Elise Keppler is associate international justice director and associate general counsel at Human Rights Watch. She brings two decades of experience working to advance justice for serious crimes committed in violation of international law before domestic, hybrid and international courts.
In the International Justice Program, she focuses on situations in Africa and strengthening prospects for credible accountability at the domestic level, including in Central African Republic, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda.
She has worked with activists across Africa to counter backlash against the International Criminal Court. She helped lead campaigns for Darfur’s referral to the ICC and for the surrender of former Liberian president Charles Taylor to face justice. She is regularly quoted by international and African media.
In the General Counsel’s Office, where she has worked half-time since November 2020, she concentrates on assessing and mitigating risk to support the organization carrying out its mandate effectively.
From January to April 2012, she was a visiting scholar with the Democratic Governance and Rights Unit at the University of Cape Town’s Faculty of Law. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University and a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. Prior to joining the International Justice Program in 2004 she worked as a litigation associate at Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP.