Professor Todd Buchwald
U.S. Candidate for the Committee Against Torture, 2022-2025
Note: This election was concluded on October 11, 2021.
Professor Buchwald is a distinguished scholar, lecturer, and professor of international law who currently teaches at George Washington University Law School in Washington, DC. He previously served as the U.S. Ambassador at Large for Global Criminal Justice with a focus on accountability for atrocities. This followed an acclaimed legal career with over 30 years in government and private practice, including as Director of the State Department’s legal office for United Nations Affairs and as an Attorney in the Office of White House Counsel. In view of his extensive professional experience and international law expertise, including in the area of accountability for perpetrators of atrocities, the United States considers him a highly qualified candidate who would make valuable contributions to the Committee.
Why the CAT is Important to the U.S. Government
The United States attaches great importance to the work of the Committee Against Torture (CAT Committee) in monitoring and advising States Parties on their implementation of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Supporting Todd Buchwald, like other endorsements of qualified U.S. candidates for independent expert bodies, signals a strong U.S. commitment to human rights and multilateral re-engagement. The nomination of a highly-qualified, independent expert like Professor Buchwald reflects the U.S. commitment to the rule of law and the importance placed by the United States on international law in addressing the multitude of challenges facing the world today.
Professor Buchwald’s CAT Priorities
If elected to the CAT Committee for the 2022-2025 term, Professor Buchwald intends to prioritize:
- strengthening the fundamental norms underlying the prohibition against torture;
- promoting accountability for perpetrators of torture;
- protecting from reprisal victims and witnesses who come forward with information, and,
- institutional reform to streamline the Committee’s work.
Professor Buchwald’s Practical Experience
Professor Todd Buchwald currently teaches international law at George Washington University in Washington, DC. He previously served as the U.S. Ambassador at Large for Global Criminal Justice at the U.S. Department of State. Prior to assuming this position, he served in a variety of capacities in the State Department’s Office of the Legal Adviser, including as the Assistant Legal Adviser for United Nations Affairs, and as the Assistant Legal Adviser for Political-Military Affairs.
- Professorial Lecturer in Law, George Washington University Law School (2015-present)
- Visiting Lecturer, Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies, Indiana University (2021)
- Visiting Professor, University of Oklahoma College of Law (2019)
Government Service and Experience
- Ambassador at Large for Global Criminal Justice, U.S. Department of State (2015-2017)
- Office of the Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State (1991-2015), including as Assistant Legal Adviser for United Nations Affairs
Other Relevant Professional Experience
- Co-Chair, American Society of International Law Task Force on Policy Options for Effective United States Engagement with the International Criminal Court (October 2019–May 2021)
- Senior Peace Fellow, Public International Law Interest Group (2019-Present)
- Inaugural Tom A. Bernstein Genocide Prevention Fellow at the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum (2018-2019)
- United Nations General Assembly, representative of the United States to the Sixth (Legal) Committee (2005-2015)