Beth Van Schaack

Beth Van Schaack was sworn in as the State Department’s sixth ambassador-at-large for global criminal justice (GCJ) on March 17, 2022. In this role, she advises the secretary of state and other department leadership on issues related to the prevention of and response to atrocity crimes, including war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.

Van Schaack served as deputy to the ambassador-at-large in GCJ from 2012 to 2013. Prior to returning to public service in 2022, Van Schaack was the Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor in Human Rights at Stanford Law School, where she taught international criminal law, human rights, human trafficking, and a policy lab on legal and policy tools for preventing atrocities. In addition, she directed Stanford’s International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic. Van Schaack began her academic career at Santa Clara University School of Law, where, in addition to teaching and writing on international human rights issues, she served as the academic adviser to the U.S. interagency delegation to the International Criminal Court Review Conference in Kampala, Uganda. Earlier in her career, she was a practicing lawyer at Morrison & Foerster; the Center for Justice and Accountability, a human rights law firm; and the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague.

Van Schaack has published numerous articles and papers on international human rights and justice issues, including her 2020 thesis, “Imagining Justice for Syria” (Oxford University Press). From 2014 to 2022, she served as executive editor for Just Security, an online forum for the analysis of national security, foreign policy, and rights. She holds a B.A. from Stanford University, a J.D. from Yale University, and a Ph.D. from Leiden University.