U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch of Brooklyn, whose nomination as Attorney General goes before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, had a formative experience as a legal advisor to the International Criminal Tribunal in Rwanda that gave her a global perspective that sets her apart from most who have held the top U.S. law enforcement job, the Los Angeles Times reports. Lynch traveled repeatedly to Africa over six years, helping to train inexperienced lawyers serving at the United Nations-established court who were given the task of prosecuting those responsible for the 1994 genocide.
With a security guard in tow, she drove through lush, terraced mountainsides to interview survivors about the horrors they endured and investigate gruesome atrocities that convulsed Rwanda and left 800,000 people dead. Lynch’s overseas contacts and experience with international law could prove helpful in a job that has been transformed since Sept. 11 into one of the key national security portfolios in Washington. In a powerful speech four years ago, Lynch spoke movingly about how the Africa job shaped her as a person and as a prosecutor. “My work there was defining for me in many ways,” she said.