Rachel Levitan

Rachel Levitan



Rachel is Vice President, International Policy and Relations, leading HIAS’s advocacy on refugee rights internationally, communicating HIAS’s international impact, policy recommendations, and thought leadership. She also oversees engagement with international Jewish communities and builds HIAS’s partnerships with the US State Department, USAID, Congress, UNHCR and other UN bodies, the private sector, and international, national, and local NGOs.

Rachel previously served as HIAS’ VP, International Programs, where she led HIAS’ growth in four core program areas (legal protection, gender-based violence prevention and risk reduction, mental health and psychosocial support, and economic inclusion), more than tripling the department’s budget, and significantly growing its geographic footprint. In previous positions, Rachel launched international refugee legal programs, led research on LGBTQ refugee protection, and coordinated multifaith refugee welcome campaigns.

Prior to working with HIAS, Rachel lived in Istanbul, where she co-founded and directed Turkey’s first legal clinic for refugees. Before that, she litigated race and gender discrimination claims in federal and state court in New York City. She has published numerous journal articles and reports on international refugee protection issues. Rachel received her BA from McGill University and a law degree from the University of British Columbia.