Tom Farer, dean of the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver from 1996 to 2010, is the former president of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States (OAS), the first American ever to head a principal organ of the OAS. He has also served as president of the University of New Mexico. Currently he is honorary professor of Peking University and director of the Center for China-United States Cooperation. Within the United States government, he has served as special assistant first to the General Counsel of the Department of Defense and then to the assistant secretary of state for Inter-American Affairs. He has taught law at Columbia University, American University, Rutgers, Tulane and Harvard and international relations at Cambridge University, Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School and the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies. And he has been a senior fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations (of which he is currently a member), the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and a Fellow of the Smithsonian’s Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Farer has published 12 books and monographs and over 100 articles and book chapters primarily concerning issues of international and comparative law, foreign policy, human rights and international institutions. His most recent book, Confronting Global Terrorism and American Neo-Conservatism: The Framework of a Liberal Grand Strategy, was published by Oxford University Press in March 2008. His articles have appeared in such journals as Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the New York and London Review of Books, International Organization, World Politics and the Harvard and Columbia Law Reviews. Shorter pieces have appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The International Herald Tribune and The Washington Post. He has lectured widely at universities and research centers in the United States, Europe, Latin America, Africa, Japan and China.
Dean Farer has studied processes of economic and political development outside Europe and North American and has also been a participant. He has taught criminal law and procedure and unarmed self-defense to an African police force and assisted in Uganda’s constitutional revision process in 1994-95. He has also studied the operations of international organizations and in 1993 served as legal consultant to the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM). In that capacity, he investigated
the attacks on UN forces and submitted a report to the UN Security Council. In 1980, he participated in the successful resolution of the hostage crisis arising from the occupation of the Dominican Embassy in Bogota, Colombia by members of the M-19 guerilla organization.
At present, he serves on the Advisory Board of Human Rights Watch/Americas and the editorial boards of Human Rights Quarterly and the American Journal of International Law, and on the editorial advisory boards of the Chinese Journal of International Law and The International Spectator. He is married and has two children and claims to play tennis with more passion than skill, to play golf with barely controllable passion, and to ski with excessive prudence. He is a member of The Cosmos Club of Washington, D.C.
Dean Farer is a magna cum laude graduate of Princeton and the Harvard Law School where he served as Note Editor of the Law Review. In his final year at Harvard he was appointed clerk for Judge Learned Hand.