Donald Francis Donovan


Donald Francis Donovan serves as co-chair of Human Rights First’s Board of Directors.   

Mr. Donovan has long been regarded as one of the leading international advocates and public international lawyers in the world. He recently retired from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, where he headed the international disputes and the public international law groups. He now devotes his practice to serving as arbitrator in major international cases.

Mr. Donovan has argued before the International Court of Justice and other international courts and tribunals throughout the world and before the U.S. Supreme Court and other federal and state courts throughout the United States. He served as President of the American Society of International Law, President of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration, and Chair of the Institute for Transnational Arbitration. He was a member of the U.S. Department of State’s Advisory Committee on International Law and the ALI's Advisory Committees for the Restatement (Fourth) of U.S. Foreign Relations Law and for the Restatement of the U.S. Law of International Commercial and Investor-State Arbitration. He has long taught international arbitration and international investment law and arbitration at New York University School of Law.

Mr. Donovan served as law clerk to Associate Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the U.S. Supreme Court, Judge Jerome J. Farris of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and Judge Abraham D. Sofaer of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, and as legal assistant to Judge Howard M. Holtzmann of the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal.  Mr. Donovan is a graduate of Stanford Law School.