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Assessing Engagement in Human Rights Bodies

Claudio Grossman

American University Washington College of Law
United Nations Committee Against Torture
Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

Claudio Grossman is Professor of Law and Dean of American University Washington College of Law (WCL) and the Raymond Geraldson Scholar for International and Humanitarian Law. Since his appointment as dean in 1995, WCL has further developed its intellectual creativity, pursuing numerous and exciting initiatives. For example, more than 30 full-time faculty members have been hired, dramatically improving the law school's student-faculty ratio and expanding and enhancing scholarship, teaching and service. New WCL programs have been developed during Dean Grossman's tenure including: dual JD Programs with institutions in Canada, France and Australia, the LL.M. in Law and Government Program, the Supervised Externship Program, the S.J.D. Program, a dual LL.M./MBA, new LL.M. specializations in Gender and the Law and in Free Trade Agreements and Regional Integration, summer and semester abroad programs, the International Arbitration Program, a new Intellectual Property Program, as well as new clinics in IP, Disability Rights Law, and an evening section of the Civil Practice Clinic, and integrated sections in the first year so as to promote interconnectedness among the different law courses. 

Dean Grossman was unanimously reelected Chair of the United Nations Committee against Torture in April 2010, a position he has held since April 2008, and has been a Committee member following his November 2003 election to that body. He is also a member of the Commission for the Control of Interpol's Files (since February 2005) as well as Chair of the Committee on International Cooperation of the Association of American Law Schools. In May 2009, Dean Grossman was named to the judging panel for the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights.  

Dean Grossman served as President of the College of the Americas (COLAM), an organization of colleges and universities in the Western Hemisphere, from November 2003-November 2007. He was also a member of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) from 1993-2001. He was twice elected its President, first in 1996 and again in 2001. He also served twice as the IACHR's First Vice President (2000-2001, 1995-1996) and Second Vice President (1999-2000). He was the IACHR's first Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women (1996-2000), as well as its Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Populations (2000-2001) and its Observer of the AMIA Trial (2001-2005). Representing the IACHR, Dean Grossman participated in missions to Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and Peru, among others. On behalf of international and non-governmental organizations, he has also chaired or participated in missions to observe elections in Nepal, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Romania, Surinam, and the Middle East.  

Dean Grossman is the author of numerous publications regarding international law and human rights. He has also received numerous awards for his work with human rights and international law, including the René Cassin Award from B'nai B'rith International in Chile and the Harry LeRoy Jones Award from the Washington Foreign Law Society. In October 2000, Dean Grossman was named Outstanding Dean of the Year by the National Association of Public Interest Law (now known as Equal Justice Works). In addition, the Inter American Press Association named Dean Grossman as the recipient of the Chapultepec Grand Prize 2002 for his achievements in the field of human rights and his work and commitment to promoting and protecting the freedom of expression and of the press for all people. In 2007, Dean Grossman received the Simón Bolívar Award from the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation in recognition of his lifetime achievements in promoting human rights, and the Charles Norberg International Lawyer of the Year Award from the Washington, D.C. chapter of the Inter-American Bar Association. In 2010, Dean Grossman received the Henry W. Edgerton Civil Liberties Award from the American Civil Liberties Union of the National Capital Area in recognition of exceptional lifetime achievements related to the advancement and defense of human rights and civil liberties.  

Dean Grossman is a member of numerous associations, including the Inter-American Institute for Human Rights, for which he is a member of the Board of Directors

Ted Piccone

Senior Fellow and Deputy Director for Foreign Policy
Brookings Institution

Ted Piccone is a Senior Fellow and Deputy Director for Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution.  His areas of expertise include U.S.-Latin American relations, global democracy and human rights, and multilateral affairs.  His most recent publications include Catalysts for Rights: The Unique Contribution of the U.N.’s Independent Experts on Human Rights (Foreign Policy at Brookings Report, October 2010), and Shifting the Balance: Obama and the Americas (eds. Lowenthal, Piccone and Whitehead, Brookings Institution Press 2010).  

From 2001-2008, Mr. Piccone was the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Democracy Coalition Project, a research and advocacy organization working to promote international cooperation for democracy and human rights.  Mr. Piccone also served as the Washington Office Director of the Club of Madrid, an association of over 70 former presidents and prime ministers, and continues to act as an Advisor.  Previously, Mr. Piccone served eight years in the Clinton Administration as Associate Director of the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff, Director for Inter-American Affairs at the National Security Council, and Policy Advisor in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.  He also served as Counsel for the United Nations Truth Commission for El Salvador and as Press Secretary to U.S. Rep. Bob Edgar.   

An honors graduate of Columbia Law School and the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Piccone has spoken and written and published articles on U.S.-Latin American relations, democracy and human rights promotion policy, and multilateral diplomacy for a wide range of media outlets, academic and policy journals and major publishers.

Diane Orentlicher

Professor of Law
American University Washington College of Law
Office of War Crimes
The US Department of State

Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

Diane F. Orentlicher is professor of international law and co-director of the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at Washington College of Law. From 1995 to 2004, she served as faculty director of the law school’s War Crimes Research Office, which has provided legal assistance to international criminal tribunals since 1995. Described by the Washington Diplomat as “one of the world’s leading authorities on . . . war crimes tribunals,” Orentlicher has lectured and written extensively on the scope of states’ obligations to address mass atrocities and on the law and policy issues relating to international criminal tribunals and universal jurisdiction. She has served as an Independent Expert and consultant to the United Nations in various capacities relating to the UN’s efforts to combat impunity. In September 2004 Orentlicher was appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General as Independent Expert to update the UN’s Set of Principles for the protection and promotion of human rights through action to combat impunity.  

Professor Orentlicher is a frequent commentator on television and in the print media on issues relating to war crimes trials and other issues of transitional justice. She has appeared on various news programs on NBC, ABC, BBC, CNN, NPR, PBS, MSNBC and other broadcast stations, and has published opinion pieces and been quoted in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the International Herald Tribune and other papers.

Suzanne Nossel

Deputy Assistant Secretary
Bureau of International Organization Affairs
United States Department of State

Suzanne Nossel joined the Bureau of International Organization Affairs as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State on August 31, 2009. Prior to assuming this position, Ms. Nossel was Chief Operating Officer for Human Rights Watch. From 1999 to 2001, she served as Senior Adviser to Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke at the US Mission to the United Nations, and during that period was the lead U.S. representative in the UN’s General Assembly in negotiations to settle U.S. arrears.

After leaving government service, Ms. Nossel served as Vice President of US Business Development at Bertelsmann Media Worldwide. She subsequently joined the Wall Street Journal as Vice President of Strategy and Operations. 

Ms. Nossel has written extensively on foreign policy topics, and has significant international affairs experience, including working on South Africa’s National Peace Accord and monitoring elections and human rights conditions in Bosnia and Kosovo. She is the author of a 2004 Foreign Affairs article entitled “Smart Power.”