WASHINGTON, DC and SEATTLE, WA (23 March 2018) – The World Justice Project (WJP) today announced that following an extensive search, Elizabeth Andersen will be joining the organization as Executive Director. 

“We are delighted that Betsy Andersen, a long-time champion of the World Justice Project, will be joining WJP as our new executive director. This is exciting for our growing organization and for our work in advancing the rule of law worldwide. Betsy is highly regarded in the rule of law community and is ideally qualified to shape a successful future for our organization,” said William H. Neukom, WJP founder and CEO, and WJP board chair William C. Hubbard in a joint statement. 

Ms. Andersen currently serves as Associate Executive Director for Global Programs at the American Bar Association and Director of its Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI), the ABA’s global legal development program working in more than 50 countries worldwide to advance the rule of law. She will transition to WJP following the completion of her service at ABA ROLI at the end of May, and will be based in WJP’s Washington, DC office.

"The WJP—with its Rule of Law Index and support of cutting-edge research and engagement efforts—is an invaluable resource for the global rule of law movement. I'm honored and excited by the opportunity to lead these vital initiatives," said Andersen.

Betsy Andersen
(Betsy Andersen)

Ms. Andersen has more than 20 years of experience in international law, international human rights, and rule of law development. Previous to joining ABA ROLI as Director in 2014, she served for eight years as executive director and executive vice president of the American Society of International Law; for three years as director of ABA ROLI’s Europe and Eurasia Division (previously known as ABA CEELI); and for eight years at Human Rights Watch, as a researcher, as director of advocacy and, ultimately, as executive director of its Europe and Central Asia Division. 

Ms. Andersen began her legal career in clerkships with Judge Kimba M. Wood of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and with Judge Georges Abi-Saab of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. She is an expert in international human rights law, international humanitarian law and international criminal law, and she has taught these subjects as an adjunct professor at the American University Washington College of Law.

Ms. Andersen received a B.A. from Williams College, an M.P.A. from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and a J.D. from Yale Law School. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of Williams College, as well as on the governing and advisory boards of several international non-profit organizations.


The World Justice Project (WJP) is an independent, multidisciplinary organization working to advance the rule of law worldwide.  Effective rule of law reduces corruption, combats poverty and disease, and protects people from injustices large and small. It is the foundation for communities of equity, opportunity, and peace—underpinning development, accountable government, and respect for fundamental rights. Learn more at: www.worldjusticeproject.org
(206) 792-7676

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