Beth Van Schaack

Senior Associate (Non-resident), Human Rights Initiative
Associated Programs: Human Rights Initiative

Beth Van Schaack is the Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor in Human Rights at Stanford Law School and a visiting scholar at the Center for International Security and Cooperation. She recently stepped down as deputy to the ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues in the Office of Global Criminal Justice of the U.S. Department of State. In that capacity, she helped to advise the secretary of state and the under secretary for civilian security, democracy and human rights on the formulation of U.S. policy for the prevention of and accountability for mass atrocities, such as war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. Prior to her State Department appointment, she was a professor of law at Santa Clara University, where she taught and wrote in the areas of human rights, transitional justice, international criminal law, public international law, international humanitarian law, and civil procedure. She has been a member of the U.S. Department of State’s Advisory Council on International Law and served on the U.S. interagency delegation to the International Criminal Court Review Conference in Kampala, Uganda, in 2010. Van Schaack joined the Santa Clara faculty from private practice at Morrison & Foerster LLP, where she practiced in the areas of commercial law, intellectual property, international law, and human rights. Prior to entering private practice, she was acting executive director and staff attorney with the Center for Justice and Accountability, a nonprofit law firm in San Francisco dedicated to the representation of victims of torture and other grave human rights abuses in U.S., international, and foreign tribunals. She was also a law clerk with the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. She continues to advise a number of human rights organizations, including the Documentation Center of Cambodia, the National Institute of Military Justice, the International Justice Resource Center, the Syrian Commission on Justice and Accountability, and the Accountability Council. Van Schaack is a graduate of Stanford University and Yale Law School.