Executive Office

Scott Carlson

Sr. Director for Programs & Strategic Initiatives

Scott Carlson, Sr. Director for Programs & Strategic Initiatives

Scott Carlson, Sr. Director for Programs & Strategic Initiatives

Scott’s legal career spans over 30 years and includes over 20 years in the international development and rule of law fields.  He has worked in both field-based and HQ settings, and currently works as the Founder and Principal for Democracy, Governance, and Rule of Law at New-Rule LLC, a business dedicated to obtaining results in the rule of law, human rights, and democracy and governance fields.  There he is a manager, designer, and evaluator of complex international legal assistance programs and has worked closely with donors such as USAID, UN, African Union, US Department of State, and The Hague Institute for Global Justice in almost two dozen countries. 

Over the course of his career, Scott has worked both as a donor and an implementer.  On the donor side, he has served as Senior Rule of Law Advisor for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) and Senior Rule of Law Advisor at the Rule of Law Center for Innovation at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP).  As an implementer, he has worked with various companies and organizations, including the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), ABA/CEELI, and Chemonics International. 

During his time as Senior Rule of Law Advisor for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) at the Department of State, Scott served as the Technical Director for the Interagency Rule of Law (IROL) Office embedded at Camp Phoenix, Afghanistan, which was tasked with managing interagency and multilateral fusion cells requiring daily coordination and planning with the United Nations (UN), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), European Union (EU), Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435 (CJIATF-435), World Bank, USAID, and the UK Department of International Development (DfID). As the Senior Rule of Law Advisor at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), Scott designed, managed, and provided assistance on international rule of law issues.  He drafted the UN-USIP criminal justice reform handbook; served on the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (UNDPKO) lessons-learned study in Kosovo; and contributed to and reviewed two USIP publications, Measuring Progress in Conflict Environments and the Guiding Principles for Stabilization and Reconstruction. For Chemonics, Scott served as a Director in the Europe and Eurasia division and led the Democracy and Governance Practice Group where he designed, managed, and provided expert assistance on international development programming and evaluation. This included the identification and cultivation of drivers of change to implement locally-owned, multi-sector legal reform projects designed to foster sustainable institutions, including the Millennium Challenge Corporation anti-corruption program in Albania and a court video system in Kazakhstan.

Prior to these engagements, Scott conducted a study of rule of law programming in non-executive peacekeeping operations while working as a Legal Advisor at the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (UNDPKO), producing A Primer for Legal and Judicial Rule of Law Work in Complex Multi-dimensional Peacekeeping Operations, which remains in current use. On the domestic side, he was a U.S. Supreme Court Fellow and served as an Assistant General Counsel for the United States Sentencing Commission.  In these domestic positions, Scott participated in the finalization of sentencing guidelines on corporate criminal conduct (addressing mitigation based on corporate compliance and ethics programs), performed a legal analysis of the potential impact of proposed U.S. legislation on judicial independence, and conducted other original research and writing.

At CEELI, Scott first served in the field as a Rule of Law Liaison in 1994-95 and later joined the Washington headquarters, where he served as the Director for Central and Eastern Europe and Judicial Reform from 1999-2003.  He designed and managed multiple international legal reform programs and supervised over 80 employees in offices across Eastern Europe.  He also contributed expert testimony in the Milosevic trial based on statistical analysis of conflict deaths and helped establish the CEELI Institute.

Scott holds a B.A. degree in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, a J.D. from the University of Georgia, and a Master of Laws in International and Comparative Law from Georgetown University.