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Stephen Rapp

Stephen Rapp

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Stephen J. Rapp is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

A lawyer, according to Black's Law Dictionary, is "a person learned in the law; as an attorney, counsel or solicitor; a person who is practicing law." Law is the system of rules of conduct established by the sovereign government of a society to correct wrongs, maintain the stability of political...

 and is currently United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues
United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues
The United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues is the head of the Office of War Crimes Issues in the United States Department of State. The ambassador-at-large advises the United States Secretary of State directly and formulates U.S. policy responses to atrocities committed in areas...



Rapp has been a lawyer in private practice, a Democratic
Iowa Democratic Party
The Iowa Democratic Party is the local branch of the Democratic Party in the state of Iowa.-Current elected officials:Iowa Democrats are in control of the Iowa Senate, one of the state's United States Senate seats, and three out of the state's five United States House of Representatives seats. ...

 member of the Iowa House of Representatives
Iowa House of Representatives
The Iowa House of Representatives is the lower house of the Iowa General Assembly. There are 100 members of the House of Representatives, representing 100 single-member districts across the state with populations of approximately 29,750 for each constituency...

, and a Staff Director and Counsel for the U.S. Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 Judiciary Committee. Rapp ran for the U.S. House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 in Iowa's 3rd congressional district
Iowa's 3rd congressional district
Iowa's 3rd congressional district is a congressional district in the U.S. state of Iowa that currently covers an area from Des Moines to the western outskirts of the Cedar Falls-Waterloo Metropolitan Area to the western outskirts of the Cedar Rapids area and to Lucas and Monroe counties .The...

 twice, losing to Charles Grassley. From 1993 to 2001, Rapp was the U.S. Attorney
United States Attorney
United States Attorneys represent the United States federal government in United States district court and United States court of appeals. There are 93 U.S. Attorneys stationed throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands...

 for the Northern District of Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

. In 2001, he joined the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda is an international court established in November 1994 by the United Nations Security Council in Resolution 955 in order to judge people responsible for the Rwandan Genocide and other serious violations of international law in Rwanda, or by Rwandan...

, where he led the prosecution in the "Media Trial" against the leaders of the RTLM
Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines
Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines was a Rwandan radio station which broadcast from July 8, 1993 to July 31, 1994. It played a significant role during the April–July 1994 Rwandan Genocide....

 radio station and Kangura
Kangura was a Kinyarwanda- and French-language magazine in Rwanda that served to stoke ethnic hatred in the run-up to the Rwandan Genocide. It was established in 1990, following the invasion of the rebel Rwandan Patriotic Front , and continued publishing up to the genocide...

 newspaper for inciting the Rwandan Genocide
Rwandan Genocide
The Rwandan Genocide was the 1994 mass murder of an estimated 800,000 people in the small East African nation of Rwanda. Over the course of approximately 100 days through mid-July, over 500,000 people were killed, according to a Human Rights Watch estimate...

 of 1994. He became the Chief of Prosecutions of the ICTR in 2005, and continued to assist Chief Prosecutor Hassan Jallow
Hassan Bubacar Jallow
Hassan Bubacar Jallow is a Gambian lawyer, politician, and jurist and has been the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda since 2003....

 in prosecuting those involved in the 1994 genocide. In 2007, Rapp succeeded Desmond de Silva to become the third Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone
Special Court for Sierra Leone
The Special Court for Sierra Leone is an independent judicial body set up to "try those who bear greatest responsibility" for the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Sierra Leone after 30 November 1996 during the Sierra Leone Civil War...

, where he directed the prosecution of former Liberian President Charles Taylor
Charles Taylor
Charles McArthur Ghankay Taylor was the 22nd President of Liberia, serving from 2 August 1997 until his resignation on 11 August 2003....

 and others alleged to have violated international criminal law
International criminal law
International criminal law is a body of international law designed to prohibit certain categories of conduct commonly viewed as serious atrocities and to make perpetrators of such conduct criminally accountable for their perpetration. Principally, it deals with genocide, war crimes, crimes against...

 during the Sierra Leone Civil War
Sierra Leone Civil War
The Sierra Leone Civil War began on 23 March 1991 when the Revolutionary United Front , with support from the special forces of Charles Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia , intervened in Sierra Leone in an attempt to overthrow the Joseph Momoh government...


Rapp was appointed Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues by President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on September 8, 2009. Rapp leads the State Department's Office of War Crimes Issues, which helps formulate U.S policy responding to atrocities in areas of conflict around the globe.

Rapp is currently tasked with investigating alleged war crimes perpetrated by Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

 and the LTTE in the recently ended civil war which killed over 50,000 Tamil civilians.


Rapp received his A.B. degree with honors from Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

 in government and international relations. He attended Columbia Law School
Columbia Law School
Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, is one of the oldest and most prestigious law schools in the United States. A member of the Ivy League, Columbia Law School is one of the professional graduate schools of Columbia University in New York City. It offers the J.D., LL.M., and J.S.D. degrees in...

 and received his J.D. degree with honors from Drake University
Drake University
Drake University is a private, co-educational university located in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. The institution offers a number of undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as professional programs in law and pharmacy. Today, Drake is one of the twenty-five oldest law schools in the country....


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