Zachary D. Kaufman, J.D., Ph.D., is an academic specializing in law, political science, and public policy. He is a graduate of Yale University, the University of Oxford (where he was a Marshall Scholar), and Yale Law School.


Dr. Kaufman is a Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a Lecturer in Law and Fellow at Stanford Law School.


Previously, Dr. Kaufman taught in Yale University‘s Department of Political Science and George Washington University‘s Elliott School of International Affairs. He also has held academic appointments at Yale Law School, Harvard Law School, Stanford University, and New York University.

Dr. Kaufman has served in all three branches of the U.S. government. He was a U.S. Supreme Court Fellow, a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and a clerk for the Honorable Juan Torruella on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. In addition, he served at the U.S. Departments of State and Justice. He also has served at three international criminal tribunals: the International Criminal Court (where he was the first American to serve) as well as the United Nations International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and for the Former Yugoslavia. In the private sector, Dr. Kaufman has practiced law at O’Melveny & Myers LLP and worked at Google.

From 2013 to 2018, Dr. Kaufman was a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.


Dr. Kaufman is the author or editor of 3 books and the author of numerous articles and book chapters. His books are:

Dr. Kaufman’s research and commentary have also been published by or are forthcoming in:

  • journals such as the Southern California Law Review (flagship journal of the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law), Yale Law & Policy ReviewYale Journal of International LawYale Human Rights & Development Law JournalHarvard International Law JournalEmory International Law Review, Journal of International Criminal Justice, Inter-American Law ReviewSt. Antony’s International Review (University of Oxford journal of international relations), Criminal Law Forum (official journal of the Society for the Reform of Criminal Law), Bloomberg BNA Securities Regulation & Law Report, and Corporate Counsel;
  • newspapers and magazines such as the New York TimesNew York Times MagazineWashington PostBoston GlobeForbesForeign Policy, and Diplomatic Courier;
  • as chapters or other sections of books such as Cambridge University Press’s 3-volume Encyclopedia of Transitional Justice; Routledge’s annual Africa South of the Sahara series; Confronting Genocide in Rwanda: Dehumanization, Denial, and Strategies for Prevention; The Criminal Law of Genocide: International, Comparative and Contextual Aspects; and Rwanda and South Africa in Dialogue: Addressing the Legacies of Genocide and a Crime Against Humanity;
  • and other outlets, such as Just Security and blogs of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, Oxford University Press, and Justice in Conflict.


Dr. Kaufman is a frequent speaker on issues he researches and works on. To date, he has delivered over 250 lectures in the United States, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Rwanda, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere. He has served as a guest commentator on the BBCNational Public RadioVoice of America, Rwandan and Turkish Television, and the “Global Dispatches” podcast, as well as a guest lecturer at universities in:

Moreover, Dr. Kaufman has lectured to audiences from various components of the United States government, including from Congress; the intelligence community; the judiciary; the Departments of State, Justice, and Defense; and the Agency for International Development.

Dr. Kaufman has also spoken at conferences hosted by the American Political Science AssociationAmerican Society of International LawInternational Studies AssociationLaw and Society AssociationPolicy History AssociationInternational Nuremberg Principles Academy, and International Network of Genocide Scholars.

In addition, Dr. Kaufman has spoken at public forums such as the American Bar Association, Aspen InstituteCouncil on Foreign RelationsSmithsonianRayburn House Office Building and Capitol Visitor Center of the United States Congress, U.S. Navy MemorialEmbassy of the United KingdomEmbassy of the Republic of RwandaCenter for Strategic & International Studies, and International Student House, all in Washington, DC; Institute for International Mediation and Conflict Resolution in The Hague, The Netherlands; International Youth Assembly of the YMCA-YWCA in Sweden; International Center on Transitional JusticeOffice of the Mayor of New York CityNew York City Bar Association92nd Street YMetro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) Towers, and EastWest Institute, all in New York City; Rotary International (including its Clubs in Cambridge and Oxford, United Kingdom, and Kigali, Rwanda, and at its International Convention in Barcelona, Spain); Kigali Public Library (also known as Rwanda Library Services), Hotel Novotel Kigali Umubano, Residence of the United States Ambassador, and Youth in Diplomacy, all in Kigali, Rwanda; and Yale Clubs of New York City, Washington, DC, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


Dr. Kaufman received his D.Phil. (Ph.D.) and M.Phil. degrees, both in International Relations, from the University of Oxford, where he was a Marshall Scholar and served on the Executive Committee of the Magdalen College Trust, his residential college’s grant-making charity. While researching and publishing his graduate work, Dr. Kaufman was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University (in the Kennedy School of Government Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs International Security Program) and he was a predoctoral fellow at Stanford University (in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law (CDDRL)).

Dr. Kaufman received his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Law & Policy Review, Managing Editor of the Yale Human Rights & Development Law Journal, Articles Editor of the Yale Journal of International Law, co-founder and co-president of Yale Law Social Entrepreneurs, member of the Non-Profit Organizations Clinic, and Graduate Affiliate and Graduate Fellowship Affiliate of Saybrook College, Yale University.

Dr. Kaufman received his Bachelor’s (B.A.) degree in Political Science from Yale University, where he was the student body president, a freshperson residential counselor, co-captain of the Yale wrestling team, and an All-American and Runner-up National Champion in the National Collegiate Wrestling Association.