Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe, an affiliated scholar at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC), is expected to be nominated as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council, the White House reported Nov. 9.
Donahoe must appear in a hearing before a Senate subcommittee before the Senate votes on the nomination, a process that could take several weeks. If confirmed, Donahoe would be responsible for advancing U.S. policies on the council to ensure protection of universally agreed human rights standards.
"I'm really pleased that President Obama has chosen Eileen Donahoe to be the ambassador to the Human Rights Council in Geneva," CISAC Co-Director Scott Sagan said. "Her scholarly research and work has focused on the ethical and legal dilemmas involving the political uses of military force in human intervention. I can't think of anyone more qualified to help reinvigorate the Human Rights Council to meet the challenges it must face today."
Donahoe, 50, was a CISAC visiting scholar in 2006-07 after earning a doctorate in ethics from the University of California's Graduate Theological Union. Her dissertation, "Humanitarian Military Intervention: The Moral Imperative Versus the Rule of Law," addressed the sometimes conflicting ethical and legal justifications for humanitarian military intervention, as well as the basis for authorization of the use of force by the UN Security Council. Her research has also focused on U.N. reform and the international rule of law.
Donahoe has worked with various human rights organizations, including The Lawyer's Committee for Human Rights, where she did research on the connection between U.S. foreign policy and human rights, and Amnesty International's Ginetta Sagan Fund, where she did strategy work related to human rights concerns of women and children.
Donahoe, a resident of Portola Valley, chaired the National Women for Obama Finance Committee during Barack Obama's presidential campaign.
Previously, Donahoe was a litigation associate at Fenwick & West in Palo Alto, where she served technology clients in intellectual property and commercial disputes. Prior to that, she was a teaching fellow at Stanford Law School and a law clerk to the Hon. William H. Orrick in San Francisco.
In addition to her doctorate, Donahoe earned a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College, a master's in theology from Harvard, and both a law degree and master's in East Asian Studies from Stanford University.