POUGHKEEPSIE, NY -- David J. Scheffer served from 1997-2001 as the first U.S. Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues, later earning Foreign Policy magazine’s selection as one of the "Top Global Thinkers of 2011” for being “one of the handful of international jurists, politicians, and activists whose commitment to prosecuting the war criminals of the Balkans and Rwanda led to the creation of the International Criminal Court back in 2002.” Now a professor at the Northwestern University School of Law school, director of its Center for International Human Rights, and a special advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General, Ambassador Scheffer will discuss "The Challenges of International Justice” on Monday, April 8, at 5:30pm, in the Sanders Classroom Building Spitzer Auditorium (room 212). This history department C. Mildred Thompson Lecture is free and open to the public.
Scheffer currently serves as the U.N. Secretary-General's Special Expert on United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials, and he was the founder and co-editor of the Cambodia Tribunal Monitor. The ambassador’s lecture will explore, among other topics, his recent war crimes work in Cambodia as well as his widely praised memoir All the Missing Souls: A Personal History of the War Crimes Tribunals (Princeton University Press, 2012). All the Missing Souls received the 2012 Book of the Year Award from the American National Section of the International Association of Penal Law, and Douglas Gillison of Time magazine wrote of the book, “This impeccably documented work stands as a condemnation not just of Bush-era expediency but also of moral compromise at the expense of the powerless. It's also the story of an attempt to attain the most strenuous of goals: upholding civilization in the face of monstrous evil. Scheffer is one of the very few people who can tell it.”
During the first term of the Clinton Administration, Scheffer was senior adviser and counsel to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. He served from 1993 through 1996 on the Deputies Committee of the National Security Council, and has headed the Atrocities Prevention Inter-Agency Working Group. In addition to his extensive writing on international legal and political issues, the ambassador also appears regularly in the national and international media.
The C. Mildred Thompson Lecture Series honors a Vassar alumna who went on be a professor of history and dean at her alma mater.
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