September 12, 2006

HARRISONBURG—The Nelson Institute for International and Public Affairs at James Madison University is pleased to announce that David M. Crane, Distinguished Visiting Professor of Law at Syracuse University College of Law and former Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, will deliver the second lecture in the 2006-2007 Guardian Lecture Series on Monday, September 25, 2006, at 7:00 p.m. in Grafton Stovall Theatre.

Crane will speak on “Dancing with the Devil: Seeking Justice in West Africa. The lecture is co-sponsored by the JMU Center for Multicultural Student Services (CMSS) and qualifies as a Wellness Passport event for JMU students.

From 2002-2005, Crane served as the Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, with the rank of United Nations Undersecretary-General. The first American to serve in such an international capacity since the war crimes trials after the Second World War, Crane’s mandate was to prosecute those who bear the greatest responsibility for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other violations of international human rights committed during the civil war in Sierra Leone during the 1990s.

Prior to his appointment as Chief Prosecutor, Crane served for more than thirty years in the federal government of the United States, mainly with the Department of Defense, holding numerous key positions including Director of the Office of Intelligence Review, Assistant General Counsel of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and Waldemar A. Solf Professor of International Law at the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s School in Charlottesville, Virginia. Crane holds a Doctorate of Law degree from Syracuse University, a Masters of Arts Degree in African Studies and a Bachelor of General Studies in History, summa cum laude, from Ohio University. Various awards include the Intelligence Community Gold Seal Medallion awarded by the Director of Central Intelligence, the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Medal, and the Legion of Merit.

According to Dr. J. Peter Pham, Director of the Nelson Institute, who is author of two books on West African conflicts, “We are very delighted to be able to host David Crane, who is really a hero for those who seek, amid the conflicts not only in Africa but across the world, to end impunity and bring those responsible for the grossest inhumanities to justice. Crane’s indictment of then-President Charles Taylor of Liberia, who will go on trial later this year, was really the turning point in the wars that had savaged that part of the world.”

During his visit, in addition to the public lecture, Crane will participate in a faculty roundtable organized by the Nelson Institute.

Named after James Madison’s famous observation to his friend George Thompson that “the advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty” (Letter, June 30, 1825), the Guardian Lecture Series will bring scholars and practitioners distinguished in the Nelson Institute’s four principal areas of interest—terrorism and national security, Africa, religion and global politics, and international ethics and justice—to James Madison University. During their visits to the Harrisonburg, Virginia, campus, the lecturers not only present a public lecture, but also have an opportunity to encounter JMU faculty and studies both in the classroom and in more informal “off the record” discussions.