Mischa E. Thompson, Ph.D., Director of Global Partnerships, Policy, and Innovation


Dr. Mischa Thompson is the Director of Global Partnerships, Policy, and Innovation at the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission), where she manages the commission’s legislative agenda, external engagement, and social impact portfolio.  She is also the Senior Policy Advisor on OSCE matters related to western Europe, including the European Union. 

For nearly two decades, Dr. Thompson has worked with policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic to develop and execute strategic policies and programs.  With a proven track record of creating innovative evidence-based policy solutions, Dr. Thompson develops and advances the commission’s policy positions and legislative portfolio and coordinates leadership and development activities for commission personnel. 

As a specialist in transatlantic and intergroup relations, Dr. Thompson has organized recent events on U.S.-EU relations, migration, and BREXIT.  She also advises the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Special Representative on Anti-Semitism, Racism, and Intolerance and commissioners on security, economic, and human rights issues related to diverse populations. Some of her notable efforts include leading capacity-building programs for executive and emerging leaders and helping to found the Transatlantic Minority Political Leadership Conference (TMPLC), the Transatlantic Inclusion Leaders Network (TILN), the State Department’s Social Inclusion Unit, Congressional staff exchanges with the European Parliament, Congressional Kenya and Malaysia Caucuses, and the Sunday Brunch Group.

Prior to joining the commission, she served as a Professional Staff Member on the U.S. Senate’s Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee and as an AAAS/APA Fellow in the U.S. House of Representatives. Originally from Detroit, Dr. Thompson holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, where she was a prestigious National Science Foundation Fellow and managed several laboratories, research grants, and diversity initiatives in the social sciences with a focus on intergroup relations, identity, and bias.  She received her B.S. from Howard University, while also studying at Stanford University and the University of Münster, in Germany as a Fulbright Scholar.  A German Marshall Fund and Salzburg Global Fellow, Dr. Thompson currently serves on the International Career Advancement Program Alumni Association board and the WE EMPOWER USA Advisory Group, an initiative of the EU, UN Women, and International Labour Organization (ILO).