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Melanne Civic

Melanne A. Civic is the Special Advisor to the Center for Complex Operations (CCO) at the National Defense University (NDU).  She is seconded to NDU from the Secretary of State’s Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization, where she served as the Senior Rule of Law Advisor since early 2006.  She is an attorney with legal and policy focus in international rule of law, governance human rights, environment, energy, and the nexus of these sectors with national security in fragile states. Ms. Civic has worked on stabilization and peacebuilding efforts in Algeria, Haiti, Iraq, Kosovo, and Lebanon, among others.  At the CCO she advises on issues related to civilian-military collaboration and coordination in peacebuilding, and stability operations, analyzes Lessons Learned and Best Practices, addresses international and multilateral issues; and is Developmental Editor for the PRISM Journal of Complex Operations.  She has served in the U.S. Government for approximately a dozen years, including with the U.S. Department of State, USAID and the National Defense University of the Department of Defense.  In the legislative branch, Ms. Civic was a Fellow to the late Senator Kennedy on the Judiciary Committee, and to the Chair of the House Science Committee.   

Beyond U.S. government service, Ms. Civic has worked for the World Bank Office of General Counsel, and various United Nations Agencies and Offices, including the UN Centre for Human Rights, the Commission for Sustainable Development, and the World Health Organization.  She also has experience with international NGOs, including the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights, and Amnesty International.  

Ms. Civic is the author of numerous law review and other scholarly articles, was an editor of the American Bar Association Year in Review Journal, and is co-editor of two upcoming books: Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration; and Civilian-Military Stability Operations Field Teams. She is a leader in professional societies, including serving as founder and Co-Chair of the American Society of International Law’s Transitional Justice and Rule of Law Interest Group; the Steering Committee for the American Bar Association’s Women in International Law Committee; and Women in International Security.  

Ms. Civic has an LL.M. in International and Comparative Law from the Georgetown University School of Law, was an Urban Morgan Fellow in International Human Rights Law where she earned her Juris Doctorate (JD) with Distinction, studied at the Rene Cassin Institute for Human Rights in Strasbourg, France; and graduated from Vassar College Cum Laude.

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