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Mark V. Vlasic


Senior Fellow, Institute for Law, Science & Global Security, Georgetown; Senior Fellow, Institute of International Economic Law, Georgetown; Co-Executive Producer, Propagate Content; Principal, Madison Law & Strategy Group PLLC, Adjunct Professor of Law

B.S., J.D., Georgetown; NAF-Fulbright Scholar, Leiden University; Certificate in Private and Public International Law, The Hague Academy of International Law

Mark V. Vlasic has served as a soldier, a lawyer, a prosecutor, a professor, a producer, and a diplomat, and has worked for the White...

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Mark V. Vlasic has served as a soldier, a lawyer, a prosecutor, a professor, a producer, and a diplomat, and has worked for the White House, the Pentagon, the World Bank, the United Nations, and a large international law firm.  He is currently a senior fellow and adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University and a principal at Madison Law & Strategy Group PLLC, where he heads the firm’s international practice, and provides legal and strategic advice to clients on international affairs, international trade, cross-border transactions and general public policy matters.  Focused on issues related to international law, private/corporate diplomacy, public-private partnerships, human rights, social responsibility/impact, strategic philanthropy, stakeholder/community engagement and asset recovery-related matters, Professor Vlasic helps clients identify key stakeholders from the political, regulatory and NGO sectors, and works with clients to develop and execute strategies to achieve sustainable results.  Professor Vlasic also serves as an outside pro bono advisor to the European Centre for Dispute Resolution, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, and to the Director-General of UNESCO, and is a co-executive producer for Propagate Content, where he works on social impact television.

Sharing his time between California and Washington, DC, Professor Vlasic's private practice background includes: working with international organizations, sovereign governments, foundations, family offices, multinational corporations and NGOs regarding complex international law, trade, human rights, public policy and strategy matters, including World Bank/IFC/United Nations collaboration/procurement/sustainability/clean energy/land development issues, electronic/green currencies, stolen antiquities, state succession/boundary issues, sovereign property matters, human rights/prison abuse investigations, combating politically motivated prosecutions and INTERPOL "red notice" arrest warrant abuse issues, international land development/architectural projects (including an “tech city” in Kenya, an “innovation hub” in Botswana and a “sustainable city” in South Africa), and social responsibility/strategic philanthropy issues; providing advice regarding private diplomacy and international corporate diplomacy/international business development, defense/security matters, public-private partnerships, international banking/project finance, and international arbitration/litigation issues (including at the European Court of Human Rights); participating in asset recovery, cartel, foreign corruption, and securities fraud investigations/matters around the world (including the Charles Taylor/Liberia and Muammar Gaddafi/Libya asset recovery cases); and, advising clients on the application and enforcement of U.S. economic sanctions and embargos, export controls, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, including regarding projects in, and engagement with, Cuba.  Professor Vlasic has also worked on rule of law/transitional justice/anti-corruption/constitutional law matters in Bosnia, Brazil, Georgia, Iraq, Montenegro, Libya, Rwanda and Serbia, and advised companies subject to investigations and enforcement actions by the U.S. Departments of State, Commerce, Justice, and Treasury, as well as the Securities and Exchange Commission. Prior to his return to academia and private practice, Professor Vlasic was a public sector specialist at the World Bank Group, where he served as the first head of operations of the Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR) Initiative, launched by President Robert Zoellick and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to help developing countries recover stolen assets from past dictators and grand corruption cases.  A member of StAR’s management team, Professor Vlasic was responsible for country engagements on four continents, furthered bilateral relations with major financial centers, foreign governments and civil society organizations, and worked on the Sani Abacha/Nigeria, Jean-Claude Duvalier/Haiti cases, among others.

