Smita Rao Dazzo

Vice President Legal And Asylum at HIAS

Smita Rao Dazzo has a diverse work experience in the legal and asylum field. Smita currently holds the position of Vice President, Legal and Asylum at HIAS, a role they have held since June 2023. Prior to this, they served as the Senior Director, Legal and Asylum at HIAS from August 2020 to June 2023. From September 2018 to August 2020, they worked as the Director of Legal Services at HIAS.

Before joining HIAS, Smita worked at Catholic Charities DC as a Supervising Attorney, Immigration Legal Services from October 2016 to September 2018. Smita also gained experience as a Staff Attorney at Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington from September 2013 to September 2016.

Smita started their career as a Legal Consultant at Grossman Law LLC from March 2013 to August 2013. Smita then worked as an Associate Protection Officer at UNHCR from November 2011 to October 2012.

Prior to this, Smita gained volunteer experience at Fundaction Social Fenix in August and September 2011. Smita also interned at Amnesty International, specializing in Refugee and Migrants rights programs, from September 2010 to December 2010.

Smita's legal career began with a role as a Student Attorney at the International Human Rights Law Clinic from August 2009 to May 2010. Smita also worked as a Caribbean Protection Unit Intern at UNHCR from June 2009 to December 2009.

Lastly, Smita started their career as an Intern in the Democracy Program at The Carter Center from January 2006 to May 2006.

Smita Rao Dazzo has pursued a diverse education history. Smita earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Emory University, majoring in Political Science and French Studies. Smita then joined American University Washington College of Law to pursue a Juris Doctor degree, focusing on International Human Rights Law. Later, Smita attended the American University School of International Service, where they obtained a Master of Arts degree in International Politics.



  • Vice President Legal And Asylum

    June, 2023 - present

  • Senior Director Legal And Asylum

    August, 2020

  • Director Of Legal Services

    September, 2018

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