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Federica D’Alessandra

Deputy Director, Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict (ELAC) & Executive Director, Oxford Program on International Peace and Security (IPS)

Federica D’Alessandra is the founding Executive Director of the Oxford Programme on International Peace and Security at the Blavatnik School of Government’s Institute for Ethics, Law, and Armed Conflict (ELAC). She is also an Academic Affiliate of the Oxford Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, a member of the Steering Committee of the Oxford Network of Peace Studies, and an Adviser to the Harvard Sustainable Peace Initiative, and to the Ferencz International Justice Initiative at the Simon Skjodt Center for Genocide Prevention. Prior to joining Oxford, Federica held various appointments at Harvard University, including at the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government, and at the Harvard Law School, where she focused on mass atrocity response and prevention, transitional justice, national security, and human rights. Her research interests include international law, normative and political theory, US and Italian foreign policy, transatlantic relations, European defense, international organizations, global governance, leadership, ethics, and public policy.

Federica often serves as Counsel and Adviser to governments and international organisations on matters of international law and policy including the law on the use of force, the laws of armed conflict, international human rights, the protection of civilians, and the prevention and deterrence of atrocities, including by means of international criminal justice. Federica is Co-Chair of the International Bar Association (IBA) War Crimes Committee and of the International Bar Association Human Rights Law Committee, a member of the Councils of the IBA Human Rights Institute and the IBA Section on Public and Professional Interest; she is also a member of the American Bar Association, and of the American Society of International Law. She regularly consults with defence, intelligence, and foreign policy agencies, and has served on a number of expert panels, most recently on the harmonisation of atrocity prevention mechanisms, and on the cross-sectorial standardisation of best practices to bring terrorists and the perpetrators of atrocity crimes to justice. She is the host of the International Bar Association interview series “Protecting Human Rights in the 21st Century”.

Federica has been recognised by Forbes magazine one of “30 Under 30” leaders with “the likelihood of changing the field of law and policy over the next half-century”, and among the “Most Influential European Thinkers” (Forbes Italy). In 2018, she was named as one of 18 “Italians of the year” by the Italian Journalistic Agency (AGI). In 2015, she was the recipient of the William Reece Jr Award by LexisNexis and the International Bar Association in recognition of her work to improve the civil society’s capacity to document atrocities and engage with international accountability mechanisms.

Federica is a graduate of Milan’s Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Utrecht Universiteit, and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She also studied at the Université Paris Sorbonne, and hold degrees in Law, Criminology, and Political Science. She is the recipient of a number of academic grants and scholarship, including the “Huygens Fellowship”, awarded by Nuffic and the Dutch Ministry of Education to the top 5% researchers in the Netherlands (2011-2012).