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James P. Finkel

Leonard and Sophie Davis Genocide Prevention Fellow

September 1, 2013–August 31, 2014 Jim Finkel ended his 35-year federal career in May 2013 as a member of the senior civil service. Throughout his career he held positions that provided him an insider’s view of the evolution of US policy toward the prevention of genocide and mass atrocities. He was a participant in President Obama’s Presidential Study Document Number Ten (PSD-10) effort and was a frequent attendee during the first year of meetings of the President’s Atrocity Prevention Board.

Mr. Finkel holds a master’s degree in international affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a BA from Rutgers College, Rutgers University.

Fellowship Project

Mr. Finkel’s report, Atrocity Prevention at the Crossroads: Assessing the President’s Atrocity Prevention Board after Two Years (PDF), describes the evolution of genocide prevention as a focus of US government policy-making since the 1990s and assesses the performance of the Atrocity Prevention Board and the significant challenges it has faced since its creation in 2012. His report also examines the progress made in fulfilling the recommendations of the Genocide Prevention Task Force and provides concrete proposals for improving the government’s ability to prevent and respond to mass atrocities.