Before joining the Bank, Professor Vlasic was competitively selected and appointed by the President to serve as a White House Fellow. He served as a special assistant to the Secretary of Defense (focused on foreign policy issues and bilateral relations) and advisor to the President's Special Envoy to Sudan. In recognition of his contributions to the Department, including being a "valuable member of Secretary of Defense's official delegations to Europe, Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East, and to NATO Defense Ministerial meetings," Professor Vlasic was awarded the Office of the Secretary of Defense Medal for Exceptional Public Service by Secretary Robert M. Gates, the highest non-career public service award in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Prior to his government service, Professor Vlasic practiced law in the litigation, public policy, banking, and international trade practice groups at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, and served as a prosecution attorney at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, where he was a member of the Slobodan Milosevic and General Radislav Krstic (Srebrenica) trial and investigative teams, and focused on mass executions and genocide in Bosnia.  As a U.S. Army officer, he has been attached to units on Capitol Hill and at the Defense Attaché Office at the U.S. Embassy in The Hague, and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal.  Professor Vlasic has also served in the Executive Office of the President, Office of the United States Trade Representative, where he worked on WTO Ministerial issues. An adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center and senior fellow at Georgetown’s Institute for Law, Science & Global Security, and the Institute of International Economic Law, Professor Vlasic is a faculty member with the Georgetown Environment Initiative and Georgetown’s Center on National Security & the Law. He has served on the UN Special Rapporteur for Culture’s Expert Group, and has lectured at numerous institutions on both sides of the Atlantic, including British Parliament, Oxford University, Harvard Law School, Yale Law School, the NATO School, the U.S. Military Academy, The Hague Academy of International Law, the Baltic Defense College, the Danish Center for Human Rights, and the University of Michigan, where he delivered a Commencement Address.  Professor Vlasic served on the U.S. Delegation to the Pan Am 103 “Lockerbie” (Libyan) terrorist bombing trial in the Netherlands, and in 2005, he was part of a select team of international experts that helped train the Iraqi judges that tried Saddam Hussein. He is a collaborator with the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate Global Counter-Terrorism Research Network, and has briefed the U.S. Congress on numerous issues, including the bipartisan Congressional Task Force on Anti-Terrorism & Proliferation Financing.

Mark has provided legal commentary to BBC, BBC World, CNN, CNN International, CBS, FOX News, NPR, CTV, CBC News, Bloomberg News, Al Jazeera English, bloggingheads.tv, the World Economic Forum, Voice of America, the History News Network, the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, the Wall Street Journal, TIME, the Washington PostThe Times of London, the Christian Science Monitor, the GuardianCorreio BrazilienseEl PaísDe Groene Amsterdammer, and USA Today, and been published by The New York Times, The Washington Post, the International Herald TribuneThe Atlantic, the Washington TimesForeign Policy, The New RepublicThe Agenda by the World Economic Forum, the University of Oxford’s Journal of International Criminal Justice, the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, the Northwestern Journal of International Human Rights, the Georgetown Journal of International Law, the Durham Law Review, the American University International Law Review, the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, the Yale Journal of International Affairs, the Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, The Tax Lawyer, the Miami HeraldUSA Today, The World Post/Huffington Post, the Guardian, the Toronto Star, the San Francisco Chronicle,The Nation,The National Post, CNN.com, the Cayman Financial ReviewLegal TimesIndia TimesArab NewsAmericas Quarterly, the Ventura County StarAl Jazeera Online, and the Sudan Tribune.  He has also contributed to six books: The Responsibility to Protect: the promise of stopping mass atrocities in our time (Oxford), Prosecuting Maritime Piracy (Cambridge), International Conflicts & Mediation (DGP/CNPq/UNFA), The Business Case for Sustainable Finance (Routledge), Responsibility to Protect in Theory and Practice (GV Zalozba), and The Encyclopedia of Transnational Crime and Justice (Sage).

In 2010, the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Secretary of Commerce appointed Professor Vlasic to serve on their Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Services & Finance Industries, as was he selected to serve as a designated representative to the Secretary of State’s Overseas Security Advisory Council. Invited to serve on the board of directors, advisory boards and advisory groups of numerous institutions and non-profits, his current and past board work includes service with: the NCAC Fulbright Association, Humanity in Action, Inc., the White House Fellows Foundation, Atlas Service Corps, the Fulbright Academy of Science & Technology, Young Professionals in Foreign Policy, the Public International Law & Policy Group,the American Slovenian Education Foundation, Ladies America, the Center on Sanctions & Illicit Finance, the Syria Justice & Accountability Centre, the Global Teacher Prize, the Franklin D. Roosevelt International Disability Rights Award (awarded by the UN Secretary-General) and AnchorFree Inc.

