Kristina Olney is the Director of Government Relations for the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC) and leads VOC’s engagement with U.S. federal and state policymakers, embassies, and advocacy initiatives with human rights allies and captive nations constituencies. Kristina regularly advises executive branch officials, Members of Congress and their staff, state lawmakers, and global human rights bodies and liaises with diplomatic officials and advocacy allies.
From 2014 to 2017, Kristina served as the Director of Government Relations of In Defense of Christians, an organization she helped establish dedicated to the protection and preservation of religious minorities in the Middle East. Kristina led the grassroots advocacy initiatives with diaspora constituencies from dozens of U.S. states and policy initiatives with allies which directly led to the recognition of the ISIS genocide against Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities by the U.S. government.
Prior to directing human rights advocacy for nonprofit organizations, Kristina worked on foreign affairs and religious freedom issues on Capitol Hill for two years. She helped direct the government relations efforts for the federal U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and prior to that served in Congress as a House Foreign Affairs Committee Fellow for Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ).
Kristina holds an M.A. in international economic relations from American University’s School of International Service and completed her B.A. in international relations at the Australian National University. She has additionally participated in numerous fellowships and academic seminars including the George C. Marshall Fellows program of The Heritage Foundation, the Leonine Forum Fellowship of the Catholic Information Center, the Schülerkreis of the Hildebrand Project, and the Penn Kemble Forum on Democracy Fellowship of the National Endowment for Democracy. Kristina has provided commentary and interviews for publications including First Things, the National Review, The Hill, and Washington Examiner.