UND Center For Human Rights And Genocide Studies To Host Federal Prosecutor And Human Rights Activist Melissa Schraibman

Melissa Schraibman
Melissa Schraibman










Distinguished Department of Justice attorney to address his work on human rights in Albania

The University of North Dakota Center for Human Rights & Genocide Studies (CHRGS) will host Spring Visiting Fellow Melissa Schraibman starting next week.

Schraibman is a federal prosecutor and international LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) rights activist who will participate in a series of human rights-related events on the UND campus March 10-14.

The theme for Schraibman’s visit is “Human Rights in Albania: Global and Local”; the events will focus on the birth of the LGBT rights movement in Albania, where Schraibman, who advised the Albanian government on behalf of the United States Department of Justice, played a pivotal role; she will also deal with issues related to human trafficking and corruption in Albania.

Professor Gregory S. Gordon, director of CHRGS and associate professor at the UND School of Law, said that CHRGS is privileged to host Schraibman as its Spring Visiting Fellow.

“We are thrilled to host such a passionate advocate of human rights abroad and at home,” Gordon said. “Melissa Schraibman shows that individuals can make a difference, helping the oppressed in a profound way, and changing history. I am sure her story will both inspire and educate our campus and community.”

About the UND Center for Human Rights and Genocide Studies Spring Visiting Fellow 2014
Melissa Schraibman has worked as a U.S. Department of Justice prosecutor since 1994, prosecuting tax and white collar crimes. She is assistant chief of the Criminal Tax Western Regional Enforcement Section. In 2003, she received the Department’s John Marshall Award for Outstanding Legal Achievement for Trial of Litigation for prosecuting the operators of a secret domestic warehouse bank in Oregon that enabled hundreds of U.S. taxpayers to hide millions of dollars from the Internal Revenue Service.

In 2006, Schraibman was selected to be the resident legal advisor at the U.S. Embassy in Tirana, Albania, where she served until 2010. In Albania, she led a criminal justice development initiative focusing on combating corruption, money laundering, and human trafficking. An LGBT activist and current vice-president of DOJ Pride, in 2008 Ms. Schraibman became involved in supporting a small group of young Albanian activists to create a vibrant grassroots movement for LGBT equality that has resulted in remarkable change.

In 2010, for her work on behalf of the Albanian LGBT movement, she received from Hillary Clinton the prestigious Secretary of State Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad for “showcasing what volunteer efforts abroad can achieve on behalf of transformative diplomacy.”

Schedule of Events
Melissa Schraibman’s keynote address, “Building an LGBT Rights Movement in Albania,” is at 7 p.m., March 11, in the Baker Courtroom of the UND School of Law.

The other two events will be part of panels on corruption and human trafficking.

Taking part in the panels will be Christyne Vachon, a former attorney for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and current assistant professor at the UND School of Law; Brian Urlacher, associate professor at the UND Department of Political Science and Public Administration; Professor Gregory Gordon, director of CHRGS and former prosecutor with the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the Department of Justice; and, Stacy Strum, associate executive director of the God’s Child Project in Bismarck, N.D.

Monday, March 10, 2–3 p.m. ? UND School of Law Baker Courtroom
Panel: Corruption as a Violation of Human Rights (late lunch provided).
Tuesday, March 11, 7 p.m. ? UND School of Law Baker Courtroom
Keynote: Building an LGBT Rights Movement in Albania.
Wednesday, March 12, noon–1 p.m. ? UND School of Law Baker Courtroom
Panel: Ending the Human Trafficking Epidemic (lunch provided).

About the Center for Human Rights and Genocide Studies
Founded in 2007, the mission of CHRGS is to increase understanding of the history and issues relating to genocide and other violations of human rights with the intent of preventing such atrocities in the future and advancing human rights on all levels. As part of this mission, CHRGS has brought visiting scholars to the UND campus from around the world, including China, Lithuania, India, and New Zealand. It has sponsored human rights-related art and photo exhibitions, theater pieces, and symposia. It has created and sponsored curricular offerings on the UND campus and engaged in human rights archival work, including digitization of UND’s Nuremberg trial transcript collection and creation of an archive preserving documents from the Red Terror trials in Ethiopia.

Parking Information
Guests without University parking permits for this or any other on-campus event may use the “pay-as-you-go” option in the Parking Ramp (corner of Second Avenue North and Columbia Road), the UND Visitor pay Lot (off Centennial Drive) or a Parking Meter. There are also several 30-minute free parking spots on the north side of the Memorial Union. Parking in any other parking lot on-campus requires a parking pass, which can be purchased directly through UND Parking Services, (8 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday), in 204 Twamley Hall.


Gregory S. Gordon, director
Center for Human Rights & Genocide Studies
Associate Professor, School of Law
University of North Dakota