Indian American Monika Kalra Varma has been appointed as the new director of the Washington-based Robert F Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights (RFK Center).
"We are fortunate to have Monika at the helm of the center. She has played a pivotal role in transforming cutting edge economic and social rights concepts into some of our most successful and dynamic programmes.
Under Monika's leadership we will continue to make an even greater impact on the movement for human rights," said the center's director Lynn Delaney.
RFK Center engages in long-term partnerships with human rights activists to initiate and enhance sustainable social justice movements.
It works closely with international bodies including the UN and NGOs for launching consumer awareness campaigns aimed at fostering corporate responsibility.
"The RFK Center is a unique human rights organisation with an agenda wholly driven by its partners - some of the most inspiring and innovative human rights leaders in the world. It is truly an honour to be able to lead the center's efforts to contribute to our partners' social movements," said Varma.
Varma will oversee the center's day-to-day operations. She will work with the staff, board members, the Kennedy family and volunteers to construct advocacy programmes which provide on-going support to the center's partners, the RFK Human Rights Award winners.
She will also oversee the annual Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Award honouring courageous grassroots human rights defenders, the center said.
A human rights lawyer, Varma currently also serves on the editorial board of the Harvard-based François-Xavier Bagnoud's Health and Human Rights journal.
Earlier, Verma was a legal officer for the UN international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Netherlands.
A graduate of the University of California, Verma is married to Anurag Varma, a lawyer.