TITLE: The Geneva Conventions at 60: Taking Stock
SPEAKER: Patrick Finnegan, W. Hays Parks, Susan Rice, Thomas Rooney, Suzy DeFrancis, Roberta Shaffer, Lucy Brown
EVENT DATE: 2009/12/03
RUNNING TIME: 82 minutes
The Law Library of Congress, the American Red Cross and the Friends of the Law Library of Congress present a program to mark the 60th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions of 1949. The discussion begins with a brief history of the origins of these ground-breaking treaties and the role played by the Red Cross. A panel examines the Conventions' roots as the foundation of the international humanitarian law and the challenges the treaties face today.
Speaker Biography: On July 1, 2005, Brigadier General Patrick Finnegan was confirmed by the United States Senate as the 12th dean of the academic board of the United States Military Academy at West Point. He was first appointed to the Academy in 1967. Finnegan has also been admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. He has published articles in the Virginia Law Review, Military Law Review, The Army Lawyer and Military Review, and is the recipient of many prestigious awards.
Speaker Biography: W. Hays Parks is Senior Associate Deputy General Counsel, International Affairs, Office of General Counsel, Department of Defense. He served as an infantry officer and senior prosecuting attorney for the First Marine Division in Vietnam (1968-1969). He was the Special Assistant to The Judge Advocate General of the Army for Law of War Matters from 1979 to 2003 and had primary responsibility for the investigation of Iraqi war crimes during its 1990-1991 occupation of Kuwait. He chairs the Department of Defense Law of War Working Group, and is the general editor of the forthcoming Department of Defense Law of War Manual. A retired colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve, Parks has received numerous awards for his outstanding service to his country.
Speaker Biography: Susan Rice is United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations. She is a member of President Obama's Cabinet. She was confirmed to this position by the United States Senate on Jan. 22, 2009. From 2002 to 2009, Rice was a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution where she focused on U.S. foreign policy, transnational security threats, weak states, global poverty and development. From 1997- 2001, she was the U.S. assistant secretary of state for African affairs.
Speaker Biography: Thomas Rooney is a member of the United States House of Representatives (R-Florida 16). He currently serves on the House Armed Services Committe and Judiciary Committee. He spent more than four years in the United States Army JAG Corps. Most notably he served as special assistant U.S. attorney at Fort Hood, TX, prosecuting civilian crimes on post. In 2002, he was selected to teach constitutional and criminal law at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and later served as assistant attorney general under Florida Governor Charlie Crist.
Speaker Biography: Suzy DeFrancis is the Chief Public Affairs Officer for the American Red Cross. In this role, she oversees all communications, government affairs and public outreach for the charity. Prior to joining the Red Cross, DeFrancis served as assistant secretary for public affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and at the White House as deputy assistant to the president for communications. She has also held senior positions with the public relations firm of Porter Novelli and the Republican National Committee.
Speaker Biography: Roberta Shaffer is the Law Librarian of Congress. Prior to assuming this role she was the Executive Director of FLICC/FEDLINK. Before that she was the Director of External Relations and Program Development at the College of Information Studies, University of Maryland. After serving as the executive director of the Special Libraries Association, Shaffer founded an information management firm called TheKnowLedgeGroup. Previously she was the Dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Texas at Austin, and the Director of Research Information Services at the Washington based law firm, Covington & Burling. She has also worked at the George Washington University Law School and at the Law Library of Congress. She received a bachelor's degree from Vassar College, her law degree from Tulane and her master's in librarianship from Emory.
Speaker Biography: Lucy Brown is Senior Advisor for International Humanitarian Law and Policy for the American Red Cross. A lawyer with more than 15 years of experience in the Red Cross, Brown provides direction and advice on issues relating to international relations and IHL application and policy, such as civil-military relations in current conflicts. She has also served as a judge for the international Jean-Pictet IHL competition.