Scott Carlson is Senior Director for Programs and Strategic Initiatives at the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative

Scott Carlson has more than 25 years of experience designing, managing, and evaluating human rights assistance, rule of law, and anti-corruption programs around the globe for various organizations.  While at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Albania, Mr. Carlson designed and managed an inclusive, participatory constitution drafting process with a Venice Commission vetted set of human rights standards, resulting in the first, and only, permanent post-communist constitution and a UN recognized example of a good governance practice.  At the American Bar Association’s (ABA), he managed a $15-$20M average annual portfolio of programs worldwide and between 80-100 home office and field staff. Later, at the U.S. Department of State, Mr. Carlson served as a Senior Rule of Law Advisor covering a range of issues, including serving as the Technical Director of the Department of State/Afghanistan Interagency Rule of Law Bureau that included representatives from NATO, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), for which he received a Meritorious Honor Award.

He has advised governments and analyzed the justice sector on all major continents. His expertise has led to formal education of judges and lawyers on international human rights, utilization of these international standards in multiple national courts, and adoption of new technology to encourage and safeguard human rights litigants, e.g., a national court video system in Kazakhstan. Furthermore, Mr. Carlson’s international legal expertise has been tested in international fora: serving as Deputy Legal Advisor for Human Rights, Independent International Commission on Kosovo; litigating successfully at the European Court of Human Rights; and representing the U.S. Government at the UN Access to Justice Working Group, which led to the adoption of A/RES/67/187, United Nations Principles and Guidelines on Access to Legal Aid in Criminal Justice Systems.