When the council was set up in 2006, George W bush had refused to support the council. However, Obama reversed that policy and announced United States' intention to run for a seat which won them a seat on the council for the first time ever.
"We ran because this administration and the American people are deeply committed to the values of human rights," said US Ambassador Susan Rice.
The US received 167 votes out of the 192 members in the election in the UN General Assembly winning a seat on the Geneva-based council along with 17 other countries.
Four countries that have been accused of serious human rights violations - Cuba, Saudi Arabia, China and Russia are on the council too.