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Photograph of Paul Williams

Paul Williams Professor School of International Service

(202) 885-3486 (Office)
WCL - Washington College of Law
Yuma - 351
Ph.D., University of Cambridge; J.D., Stanford University School of Law; B.A., University of California at Davis

Favorite Spot on Campus
SIS’s secret, never fully completed rooftop terrace.
Rebecca Grazier Professor of Law and International Relations
Director, JD/MA joint degree program.  Joint appointment with the Washington College of Law

Dr. Paul Williams is co-founder of the Public International Law & Policy Group, and formerly served as an attorney/advisor for the U.S. Department of State. Dr. Williams has advised nearly two dozen states and governments on peace negotiations and drafting post-conflict constitutions.

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See Also
Personal Website
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.


Fall 2021

  • SIS-710 Colloquium in Int'l Relations: Advanced International Law

Spring 2022

  • SIS-710 Colloquium in Int'l Relations: Advanced International Law

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Media Appearances

NBC News, Aug 2021, What to know about COVID, masks, kids and schools in DC area


American Heart Association, Jan 2021, Pandemic pods offer social relief, but there are risks


Washington Post, Oct 2020, Pandemic pods could help you through the winter


The Medium, Oct 2020, What we can learn from the most successful Covid-19 bubbles


The Philadelphia Inquirer, Sept 2020, How to Create a Pandemic Pod for Safe Social Interaction


CNN Health, Aug 2020, Re-opening Colleges and Universities


CNN Health, Aug 2020, Re-opening Schools


NBC News, Aug 2020, Shining a light on utraviolets lights


DCist, July 2020, VA and MD report highest new COVID cases in weeks


CNN Health, July 2020, Healthcare


DCist, July 2020, What Do Recent Spikes In New COVID-19 Cases In The D.C. Region Mean?


Popular Science, July 2020, Flatten the curve first, then join a quaranteam


CNN Health, June 2020, Travel


ABC News, June 2020, How to form a Covid-19 bubble

Media Appearances

Professor Williams has been interviewed over 500 times on matters of international law and policy by major print and broadcast media, including: The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, Time, Associated Press, Fox News, ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, MSNBC, BBC, CNN, Voice of America, National Public Radio, and BBC The World.


  • Chemical Red Lines on Syria, Foreign Policy, (December 05, 2012), with J. Trevor Ulbrick & Jonathan Worboys
  • Preventing Atrocity Crimes in Syria: The Responsibility to Protect, Atlantic Council, (September 10, 2012), with J. Trevor Ulbrick & Jonathan Worboys
  • Deals with the Devil: Thorny Diplomacy in Sudan, The National Interest, (July 1, 2011), with Ambassador Morton Abramowitz.
  • Iraq's Political Compact, Boston Globe, (August 13, 2005).Peace Before Prosecution? Washington Post, (August 25, 2003), with Ambassador Morton Abramowitz.
  • The Case Against Amnesty for Hussein, Chicago Tribune, (February 14, 2003).
  • Prosecute Terrorists on a World Stage, Los Angeles Times, (November 18, 2001), with Michael Scharf.
  • Rebuild Afghanistan - or Terrorists Will Find Fertile Ground for Growth, The Washington Times, (October 24, 2001), with Bruce Hitchner.The West Must Act to Avoid a Bosnia Redux, The Wall Street Journal Europe, (March 27, 1998), with Norman Cigar.
  • Une Lourde Violation du Droit International, Le Monde, (June 29, 1995).
  • Why the Bosnian Arms Embargo Is Illegal, The Wall Street Journal Europe, (June 15, 1995).             

Executive Experience

  • Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Senior Associate   
  • U.S. Department of State, Office of the Legal Adviser, Attorney-Adviser

Professional Services

  • Advising the Libyan Transitional National Council on matters of international recognition, compliance with the laws of war and constitutional development.   
  • Advised the government of Nepal on drafting a new constitution.   
  • Advised the Government of Kenya on the preparation of legislation relating the implementation of the new constitution on matters relating to land, devolution and justice.   
  • Advised civil society and rebel movements on the Darfur peace process, including serving as a member of the Darfuri delegation to the Doha peace talks.   
  • Advised the President and Vice President of Southern Sudan on the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Accord, preparations for a referendum on independence in 2011, and state succession.   
  • Served as Co-Counsel to the Government of Southern Sudan on the Abyei Arbitration before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.   
  • Advised the President and Prime Minister of Kosovo on the Vienna Final Status Talks.   
  • Advised the President and Prime Minister of Montenegro on questions of international recognition and state succession.  
  • Served as a legal advisor and member of the Kosovo delegation during the Rambouillet Peace Conference.   
  • Served as one of the Department of State’s primary counsel on legal matters relating to the dissolution of the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia and accompanying matters of state succession.           

Congressional Testimony

  • Winning the Peace in Kosovo: Time to Formulate a Strategy, Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Sub-Committee on European Affairs (June 2000).   
  • Holding War Criminals Accountable, Senate/House Joint Committee on Security and Cooperation in Europe (September 1999).