At CFR, Scheffer is focusing on international law and international criminal justice. He is also directing a roundtable series on human rights and international law.
Scheffer is currently the Mayer Brown/Robert A. Helman professor of law at the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law in Chicago, and was director of the Center for International Human Rights there from 2006 to 2019. From 2012 to 2018, Scheffer also was the UN secretary-general's special expert on UN assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials. From 1997 to 2001, he was the first ever U.S. ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues and led the U.S. delegation to the UN talks establishing the International Criminal Court. From 1993 to 1997, Scheffer served as senior advisor and counsel to U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Madeleine Albright, and he served on the deputies committee of the National Security Council. He was a 1986–87 CFR International Affairs Fellow.
Earlier in his career, Scheffer worked with an international law firm, the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He won the Berlin Prize (2013) and the Center for Justice and Accountability's Champion of Justice award (2018). His recent publications include The Sit Room: In the Theater of War and Peace (Oxford, 2019) and All the Missing Souls: A Personal History of the War Crimes Tribunals (Princeton, 2012).
Scheffer earned an AB from Harvard College, a BA from Oxford University's Honour School of Jurisprudence, and an LLM from Georgetown University Law Center.
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