Alexa Koenig, PhD, JD, is the Executive Director of the Human Rights Center (winner of the 2015 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions) and a lecturer at UC Berkeley School of Law, where she teaches classes on human rights and international criminal law with a particular focus on the impact of emerging technologies on human rights practice. She co-founded the Human Rights Center Investigations Lab, which trains students and professionals to use social media and other digital content to strengthen human rights advocacy and accountability. Alexa is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Committee on Scientific Freedom and Responsibility, co-chair of the Technology Advisory Board of the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, co-chair of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Law Committee’s Technology and Human Rights working group, a member of the University of California’s Presidential Working Group on Artificial Intelligence (for which she co-chairs the Human Resources subcommittee), an inaugural member of the Technology Advisory Board at Human Rights First, and a member of the board of advisors for the Syrian Archive. Alexa has been honored with several awards for her work, including the United Nations Association-SF’s Global Human Rights Award, Mark Bingham Award for Excellence, 2020 Woman Inspiring Change by Harvard Law School, the Eleanor Swift Award for Public Service, the Phi Beta Kappa Northern California Teaching Excellence Award, and diverse grants, including support from the National Science Foundation and numerous private foundations. She was a member of the Coordinating Committee for the Berkeley Protocol on Digital Open Source Investigations, and has conducted trainings on online open source investigations for the Institute for International Criminal Investigations, UC Berkeley’s Advanced Media Institute, attorneys for the International Criminal Court, and others. Her research and commentary have appeared in the Annual Review of Law and Social Science, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, US News and World Report, and elsewhere.
ALEXA KOENIG’S RECENT BOOKS INCLUDE
- Digital Witness: Using Open Source Methods for Human Rights Investigations, Advocacy and Accountability, with Sam Dubberley and Daragh Murray (Oxford University Press, 2019)
Hiding in Plain Sight: The Pursuit of War Criminals from Nuremberg to the War on Terror, with Eric Stover and Victor Peskin (UC Press, 2016)
Extreme Punishment: Comparative Studies in Detention, Incarceration and Solitary Confinement, editor with Keramet Reiter (Palgrave MacMillan, 2015)
The Guantánamo Effect: Exposing the Consequences of U.S. Detention and Interrogation Practices, contributor with Eric Stover, Laurel Fletcher, and Stephen Smith Cody (UC Press, 2009). Additional research and commentary have appeared in such diverse outlets as the Annual Review of Law and Social Science, the International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, US News and World Reports, and elsewhere.
RECENT MEDIA APPEARANCES
- Digital Detectives, explores how open source investigations have sparked a revolution in journalism; NHK World, April 2020
- Fake news v fact: The battle for truth, The Economist, February 2019
- PBS NewsHour(link is external), discussing the launch of the Human Rights Investigations Lab, February 2017
- “Hiding in Plain Sight: The Pursuit of War Criminals from Nuremberg to the War on Terror,” ALOUD Podcast Series, Jan. 17, 2017
- UC Berkeley students work to authenticate photos, videos from conflict zones, ABC 7 News, July 13, 2017.
J.D., University of San Francisco School of Law
Ph.D., UC Berkeley
M.A., UC Berkeley