Steve Swerdlow, esq. is Associate Professor of the Practice of Human Rights in the Department of Political and International Relations at the University of Southern California. A human rights lawyer and expert on the former Soviet region, Swerdlow was Senior Central Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch, heading the organization’s work on Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, and founding its Kyrgyzstan field office. Swerdlow has worked as a consultant with the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the International Labour Organization (ILO). Earlier Swerdlow was a fellow in the U.S. State Department’s Young Leaders for Public Service program in Russia and worked as a human rights monitor for the Union of Council for Soviet Jews (UCSJ) as their Caucasus monitor in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia as well as with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Russia. Swerdlow practiced law in San Francisco at Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, and served as law clerk to the Honorable Judge Dean Pregerson of the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Swerdlow publishes regularly on human rights issues in Eurasia and US foreign policy. Swerdlow received his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and M.A. in International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs with a certificate in Post-Soviet Studies from the Harriman Institute.