In 2013, the World Economic Forum in Davos honored Professor Vlasic as a Young Global Leader. He now co-chairs its YGL SDG Advisory Council. He is also a Fellow in the UN Alliance of Civilizations, the British American Project, the U.S.-Japan Leadership Program, the U.S.-Spain Council’s and the American Swiss Foundation’s Young Leaders Programs, and the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations’ and the Council for the United States & Italy’s Young Leaders Forums, and serves as a member of the Asset Recovery Experts Network, the Pacific Council on International Policy, the International Institute of Humanitarian Law in San Remo, Italy, and the Atlantik-Brucke’s German-American Young Leaders Program.  He is listed in Who's Who in the World and Who's Who in International Humanitarian Law/International Criminal Law, was profiled as an "International Lawyer" in Esquire and as an “International Crusader” in Washington Life, and was honored by the BMW Foundation as a “Responsible Leader” and by the Development Executive Group (DEVEX) as an “international development renaissance man” and “Top 40 Under 40” in international development.  Professor Vlasic was awarded the inaugural Frank Wheat Award (Gibson Dunn’s pro bono lawyer of the year award) for his assistance to the Iraqi judiciary and the Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship, and has worked, studied and traveled in over 95 countries.

After attending public schools and UCLA in California, Professor Vlasic studied business, theology and government at Georgetown University while on an Army ROTC scholarship, received his Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center, and was awarded Certificates in Public and Private International Law from The Hague Academy of International Law.  Professor Vlasic conducted his post-doctorate research at Universiteit Leiden as a NAF-Fulbright Scholar to the Netherlands, and his executive leadership training with the World Economic Forum’s programs at Oxford University’s Said Business School and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.  Professor Vlasic is a member of the Bars of California, the District of Columbia, and the Supreme Court of the United States, and is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

In the News

"'Allegations against Qatar politically motivated, lack legal basis'," coverage by MENAFN, September 30, 2017, mentioning Adjunct Professor Mark Vlasic.

Professor Mark Vlasic was a participant at a meeting that included HE the Attorney General Dr Ali bin Fetais al-Marri  at the UN General Assembly, September 29, 2017.

"International firms unlikely to sign up to Qatar compensation committee: analysts," coverage in The National, July 12, 2017, quoting Adjunct Professor Mark Vlasic.

"Robert Zoellick: “Getting Stuff Done” at the World Bank and Beyond," an opinion piece by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic, in The World Post, July 5, 2012.

"Protecting Cultural Heritage as a Means for International Peace, Security and Stability: The Case of ISIS, Syria and Iraq," an article co-authored by Adjunct Professor Mark Vlasic appeared in Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, January 2017.

View all News

All News

"'Allegations against Qatar politically motivated, lack legal basis'," coverage by MENAFN, September 30, 2017, mentioning Adjunct Professor Mark Vlasic.

Professor Mark Vlasic was a participant at a meeting that included HE the Attorney General Dr Ali bin Fetais al-Marri  at the UN General Assembly, September 29, 2017.

"International firms unlikely to sign up to Qatar compensation committee: analysts," coverage in The National, July 12, 2017, quoting Adjunct Professor Mark Vlasic.

"Robert Zoellick: “Getting Stuff Done” at the World Bank and Beyond," an opinion piece by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic, in The World Post, July 5, 2012.

"Protecting Cultural Heritage as a Means for International Peace, Security and Stability: The Case of ISIS, Syria and Iraq," an article co-authored by Adjunct Professor Mark Vlasic appeared in Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, January 2017.

"The Long Arm of Justice: from Africa to The Hague and the SDGs," a piece by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic, in International Bar Association, October 20, 2016.

