Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Breaking News...

President Obama announced two key nominations yesterday:

  • Michael H. Posner: Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Department of State
  • Stephen J. Rapp: Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues, Department of State
The bios of both excellent candidates are below. Congrats! Let's hope these nominations are confirmed with more alacrity than some of the earlier posts (namely Dawn Johnsen and Harold Koh).
Michael Posner (below left) currently serves as the President of Human Rights First (formerly the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights) and has been at the forefront of the international human rights movement for more than 30 years. Posner has traveled to more than 50 countries in all regions of the world on behalf of Human Rights First and other organizations. He has worked to support human rights defenders in countries as diverse as Russia, Zimbabwe, Iran, Cuba, China, Uganda, Haiti, the Philippines, El Salvador and Egypt. He also has been actively involved in promoting the rights of refugees and displaced people, and has taken a leading role in promoting stronger industry standards to ensure fair labor conditions in global manufacturing supply chains. Posner is a frequent public commentator and his opinion essays have appeared in newspapers and magazines around the country. He also has testified dozens of times before the U.S. Congress on a wide range of human rights and refugee topics. Before joining Human Rights First, Posner was a lawyer with Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal in Chicago. Posner lectured at Yale Law School from 1981 to 1984, and again in 2009. He has been a visiting lecturer at Columbia University Law School since 1984. A member of the California and Illinois Bars, as well as the Council on Foreign Relations, he received his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley Law School (Boalt Hall) and a B.A. from the University of Michigan.
Stephen Rapp (below right) has served as Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone since January 2007, leading the prosecutions of former Liberian President Charles Taylor and other persons alleged to bear the greatest responsibility for the atrocities committed during the civil war in Sierra Leone. From 2001 to 2007, Rapp served as Senior Trial Attorney and Chief of Prosecutions at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, personally heading the trial team that achieved convictions of the principals of RTLM radio and Kangura newspaper—the first in history for leaders of the mass media for the crime of Incitement to Commit Genocide. Previously, he was United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa from 1993 to 2001. Prior to his tenure as U.S. Attorney, he had worked as an attorney in private practice and had served as Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency and as an elected member of the Iowa Legislature. He received his JD degree from Drake University and his BA from Harvard College.
Congrats to both!

No comments: