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Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, a Jordanian career diplomat and leader in international criminal justice, serves as the seventh United Nations high commissioner for human rights. He led in the creation of the International Criminal Court and in the framing of the world’s legal definition of “crimes against humanity.” On Feb. 16, the U.S. Institute of Peace will host Amb. Zeid as he receives the annual Trainor Award from Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. Amb. Zeid will speak on “The Impossible Diplomacy of Human Rights.”

Press conference of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Photo Courtesy of U.N. Geneva/Violaine Martin

USIP and the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy will host Amb. Zeid for the annual Raymond ‘Jit’ Trainor Award and Lecture. The Trainor award has been given annually since 1978 “for distinction in the conduct of diplomacy.” Previous recipients have included U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Association. The award is named for Raymond “Jit” Trainor, who over decades as an administrator at Georgetown’s Walsh School of Foreign Service helped oversee the education of countless U.S. and foreign diplomats.

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, a member of Jordan’s royal family, was appointed high commissioner for human rights in 2014,  the first Muslim, Arab and Asian to fill that role. The Trainor Award will honor him for his years of work to advance the international rule of law in defense of the world's most vulnerable people, and to hold accountable those who violate that law.  A veteran diplomat, he has worked extensively on international criminal justice, U.N. peacekeeping, post-conflict peace-building, international development and nuclear security. He played a central role in the establishment of the International Criminal Court. As advisor to the U.N. secretary-general he developed a strategy for the elimination of sexual exploitation and abuse in U.N. peace-keeping operations. He served as Jordan's permanent representative to the United Nations and as Jordan's ambassador to the United States.

Following his address, Amb. Zeid will join former Deputy Secretary of State William Burns for a conversation about his work, and will respond to questions from the audience. 

Nancy Lindborg
President, U.S. Institute of Peace

Ambassador (ret.) Barbara K. Bodine 
Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy and Director of the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy

Frank J. Hogan
Chair, Trainor Lecture Fund Endowment

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Dr. Chester Crocker, Moderator
Professor, Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service

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