a leader in defending human rights in the OSCE region which has a combined population of over one billion, and is of strategic importance to the United States given longstanding security, trade and cultural ties.


Commission Chairman Representative Chris Smith (NJ-4), citing the depth and diversity of experience of the Helsinki Commission’s Congressional and Executive Branch commissioners, said: “The Commission is well positioned to make a real difference in the lives of those deprived of their human rights and denied their human dignity. We must never lose sight of the human faces that provide the reason for our work, from victims of human trafficking and slain journalists to individuals prevented from freely professing and practicing their faith and victims of a myriad of other human rights violations. I will continue to work closely with my fellow commissioners on a robust agenda firmly rooted in protection of human dignity – the essence of authentic security.”


The Commissioners for the 112th Congress are:


U.S. House of Representatives

Christopher H. Smith, New Jersey


Joseph R. Pitts, Pennsylvania

Robert B. Aderholt, Alabama

Phil Gingrey, Georgia

Michael C. Burgess, Texas

Alcee L. Hastings, Florida

Louise McIntosh Slaughter, New York

Mike McIntyre, North Carolina

Steve Cohen, Tennessee


U.S. Senate

Benjamin L. Cardin, Maryland


Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island

Tom Udall, New Mexico

Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire

Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut

Roger F. Wicker, Mississippi

Saxby Chambliss, Georgia

Marco Rubio, Florida

Kelly Ayotte, New Hampshire


Executive Branch

Michael H. Posner, Department of State

Michael C. Camuñez, Department of Commerce

Alexander Vershbow, Department of Defense



Media Contact: Shelly Han
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Chairman Chris Smith speaks with a reporter following the Commission's hearing on the Armenian Genocide. (April 2015)