In Memoriam: Robert Halligan


Robert Halligan
Board Chair, 2012-2015
Robertson Foundation for Government

The Robertson Foundation for Government (RFG) acknowledges the passing of former board chair and long-time member of the RFG Board of Directors, The Honorable Robert Halligan, who passed away on November 11, 2018. Bob brought to bear his significant background in federal service, international development, and government workforce needs, playing a critical role in the creation of RFG through his ardent advocacy for focus on the donors’ original mission to support public service leadership development. He was chair of the board from 2012-2015. We are grateful for his dedicated efforts to ensure the ongoing legacy of Charles and Marie Robertson to cultivate a growing corps of federal leaders with global perspective.
You can read more about Robert Halligan’s impressive career and contributions at:
To the Halligan family, we extend our deepest sympathies.
The RFG Board of Directors

Featured Fellow: Paul Massaro, U.S. Helsinki Commission

Paul Massaro, UMD SPP Class of 2015, is a policy advisor at the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, commonly known as the U.S. Helsinki Commission, which he joined in 2013.

The Helsinki Commission has a long and honorable history of action on behalf of human rights in Europe and Central Asia. It arose in response to the mid-70s Helsinki Final Act, which established the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. This process would eventually evolve into the multilateral Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) of today. The Act’s “Basket I” enhanced security and stability in the region. “Basket II” paved the way for economic, science and environmental cooperation, and the much-overlooked (initially) “Basket III” created openings for the West to press the USSR and Warsaw Pact governments to improve their human rights practices.

In recent months, the Commission has been in the headlines as Russia’s prosecutor general, Yury Chaika, requested interrogation of American officials, including Massaro’s direct boss.

The U.S. Helsinki Commission is an unusual joint Congress-Executive Branch entity, although its leadership is drawn solely from Congress. The Commission has played an unheralded but significant role in marshalling the support of the United States for important security and human rights concerns. The scope has increased with the times, including a wider array of issues such as combating kleptocracy. Massaro says it is important to note that the Commission has a record of holding both allies’ and adversaries’ feet to the fire, demanding concrete accomplishments, and fundamentally influencing U.S. policy with respect to foreign relations.

Massaro currently serves as the policy advisor responsible for OSCE “second dimension” issues, or economic and environmental policy. His portfolio includes topics such as anti-corruption, sanctions, finance, trade, Arctic issues, and energy security. He is also responsible for Mongolia and the OSCE Asian Partners for Cooperation (Japan, Korea, Thailand, Australia, and Afghanistan).

His work focuses on countering globalized corruption, specifically transnational authoritarian and criminal networks. He looks for policy solutions, convenes events including hearings, and develops financial and legal frameworks more resistant to authoritarian influence. He also advises Commissioners and liaises with the Executive Branch on relevant legislation. One example of his daily work is legislation like H.R. 6067, the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act of 2018, which aims to establish criminal penalties and civil remedies for doping fraud violations at major international competitions.

Class of 2019 Summer Internships

The RFG class of 2019 fellows benefited from internship experience and professional connections internationally and across the U.S. in California, Hawaii, and Washington DC. Click here for the full list of 2018 summer internships.

Government Accountability Office (GAO), DC

  • Education, Workforce and Income Security Department, Services for the Rural Elderly: Sara
    Poirier, UMD SPP

National Defense University (NDU), DC

  • College of International Security Affairs: Audrey Hopkins, Bush
  • Eisenhower School: Sailer Perkins, Bush

US Indo-Pacific Area Command (USINDOPACOM), Hawaii

  • Strategy and Policy Division, J56: Elizabeth Kokemoor, Maxwell
  • Northeast Asia Policy Division, J51 (jointly with the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies): Jacob Throwe, UCSD GPS
  • Center for Excellence for Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance: Taylor Tielke, UCSD GPS

U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS)

  • Communications Office, DC: Emma Buckhout, Maxwell
  • Field Office, LA: Jennifer Valdez, Maxwell

U.S. State Department

  • Office of Commercial and Business Affairs, DC: Ariana Scurti, UMD SPP
  • Office of Development Finance, DC: Simona Griffith, UMD SPP
  • Office of Emerging Security Challenges, DC: Erica Symonds, UMD SPP
  • Office of Global Change, DC: Isabelle Heilman, UCSD GPS
  • Regional Security Office, Chengdu, China: Clayton Yates, Bush
  • U.S. Embassy Press Office, Beijing, China: Noelle Camp, Bush