WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to serve in key roles:

  • Beth Van Schaack, Nominee for Ambassador at Large for Global Criminal Justice at the Department of State
  • Michèle Taylor, Nominee for United States Representative to the UN Human Rights Council with the rank of Ambassador during her tenure of service
  • Martha Williams, Nominee for Director of Fish and Wildlife Services at the Department of Interior

Beth Van Schaack, Nominee for Ambassador at Large for Global Criminal Justice, Department of State
Beth Van Schaack is the Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor in Human Rights at Stanford Law School where she teaches in the areas of international human rights, international criminal law, and human trafficking, among other subjects, and has been the Acting Director of the Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic. She is also a Faculty Fellow with Stanford’s Center for Human Rights and International Justice.  Prior to returning to academia, she served as Deputy to the Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues in the Office of Global Criminal Justice at the Department of State. In that capacity, she helped to advise the Secretary of State and the Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights on the formulation of U.S. policy regarding the prevention of and accountability for mass atrocities, such as war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. She has also spent time in private practice with Morrison & Foerster LLP and with the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. Van Schaack is a graduate of Stanford University (B.A.); Yale Law School (J.D.); and University of Leiden School of Law (PhD). Her dissertation, entitled Imagining Justice for Syria, has been published by Oxford University Press.

Michèle Taylor, Nominee for the rank of Ambassador during her tenure of service as United States Representative to the UN Human Rights Council
Michèle Taylor has served in a number of roles advocating for protection of fundamental human and political rights. She is a Board Member of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and served as its “Power to Inspire” Chair and Development Chair. Taylor, whose mother was a Holocaust survivor, has served as a member of the Committee on State Sponsored Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial, a member of the Committee on Conscience and a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Council. In addition, she has served for almost two decades in various roles for the North Carolina Outward Bound School where she has served on the Board and also as an Instructor and Course Director.  Taylor earned her B.A. from Mills College and an M.A. from Boston University.

Martha Williams, Nominee for Director of Fish and Wildlife Services at the Department of Interior
Williams is currently serving as the Principal Deputy Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Preceding her appointment, Williams served as the Director of the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks from 2017 to 2020. There, she delivered leadership that embraced the diversity of Montana’s natural resources and outdoor recreational values that also incorporated public expectations and values into the agency’s direction. Previously, Williams was an Assistant Professor of Law at the Blewett School of Law at the University of Montana and co-directed the university’s Land Use and Natural Resources Clinic. William’s appointment to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is a return to the Department of the Interior, where she served earlier in her career as Deputy Solicitor Parks and Wildlife, providing counsel to the National Park Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service.

Growing up on a farm in Maryland, Martha Williams gained an appreciation for open lands, waters, wildlife, and community. This passion led her to the wild places of the West and a career spent fostering a love of the outdoors and stewarding the protection of natural resources. Williams earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Montana School of Law. Williams is a hunter, angler, birdwatcher and overall outdoor enthusiast.

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