• David M. Crane
  • Professor of Practice
  • Education
    • Ohio University
    • Ohio University
    • Syracuse University
    • (honoris causa) Case Western Reserve University
David M.   Crane

Professor David M. Crane was appointed a Professor of Practice at Syracuse University College of Law in the summer of 2006. From 2002 to 2005, Crane was the founding Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, an international war crimes tribunal, appointed to that position by Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan. Serving with the rank of Undersecretary-General, Crane’s mandate was to prosecute those who bore the greatest responsibility for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other serious violations of international human rights committed during Sierra Leone’s civil war in the 1990s. Among those he indicted for horrific crimes was Liberian President Charles Taylor, the first sitting African head of state in history to be held accountable in this way. Serving more than 30 years in the US federal government, Crane was appointed to the US Senior Executive Service in 1997. He held numerous key managerial positions during his three decades of public service, including Waldemar A. Solf Professor of International Law at the US Army Judge Advocate General’s School.

Professor Crane served over 30 years in the federal government of the United States. Appointed to the Senior Executive Service of the United States in 1997, Mr. Crane has held numerous key managerial positions during his three decades of public service, to include a, and Waldemar A. Solf Professor of International Law at the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s School.

Professor Crane teaches international criminal law, international humanitarian law, and national security law at the College of Law. Additionally, he is a member of the faculty of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, a joint venture with the Maxwell School of Public Citizenship at Syracuse University. Professor Crane is on the leadership council of the American Bar Association’s International Law Section and currently serves as a co-chair on the sections International Criminal Court Task Force. In 2006/7, he founded Impunity Watch ( a law review and public service blog.

Professor Crane holds a Juris Doctor degree from Syracuse University, a Masters of Arts Degree in African Studies and a Bachelor of General Studies in History, summa cum laude, from Ohio University. For his service to humanity, Case Western Reserve University in Ohio awarded him an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in May 2008.

Various other awards include the Intelligence Community Gold Seal Medallion, the Department of Defense/DoDIG Distinguished Civilian Service Medal, and the Legion of Merit. In September of 2006 Professor Crane was given a key to the City of Highland Park, Illinois where he attended high school.

Professor Crane was a 2006 George Arents Pioneer Medal recipient from Syracuse University. In 2005, he was awarded the Medal of Merit from Ohio University and the Distinguished Service Award from Syracuse University College of Law for his work in West Africa. Prior to his departure from West Africa, Professor Crane was made an honorary Paramount Chief by the Civil Society Organizations of Sierra Leone.