Skip to content Skip to navigation

Beth Van Schaack

Beth Van Schaack headshot

Beth Van Schaack

Faculty Fellow
Handa Affiliation(s): 

Professor Van Schaack is the Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor in Human Rights at Stanford Law School where she teaches in the areas of international human rights, international criminal law, and atrocities prevention. She is also a faculty fellow with the Handa Center for Human Rights and International Justice. Van Schaack’s current scholarship is primarily concerned with thinking rigorously and creatively about how the international community can better design and implement bespoke responses to communities at acute risk of mass violence, full-blown crises like Syria, and situations emerging from episodes of bloodshed.

Outside academia, Van Schaack has served as Deputy to the Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues in the Office of Global Criminal Justice of the U.S. Department of State. She continues to serve as a Special Government Expert on the State Department’s Advisory Committee on International Law. At Stanford, she has also been a Visiting Scholar with the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS), and the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) of the Freeman Spogli Institute. Prior to her State Department appointment, Van Schaack was professor of law at Santa Clara University School of Law, where she taught and wrote in the areas of human rights, transitional justice, international criminal law, public international law, international humanitarian law, and civil procedure.

Van Schaack has also been in private practice, in the areas of commercial law, intellectual property, international law, and human rights. Prior to entering private practice, Van Schaack was Acting Executive Director and Staff Attorney with The Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA) in San Francisco, and a law clerk with the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. She continues to advise a number of human rights and international justice organizations.

Van Schaack is a graduate of Stanford University and Yale University Law School.