Rosa Brooks teaches courses on international law, national security, constitutional law and criminal justice. She joined the Law Center faculty in 2007, after serving as an associate professor at the University of Virginia School of Law. From 2016-2018, Brooks served at the Law Center’s Associate Dean for Graduate Programs. Brooks is also an Adjunct Senior Scholar at West Point’s Modern War Institute and a Senior Fellow at New America.  

Brooks has combined teaching and scholarship with stints in government service and a successful career in journalism. From 2009-2011, Brooks served as Counselor to Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michele Flournoy and founded the Defense Department’s Office for Rule of Law and International Humanitarian Policy. In July 2011, she received the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service. From 1999-2000, she served as a senior advisor at the US Department of State.

Brooks previously wrote weekly opinion columns for Foreign Policy and the Los Angeles Times, and her articles and essays have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and dozens of other national and international publications. Her most recent book, How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything, was a New York Times Notable Book of 2016; it was shortlisted for the Lionel Gelber Prize and named one of the five best books of the year by the Council on Foreign Relations. Brooks is also the author of Can Might Make Rights? The Rule of Law After Military Interventions (with Jane Stromseth and David Wippman), published in 2006, and A Garden of Paper Flowers (Picador, 1994). 

In 2006-2007, Brooks was Special Counsel to the President at the Open Society Institute in New York. Brooks has also served as a consultant for Human Rights Watch, a fellow at the Carr Center at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, a board member of Amnesty International USA, a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a lecturer at Yale Law School, a member of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Fragile States. She currently serves on the advisory board of the Open Society Foundation’s US Programs, the advisory board of National Security Action and the board of the Harper’s Magazine Foundation.

Brooks received her A.B. from Harvard in history and literature, followed by a master’s degree from Oxford in social anthropology and a law degree from Yale.


Forthcoming Works - Books

Rosa Brooks, Tangled Up in Blue: Policing in 21st Century America (Penguin Press forthcoming).

Contributions to Law Reviews and Other Scholarly Journals

Rosa Brooks, Foreword: The Boundaries of War, 32 Temp. Int'l & Comp. L.J. 1-5 (2018).
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Rosa Brooks, Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk: The Role of U.S. Allies in Keeping the U.S. Honest, 48 Geo. J. Int'l L. 923-929 (2017).
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Rosa Brooks, Kori Schake & Jake Sullivan, Panel, The U.S. Role in Preserving Global Security, 109 Am. Soc'y Int'l L. Proc. 341-352 (2016).

U.S. Supreme Court Briefs

Brief of Former U.S. Counterterrorism and National Security Officials as Amici Curiae in Support of Petitioners, Jesner v. Arab Bank, PLC, No. 16-499 (U.S. June 27, 2017).