Mr. Paul Vaky – DOJ

Chair, Department of Justice

Mr. Paul Vaky is a senior attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice having served in the Criminal Division for over 30 years.  He is currently on detail as the DOJ Chair on the faculty of the National War College.  Prior to his detail, Mr. Vaky was Regional Director in the Criminal Division’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development, Assistance and Training (OPDAT) for Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the Near East.   As Regional Director, Mr. Vaky was responsible for coordinating and supervising OPDAT’s technical assistance efforts in these regions.  He supervised 17 DOJ attorneys (Regional Legal Advisors – RLAs) stationed in 13 U.S. Embassies as well an RLA in the U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany.  OPDAT’s programs in these regions address US policy priorities in the area of Rule of Law, ranging from counterterrorism to organized crime to criminal justice reform.  OPDAT’s RLAs are critical members of U.S. Embassies’ country teams and the European Command G9 and in the implementation of Mission Priorities. 

Previously, Mr. Vaky coordinated the implementation of DOJ’s involvement in Plan Colombia, a major U.S. Government foreign assistance program in partnership with the Government of Colombia to combat the serious security threat of powerful guerilla, paramilitary and international criminal organizations to Colombia’s democracy.  Mr. Vaky was stationed in the U.S. Embassy in Bogota for 10 years as the Department’s Program Manager supervising this effort known as the Justice Sector Reform Program (JSRP).  JSRP was a comprehensive and complex justice sector assistance program involving a staff of 40 U.S. and Colombian personnel from OPDAT, ICITAP and the United States Marshal’s Service.  It involved a broad range of justice sector projects, including Organized Crime, Paramilitary Demobilization, Narcotics Trafficking, Human Rights, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes, Forensics, Mass Grave Exhumations, Victim Assistance, Sex Crimes, Judicial and Witness Security, and Code Reform.  

Mr. Vaky has also served as OPDAT’s Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean where he supervised and implemented extensive code reform and capacity building programs, as well as expanding OPDAT’s RLA and ILA programs in the region.  He also held the position of Associate Director for Latin America, in DOJ’s Office of International Affairs, where he coordinated and supervised extradition and mutual legal assistance matters, including the negotiation of Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties and the enhancement of law enforcement relationships with critical law enforcement allies such as Colombia and Mexico.  Mr. Vaky has served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C., and was detailed as a Legal Advisor to the Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean at the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Mr. Vaky has a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center; a M.A. in International Relations from American University; and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Maryland.

FUNCTIONAL EXPERTISE:  International Law, Criminal Law, Latin America