"Our cultural heritage is under attack. We must all join the fight to protect it," an opinion piece by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic, in the World Economic Forum, October 11, 2016.

"‘Blood Antiquities’: Protecting Cultural Heritage beyond Criminalization," an article co-authored by Adjunct Professor Mark Vlasic appeared in Journal of International Criminal Justice, October 2016.

"Stones, bones and culture: international efforts to recover looted antiquities," a piece by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic, in International Bar Association, May 25, 2016.

Where culture meets terrorism: art and the ongoing fight to save history,” a piece by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic, in The Huffington Post, May 12, 2016.

"The slow and sustained fight against evil," an opinion piece by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic, in World Economic Forum, April 14, 2016.

"Return of looted Mongolian dinosaur prompts questions on stolen antiquities and terrorist financing," a piece by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic, in International Bar Association, January 29, 2016.

"Does Timbuktu have lessons for Palmyra: ISIS and the long arm of justice," a piece by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic, in the World Economic Report, October 6, 2015.

"Timbuktu, ISIS and the Long Arm of Justice," an opinion piece by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic in The Huffington Post, October 3, 2015.

"How can we stop ISIS and the trafficking of our cultural heritage?," an op-ed by Adjunct Professor Mark Vlasic, L'00, and Helga Turku, in the World Economic Forum, August 31, 2015.

"The Senseless Death of Mr. Palmyra," Foreign Policy, August 20, 2015, quoting Adjunct Professor Mark Vlasic, L'00

"Lessons from the Srebrenica genocide," a piece by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic, in the World Economic Forum, July 16, 2015.

"Countering IS’s Theft and Destruction of Mesopotamia," an opinion piece by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic and Helga Turku, in the World Policy Blog, July 7, 2015.

"West Seeks Tighter Curbs on Trade in Antiquities Looted by Islamic State," Wall Street Journal, March 30, 2015, quoting Adjunct Professor Mark Vlasic, L'00.

The Tomb Raiders of Mesopotamia: Fighting ISIL, terrorism financing and saving our cultural heritage,” a piece in the Huffington Post, March 24, 2015, by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic, L'00.

"ISIS’ war on Mideast culture," coverage in The Post and Courier, March 17, 2015, featuring Adjunct Professor Mark Vlasic, L'00.

ISIS’ Destruction of Antiques at Mosul, Nimrud Hides Sinister Moneymaking Scheme,” coverage in U.S. News & World Report, March 9, 2015, quoting Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic, L'00.

Calculating the Revenue From Antiquities to Islamic State,” coverage in The Wall Street Journal, February 11, 2015, quoting Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic.

Culture Brigade: Syrian ‘Monuments Men’ Race to Protect Antiquities as Looting Bankrolls Terror,” coverage in The Wall Street Journal, February 10, 2015, quoting Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic.

"Myanmar and the Dodd-Frank Whistleblower “Bounty”: The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and Curbing Grand Corruption Through Innovative Action," an article by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic, in The American University International Law Review, December 2014.

"Congressional Monuments Men? The Role of Congress in Fighting Terrorist Financing, While Preserving Our Cultural Heritage," an opinion piece in The World Post by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic, December 6, 2014.

"The plunder of antiquities funding Isil," an opinion piece in gulfnews.com, by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic, September 16, 2014.

"Islamic State sells ‘blood antiquities’ from Iraq and Syria to raise money," an opinion piece by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic, in The Washington Post, September 14, 2014.

"Islamic State sells ‘blood antiquities’ from Iraq and Syria to raise money," an op-ed by Adjunct Professor Mark Vlasic, in The Washington Post, September 14, 2014.

"World Cup fever hits diplomatic Washington," coverage in The Washington Post, June 13, 2014, featuring Adjunct Professor Mark Vlasic.

"Tomb Raiders and Returns: Recovering Cambodian Antiquities and Our Collective Culture," an opinion piece in The Huffington Post, by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic, May 23, 2014.

"An Allied Effort to Save History," an opinion piece in The Huffington Post, by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic and Tess Davis, March 23, 2014.

