U.S. President barrack Obama last Tuesday nominated Special Court for Sierra Leone Prosecutor Stephen Rapp for the position of Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues, Department of State.
Rapp was nominated along with seven other individuals who are the latest of the new Obama administrations intention to put in key administrative positions.
President Obama is quoted to have said, “I am confident that these skilled and dedicated individuals will diligently work to serve the American people, keeping our country safe at home and abroad and firmly placing us back on a path to prosperity. I look forward to working with them in the future.”
Stephen Rapp has served as Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone since January 2007, leading the prosecutions of former Liberian President Charles Taylor and other persons alleged to bear the greatest responsibility for the atrocities committed during the civil war in Sierra Leone.
From 2001 to 2007, Rapp served as Senior Trial Attorney and Chief of Prosecutions at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, personally heading the trial team that achieved convictions of the principals of RTLM radio and Kangura newspaper – the first in history for leaders of the mass media for the crime of Incitement to Commit Genocide. Previously, he was United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa from 1993 to 2001. Prior to his tenure as U.S. Attorney, he had worked as an attorney in private practice and had served as Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency and as an elected member of the Iowa Legislature. He received his JD degree from Drake University and his BA from Harvard College.
The other nominees are Michael H. Posner, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Department of State Alexander G. Garza, Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs and Chief Medical Officer, Department of Homeland Security. Susan L. Kurland, Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs, Department of Transportation, Joe Garcia, Director of the Office of Minority Economic Impact, Department of Energy, Kenneth A. Spearman, Member of the Board of Directors, Farm Credit Administration, Rolena Adorno, Member of the National Council on the Humanities, Marvin Krislov, Member of the National Council on the Humanities