Helsinki Commission

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The Helsinki Commission, more formally the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe or CSCE, is according to its website "an independent agency of the United States Government charged with monitoring and encouraging compliance with the Helsinki Final Act and other commitments of the 56 countries participating in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)."[1]


"The Commission consists of nine members from the United States Senate, nine members from the U.S. House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense, and Commerce. The positions of Chair and Co-Chair are shared by the House and Senate and rotate every two years, when a new Congress convenes. A professional staff assists the Commissioners in their work.

"The Commission contributes to the formulation of U.S. policy on the OSCE and takes part in its execution, including through Member and staff participation on U.S. Delegations to OSCE meetings and in certain OSCE bodies. Members of the Commission have regular contact with parliamentarians, government officials, NGOs, and private individuals from other OSCE participating States.

"The Commission convenes public hearings and briefings with expert witnesses on OSCE-related issues; issues public reports concerning implementation of OSCE commitments in participating States; publishes a monthly Digest with up-to-date information on OSCE developments and Commission activities; and organizes official delegations to participating States and OSCE meetings to address and assess democratic, economic, and human rights developments firsthand."

To avoid confusion

The Helsinki Commission should not be confused with the British Helsinki Human Rights Group (BHHRG)

Helsinki Commission members


U.S. Senate

Benjamin L. Cardin, Maryland, Chairman

Christopher J. Dodd, Connecticut

Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island

Tom Udall, New Mexico

Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire

Sam Brownback, Kansas

Saxby Chambliss, Georgia

Richard Burr, North Carolina

Roger Wicker, Mississippi

U.S. House of Representatives

Alcee L. Hastings, Florida, Co-Chairman

Louise McIntosh Slaughter, New York

Mike McIntyre, North Carolina

G. K. Butterfield, North Carolina

Christopher H. Smith, New Jersey

Joseph R. Pitts, Pennsylvania

Robert B. Aderholt, Alabama

Mike Pence, Indiana

Executive Branch Commissioners

Vacant, Department of State

Vacant, Department of Commerce

Vacant, Department of Defense


Fred L. Turner Chief of Staff

Cliff Bond Senior State Department Advisor

Orest Deychakiwsky Policy Advisor

Shelly Han Policy Advisor

Robert Hand Policy Advisor

Janice Helwig Policy Advisor

Alex T. Johnson Policy Advisor

Marlene Kaufmann General Counsel

Ronald J. McNamara Policy Advisor

Michael Ochs Policy Advisor

Winsome Packer Representative of the Helsinki Commission to the USOSCE

Kyle Parker Policy Advisor

Daniel R. Redfield Office Manager

Erika B. Schlager Counsel for International Law

Josh Shapiro Staff Associate

Mischa E. Thompson Policy Advisor

Contact details

234 Ford House Office Building
3rd and D Streets SW
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-1901
Fax: (202) 226-4199
Email: info AT

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. Home page, Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, accessed March 2008.
  2. Commissioners, Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, accessed March 2008.