Stephen Rapp is a Distinguished Fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Center for Prevention of Genocide and at The Hague Institute for Global Justice. From 2009 to 2015, he served as US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice. In that position he coordinated US 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 at 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.
Rapp was the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa from 1993 to 2001, where his office won historic convictions under the firearms provision of the Violence Against Women Act and the serious violent offender provision of the 1994 Crime Act. Prior to his tenure as US Attorney, he worked as an attorney in private practice and 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 BA degree from Harvard in 1971and his JD degree from Drake in 1974.