William O'Neill

Program Director, Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum (CPPF)Phone: (212) 377-2700 x3650


William O'Neill is a lawyer specializing in humanitarian, human rights and refugee law. He was Senior Advisor on Human Rights in the UN Mission in Kosovo, Chief of the UN Human Rights Field Operation in Rwanda and led the Legal Department of the UN/OAS Mission in Haiti. He has worked on judicial, police and prison reform in Burundi, Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Timor Leste, Nepal and Bosnia-Herzegovina. He investigated mass killings in Afghanistan for the High Commissioner for Human Rights. He also conducted an assessment of the human rights situation in Darfur and trained the UN's human rights monitors stationed there.

At the request of the UN's Executive Committee on Peace and Security, he chaired a Task Force on Developing Rule of Law Strategies in Peace Operation. He has created and delivered courses on human rights, rule of law and peacekeeping for several peacekeeping training centers whose participants have included senior military, police and humanitarian officials from dozens of countries. He has published widely on rule of law, human rights and peacekeeping, including, Kosovo: An Unfinished Peace and Protecting Two Million Displaced: The Successes and Shortcomings of the African Union in Darfur. In the spring of 2008, O'Neill was visiting professor of law and international relations at the Scuola Sant'Anna in Pisa, Italy.

Programs and Projects

Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum (CPPF)
(Program Director)


Feature Story
William G. O'Neill, Haiti: The Phantom State Strikes Again (11/23/2009).
Haiti, Now and Next, Andrew Apter (Contributor), Greg A. Beckett (Contributor), Craig Jackson Calhoun (Contributor), Jean Casimir (Contributor), J. Michael Dash (Contributor), Laurent Dubois (Contributor), Alex Dupuy (Contributor), Robert Fatton, Jr. (Contributor), Regine Michelle Jean-Charles (Contributor), Chelsey Louise Kivland (Contributor), Ferentz Lafargue (Contributor), Robert Maguire (Contributor), Elizabeth McAlister (Contributor), William G. O'Neill (Contributor), Dilip Ratha (Contributor), Karen Richman (Contributor) and Yasmine Shamsie (Contributor) (April 2011), http://www.ssrc.org/features/view/haiti-now-and-next/.
Items & Issues, Robert Albro (Contributor), Daniel Aldrich (Contributor), Holly Danzeisen (Contributor), Scott Frickel (Contributor), David Held (Contributor), Andrew Lakoff (Contributor), William G. O'Neill (Contributor), Dena Plemmons (Contributor), Seteney Shami (Contributor), Kristian Coates Ulrichsen (Contributor), Mark Vanlandingham (Contributor) and M. Bess Vincent (Contributor) (2010), http://itemsandissues.ssrc.org.