Elise Keppler

Executive Director Global Justice Center

Region(s): Global
Country of focus: Global
Based in New York

Elise Keppler (@EliseKeppler) is executive director of the Global Justice Center, an organization that uses international law to fight for gender equality.  She is an international justice expert and advocate with two decades of experience seeking justice for survivors of serious crimes committed in violation of international law — including sexual and gender-based violence — before domestic, hybrid, and international courts.

The @GlobalJusticeC hosts a micro website providing resources to activists and individuals advocating for a treaty that obligates states to prevent and punish crimes against humanity.

Prior to joining @GlobalJusticeC Elise worked in Human Rights Watch’s International Justice Program between 2003 and 2024. She focused on strengthening prospects for justice in cases of atrocity crimes committed in Central African Republic, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda. She worked with activists across Africa to counter backlash against the International Criminal Court. She helped lead campaigns for Darfur’s referral to the ICC and for the surrender of former Liberian president Charles Taylor to face justice. Elise also worked half-time in Human Rights Watch’s General Counsel’s Office from 2020 onward, assessing and mitigating risk to support the organization in carrying out its mandate effectively. She is regularly quoted by international and African media.

Prior to joining Human Rights Watch, Elise worked as a litigation associate at Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP. Elise holds a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University and a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. From January to April 2012, Elise was a visiting scholar with the Democratic Governance and Rights Unit at the University of Cape Town’s Faculty of Law.