Mark S. Ellis

Executive Director, International Bar Association

As Executive Director of the International Bar Association (IBA) Mark Ellis leads the foremost international organization of bar associations, law firms and individual lawyers in the world. The IBA is comprised of 203 national bar associations, major international law firms and 40,000 individual members from around the world.

Prior to joining the IBA, he spent ten years as the first Executive Director of the Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative (CEELI), a project of the American Bar Association (ABA). Providing technical legal assistance to twenty-eight countries in Central Europe and the former Soviet Union, and to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, CEELI remains one of the most extensive international pro bono legal assistance project ever undertaken by the US legal community.

He served as Legal Advisor to the Independent International Commission on Kosovo, chaired by Justice Richard J. Goldstone and was appointed by OSCE to advise on the creation of Serbia’s War Crimes Tribunal. He was actively involved with the Iraqi High Tribunal and is a member of the Disciplinary Advisory Panel to the Defense Counsel for the ICTY and ICTR. He also acted as legal advisor to the defense team of Nuon Chea at the Cambodian War Crimes Tribunal (ECCC). In 2013, Dr Ellis was admitted to the List of Assistants to Counsel of the International Criminal Court.

Dr. Ellis was a long-time consultant to The World Bank on investment policies in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, and was an Adjunct Professor at The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law. He is presently an Adjunct Professor at The Florida State University College of Law.

Twice a Fulbright Scholar at the Economic Institute in Zagreb, Croatia, he earned his J.D. and B.S. (Economics) degrees from Florida State University and his PhD in Law from King’s College, London. He is the recipient of two research grants to the European Union and the Institut d’Etudes Europeenes in Brussels, Belgium focusing on the law and institutions of the European Union.

A frequent speaker and media commentator on international legal issues, he appears regularly on CNN International, Al Jazeera, and BBC. He has published extensively in the areas of international humanitarian law, war crimes tribunals, and the development of the rule of law and his op-eds have appeared in The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Sunday Times (South Africa) and The London Times. His latest publication – Sovereignty and Justice: Creating Domestic War Crimes Courts within the Principle of Complementarity – will be published in 2014.

Dr. Ellis is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and serves on a number of boards, including the DLA Piper ‘New Perimeter’ pro bono project, and the Leiden University ICC Moot Court Competition. He serves on the editorial boards for the Journal of National Security Law and Policy and The Hague Journal on the Rule of Law.

He is the co-recipient of the American Bar Association’s World Order Under Law Award, the recipient of Florida State University’s Distinguished Graduate Award and the University’s College of Social Sciences & Public Policy Distinguished Alumni Award. In 2012, he was awarded the Degree of Doctors of Laws (LL.D), honoris causa, from The College of Law of England and Wales.