“Bosnia: The European unrest we should be talking about,” coverage in Salon, February 24, 2014, featuring Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic.

"The End of Dayton? With Bosnia on Fire, What Comes Next," an opinion piece in The Huffington Post, by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic, February 21, 2014.

"Cultural Property, International Law, Looted Antiquities and the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution, International Conflicts and Mediation," an article co-authored by Adjunct Professor Mark Vlasic appeared in Mediação e Conflitos
Internacionais
(2014).

"Why Should We Care about Saving Syria's Antiquities?," an opinion piece in The Record, by Professor Mark Vlasic, December 16, 2013.

"Stolen History: Why should we care about saving Syria's antiquities?," an opinion piece by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic, in Foreign Policy, December 13, 2013.

"The “Dirty/Evil” Swiss Banker?," an opinon piece by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic, in Switzerland Today, December 2013.

"Guatemala's Rios Montt and an end to impunity," Miami Herald, May 22, 2013, an opinion piece by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic.

"FCPA "bounties" and democratising the global fight against corruption," UNCAC, May 21, 2013, an opinion piece by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic.

"When Museums Do the Right Thing," an op-ed by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic, B'96, L'00, and Tess Davis in the International Herald Tribune, May 18, 2013.

"When Museums Do the Right Thing," an op-ed by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic, B'96, L'00, and Tess Davis in the New York Times, May 17, 2013.

"A President's Legal Legacy: Stolen Asset Recovery and the Rule for All," Diplomatic Courier, January 30, 2013, an opinion piece by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic.

"What a Bosnian Mass Grave Can Teach Us about Syria's Civil War," an opinion piece by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic, B'96, L'00, in The Atlantic, December 18, 2012.

"What a Bosnian Mass Grave Can Teach Us about Syria's Civil War," an opinion piece by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic, B'96, L'00, in The Atlantic, December 18, 2012.

"A President’s Support of Stolen Asset Recovery and the Fight Against Impunity," an opinion piece by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic, in The World Post, September 24, 2012.

"How the World Took a Step Closer to Ending Impunity," a blog post by Adjunct Professor Mark Vlasic, B'96, L'00, on CNN, July 13, 2012.

"Should Cambodian 'Blood Antiquities' Be Returned?," an opinion piece by Adjunct Professor Mark Vlasic, L'00, and Tess Davis on CNN.com, June 7, 2012.

"NATO’s Warrior Scholars: The Critical Backbone of Our Atlantic Alliance," an opinion piece by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic, in The World Post, May 28, 2012.

"“Old Country” Bonds: Chicago and the Future of the Atlantic Alliance," an opinion piece by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic, in The World Post, May 26, 2012.

"Robert Zoellick's effort to recover stolen assets... a World Bank legacy," an opinion piece by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic, in Arab News, April 29, 2012.

"VLASIC: Charles Taylor verdict: End to impunity: War-crimes prosecution means evil heads of state have no place to hide," an opinion piece by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic, in The Washington Times, April 25, 2012.

"International Stolen Asset Recovery As a Development Issue - A World Bank President's Legacy?," a piece by Adjunct Professor Mark Vlasic, B'96, L'00, in the Huffington Post, April 21, 2012.

"Gaddafi's Mission: An 'Arab Spring' Example of Asset Recovery," a piece by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic, B'96, L'00, in the Huffington Post, March 30, 2012.

"Life for Comrade Duch, a milestone for international justice," an opinion piece by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic, in The Guardian, March 13, 2012.

"Fighting Pirates with Paper: How the Law of the Sea Is Important in the Fight Against Piracy," a piece by Adjunct Professor Mark V. Vlasic, B'96, L'00, in the Huffington Post, March 1, 2012.

"Getting Back the Bad Guy's Loot," an op-ed by Adjunct Professor Mark Vlasic, L'00, in the New York Times, January 19, 2012.

"Getting Back the Bad Guy's Loot," an op-ed by Adjunct Professor Mark Vlasic, L'00, in the International Herald Tribune, January 2, 2012.

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