Stanford Law’s Beth Van Schaack Appointed as U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice

After eight years as the Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor in Human Rights at Stanford Law School (SLS), Beth Van Schaack, ’91, will be leaving the law school to become the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice and lead the office of that name in the U.S. State Department. Prior to coming to Stanford, she served as Deputy to the Ambassador in the same office. 

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“I have learned so much from the amazing students and my colleagues here at Stanford Law, and I will truly miss being back on this campus,” said Van Schaack. “As I decamp to Washington at a time when accounts of the systemic commission of war crimes pervade our daily headlines, I am clear eyed about the critical nature of this work and the challenges ahead of me.”

“Beth is one of the world’s foremost experts on international criminal law, a gifted scholar and devoted teacher and mentor of students,” said Jenny Martinez, the Richard E. Lang Professor of Law and dean of Stanford Law School.Stanford has benefited tremendously from her presence. As daily headlines of war crimes in Ukraine demonstrate, the world needs her expertise now more than ever and we wish her well in her new role at the State Department spearheading U.S. foreign policy on global criminal justice.”

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Dean Jenny Martinez and Beth Van Schaack, traveled to the Netherlands in 2014 as part of an International Criminal Justice course offered by SLS.

During her time at SLS, Van Schaack taught several courses on international human rights, international criminal law and its enforcement, and human trafficking. She also directed the international human rights and conflict resolution clinic and a policy lab on international justice. She has traveled with SLS students to the Netherlands, spending a week visiting The Hague as part of an International Criminal Justice course, and to Thailand to study the anti-human trafficking ecosystem there. 

Van Schaack notes she is thankful to Stanford Law, “for welcoming me into your intellectual community,” and says that she, “will treasure memories of this time even as I embark upon the job I was put on this planet to do.”

About Stanford Law School

Stanford Law School is one of the nation’s leading institutions for legal scholarship and education. Its alumni are among the most influential decision makers in law, politics, business, and high technology. Faculty members argue before the Supreme Court, testify before Congress, produce outstanding legal scholarship and empirical analysis, and contribute regularly to the nation’s press as legal and policy experts. Stanford Law School has established a model for legal education that provides rigorous interdisciplinary training, hands-on experience, global perspective and focus on public service, spearheading a movement for change.