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Law Professor Awarded Berlin Prize Fellowship

David J. Scheffer to examine American policy-making during the Yugoslav wars

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June 13, 2013 | by Hilary Hurd Anyaso

CHICAGO --- David J. Scheffer, Mayer Brown/Robert A. Helman Professor of Law
 and director of the Center for International Human Rights at Northwestern University School of Law, has been named a Fall 2013 Berlin Prize Fellow by the American Academy in Berlin.

As a member of the Academy’s 16th class of fellows — which is comprised during fall 2013 and spring 2014 of 26 outstanding scholars, writers, journalists, artists, policy experts and one composer — Scheffer will have the time and resources to pursue independent study and engage with German scholars and with Berlin’s vibrant academic, cultural and political life. 

Scheffer will use his fellowship to develop an in-depth examination of American policy-making during the Yugoslav wars, with particular focus on the years 1993 through 1996. During the first term of the Clinton Administration, he served on the Deputies Committee of the National Security Council and as senior counsel to Madeleine Albright, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. He will draw upon those experiences to write a comprehensive narrative about how policy was formulated and executed by the United States as war and atrocities swept over Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia, and how initiatives at the United Nations and within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization confronted realpolitik in national capitals and among the major players on the ground.

His excellent scholarship and advocacy help has aided greatly in the development of meaningful international justice mechanisms. This fellowship will allow him to expand that important work.

Scheffer is the author of “All the Missing Souls: A Personal History of the War Crimes Tribunals,” which chronicles his work in the Clinton Administration, including during its second term when he served as the first U.S. ambassador at large for war crimes issues and was instrumental in creating war crimes tribunals for atrocity crimes in the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Cambodia. He led the U.S. delegation in negotiations creating the International Criminal Court. In addition to his writing and teaching, he also serves as the UN Secretary-General’s special expert on United Nations assistance to the Khmer Rouge trials.

The American Academy in Berlin was established in 1994 by Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke and other distinguished Germans and Americans to foster greater understanding and dialogue between the people of the United States and the people of Germany. A private, nonprofit, non-partisan center for advanced research in a range of academic and cultural fields, the Academy awards fellowships to about two dozen emerging or established scholars, writers, and professionals each year, and brings leading Americans to Berlin for briefer visits for a robust exchange of views between the people of Germany and the United States.

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