Curriculum Vitae


Alison L. Des Forges

Buffalo, NY


Yale University

PhD (1972) – African History

MA (1966) – African Studies

Radcliffe College

AB (1964) – European History

Teaching Positions:

     ‣      Visiting Assistant Professor, University of California at Berkeley, (Spring 2002)

     ‣      Adjunct Professor of History, State University of New York at Buffalo (1990 – )

     ‣      Visiting Lecturer, Department of History, State University College at Oswego (1984 – 1985)

     ‣      Visiting Lecturer, Millard Fillmore College, SUNY Buffalo (Summer 1973, 1974)

     ‣      Lecturer, Department of History, Middlebury College (1970 – 1971)

     ‣      Teaching Assistant, Yale University (1965 – 1966)

Human Rights Activities:

     ‣      Senior Advisor, Africa Division, Human Rights Watch (2001 – )

     ‣      Consultant to Human Rights Watch/Africa (June 194 – 2001)

     ‣      Principal researcher on Rwanda and Burundi (over 36 field missions), Human Rights Watch/Africa (November 1991 – June 1994)

     ‣      Chair, International Commission for the Investigation of Human Rights Abuses in Burundi (1993 – 1994)

     ‣      Co-Chair, International Commission for the Investigation of Human Rights Abuses in Rwanda (1992 – 1993)

     ‣      Member, Human Rights Committee of the African Studies Association (1992 – )

Experience as Expert Witness:

     ‣      Eleven trials at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (Arusha, Tanzania)

     ‣      Three Genocide Trials at the Cour d’Assize (Brussels, Belgium)

     ‣      Genocide Trial in Canadian court

     ‣      Trial for violations of the Geneva Convention, Military Court Martial (Lausanne, Switzerland)

     ‣      United Nations Commission of Inquiry concerning the Rwandan genocide

     ‣      Organization of African Unity Investigation by the Panel of Eminent Persons regarding the Rwandan genocide

     ‣      Hearings at the United States Senate and House of Representatives

     ‣      Hearings at the Belgian Senate

     ‣      Hearings at the French National Assembly

     ‣      Hearings in proceedings concerning immigration cases in Canada, Belgium, and the United States

Partial List of Publications:

1.     Defeat is the Only Bad News: Rwanda Under Musinga, 1898-1931, Wisconsin University Press (anticipated date of publication, 2011)

2.     Leave None to Tell the Story (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1999, published simultaneously in French translation, Aucun Témoin Ne Doit Survivre, Paris; Karthala, 1999; German translation Kein Zeuge darf überleben, Der Genozid in Rwanda, Hamburg; Hamburg Edition, 2002

3.     “The Ideology of Genocide,” Issue, African Studies Association, vol. XXIII/2, 1995, 44-47

4.     “Rwanda” in Human Rights Watch, Human Rights and Communal Violence (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1995)

5.     “Face au génocide: Une résponse désasteuse des Etats- Unis et des Nations Unies” in André Guichaoua, Les Crises Politiques au Burundi et au Rwanda, (Paris: Karthala et Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille, 1995) pp. 455-464

6.     Rwanda, a New Catastrophe (New York: Human Rights Watch, December 1994)

7.     “The Aftermath of Genocide in Rwanda” (New York: Human Rights Watch, September 1994)

8.     Rapport Final de la Commission Internationale D’Enquete Sur Les Violations Des Droits De L’Homme au Burundi Depuis Le 21 Octobre 1993, (editor), Pairs: Human Rights Watch, Federation Internationale des Droites de l’Homme et al, July 1994)

9.     Genocide in Rwanda, April-May 1994 (New York: Human Rights Watch/Africa, vo. 6, no. 4, May 1994)

10. “Burundi: Failed Coup or Creeping Coup?” Current History, 93: 583 (May 1994), pp. 203-207

11. “Rwanda,” in Human Rights Watch World Report, 1994 (events of 1993) (New York: Human Rights Watch, December 1993) pp. 33-40

12. Beyond the Rhetoric: Continuing Human Rights Abuses in Rwanda, an Africa Watch Report, June 1993, pp. 1-29

13. Rapport Final de la Commission Internationale d’Enquête sur les Violations des droit de l’homme au Rwanda, (editor) Paris, March 1993

14. Rwanda: Talking Peace and Waging War, an Africa Watch report, February 1992

15. “The Drum is Greater than the Shout: the 1912 Rebellion in Northern Rwanda,” in Donald Crummey, ed., Bandity, Rebellion and Social Protest in Africa, (Portsmouth, N.H.: Heniemann, 1985) pp. 311-332

16. “Lectures on Selected Topics of African History” given at Beijing University, published in Chinese in China, 1984

17. “Kings Without Crowns: the White Fathers in Rwanda,” in Daniel McCall, Norman Bennett, and Jeffrey Butler, eds. Eastern African History (New York: Frederick Praeger, 1969)

Honors and Grants:

     ‣      Bruno Kreisky Prize of the Renner Institute, Vienna, for best political book of the year, 2003

     ‣      The Lemkin Award, 2001, awarded by the Institute of Genocide Scholars for best book on genocide in the preceding two years

     ‣      MacArthur Fellow, 1999

     ‣      Social Sciences Research Council and American Council of Learned Societies, Fellowship for research in Rwanda and Germany, 1980 – 1981

     ‣      Dissertation awarded highest rank in all categories, Department of History, Yale University, 1972

     ‣      Foreign Area Fellowship for research in Rwanda, Burundi, Belgium, and Italy 1967 – 1969

     ‣      Sterling Fellowship, Department of History, Yale University, 1964 – 1967

     ‣      African Studies Council Fellowship, Yale University, 1966 – 1967

     ‣      General Motors Scholarship, Radcliffe College

     ‣      Elected to Phi Beta Kappa, Radcliffe College, 1964


English, French, Chinese, German, Kinyarwanda