Departure of Stephen Rapp

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
August 7, 2015


When Stephen Rapp took on the job of Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues at the beginning of the Obama Administration, he knew he was taking on a tough file: working to promote accountability for the worst crimes known to humankind, in some of the most heart-rending situations of conflict and inhumanity around the world. 

In his nearly six years of service, Stephen has engaged in tireless outreach and energetic diplomacy -- working with foreign governments, civil society, national and international courts, victims and survivors, and our partners within the U.S. government and in Congress -- that has delivered progress on seemingly intractable challenges and helped lay the groundwork for a more just and peaceful future. 

Whether it was concluding a successful, years-long effort to locate long-time fugitives like Ratko Mladic and Bosco Ntaganda and see them brought to justice, or working to ensure that atrocity crimes in more recent conflicts like Syria are documented for a day when justice can prevail, Stephen brought the tenacity of a former prosecutor and the persistence of a diplomat to his work. 

We wish Stephen well in his future endeavors, and we will miss his commitment, hard work, and optimism.