Former Ambassador for Global Criminal Justice to Deliver NWU Lecture on Public Leadership
Stephen J. Rapp, Distinguished Fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Center for Prevention of Genocide, will deliver Nebraska Wesleyan University’s annual Curtis Lecture on Public Leadership on Wednesday, March 29.
His lecture, titled, "The Shared Beliefs That Keep Us Safe and Free," begins at 7 p.m. in Olin B Lecture Hall, located inside the Olin Hall of Science, one block east of 50th Street and St. Paul Ave.
From 2009 to 2015, Rapp served as U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice. In that position he coordinated U.S. government support to international criminal tribunals, including the International Criminal Court, as well as to hybrid and national courts responsible for prosecuting persons charged with genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. During his tenure, he traveled more than 1.5 million miles to 87 countries to engage with victims, civil society organizations, investigators and prosecutors, and the leaders of governments and international bodies to further efforts to bring the perpetrators of mass atrocities to justice. He gained particular attention for his work to lay the foundation for accountability for crimes in Syria, most prominently by arranging for the United Nations Commission of Inquiry and other prosecutorial authorities to gain access to a cache of 55,000 photos that documented torture by the Assad regime.
He served as Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone from 2007 to 2009 where he led the prosecution of former Liberian President Charles Taylor. His office achieved the first convictions in history for sexual slavery and forced marriage as crimes against humanity, and for attacks on peacekeepers and recruitment and use of child soldiers as violations of international humanitarian law. From 2001 to 2007, he served as Senior Trial Attorney and Chief of Prosecutions at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, where he led the trial team that achieved the first convictions in history of leaders of the mass media for the crime of direct and public incitement to commit genocide.
The Curtis Lecture on Public Leadership is free and open to the public. Mildred Curtis established the Senator Carl T. Curtis and Mildred M. Curtis Lecture on Public Leadership in 2005 to honor her late husband and senator, and to explore aspects of public and civic leadership.
The Curtis Lecture features public service leaders such as federal and state officeholders, diplomats and leaders in areas of political science, history, human relations and communication.