Rita is Executive Vice President of the Government and Non-Profit Practice at Protagonist, and has over twenty years of professional experience in the private and non-profit sectors, government, and academic research. Prior to joining Protagonist, Parhad worked on international and national security issues for the Department of Defense at the US Mission to NATO in Brussels and for the Department of State at the US Mission to the United Nations in New York. She has also worked on international security and human rights issues in the non-profit sector, as a policy researcher and program coordinator at the Center on International Cooperation at New York University, and as a consultant for the Ford Foundation. Parhad has taught courses in international relations, political economy, human rights, and international law at UC Berkeley. She has authored book chapters and conference papers on international law and humanitarian assistance, and has presented at numerous academic, government, and industry conferences. Parhad holds a PhD in Political Science from UC Berkeley, with specialization in international relations, comparative politics, and social science research methodology.