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Professor of Law, American University

Robert K. Goldman is Professor of Law and Louis C. James Scholar at American University Washington College of Law. He is also Faculty Director of the War Crimes Research Office and Co-Director of WCL’s Center For Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. A member of WCL’s faculty since 1971, Professor Goldman was the law school’s Acting Dean from 1979-1980. He was instrumental in founding and was the first Faculty Director of WCL’s International Legal Studies Program. He practiced international trade law at Arnold & Porter from 1974-1976.

Professor Goldman teaches, practices and writes in the areas of International Law, Human Rights Law, Terrorism, and International Humanitarian Law. In 1993, he chaired the Commission of International Jurists on the Administration of Justice in Peru, jointly tasked by the US and Peruvian governments to evaluate Peru’s anti-terrorist legislation. He helped from 1994-1996 develop the normative framework for internally displaced persons and was a principal author of The Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement. He was a member of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights from 1995 to 2004 and was that body’s president in 1999-2000. From July 2004 to August 2005, Professor Goldman was the former UN Human Rights Commission’s Independent Expert on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism. In 2008, he was elected a Commissioner and member of the Executive Committee of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) and since 2014 was its Vice President. In July 2018, Professor Goldman was elected President of ICJ. Prior to his election to the Inter-American Commission, he was a member of the Policy Committee of Human Rights Watch and the Advisory Boards of Americas Watch, Helsinki Watch and Middle East Watch. Professor Goldman is currently a member of the Diplomatic Reception Room's Fine Arts Committee of the State Department.


  • –present
    Professor of Law, American University