Pierre-Richard Prosper is an attorney and diplomat who turned his passion for the rule of law into a global pursuit for justice for victims of the worst crimes of humanity, and accountability for the perpetrators of those crimes.
Born in Denver, Colorado in 1963, Prosper was raised in New York by his Haitian emigrant parents, Drs. Jacques and Jeanine Prosper, both of whom were physicians. He received his bachelor of arts from Boston College (1955) and his doctorate from Pepperdine University School of Law (1989).
Prosper began his career at one of the most volatile and dangerous times in one of the largest American cities – Los Angeles, California. He served as deputy district attorney in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (1989–1994) with the responsibility of prosecuting gang-related homicides and other criminal activity in the gang-infested city of Compton. Also, just three years after taking this role, he found himself in the middle of prosecuting cases of violence and crime in Los Angeles County following the 1992 acquittal of four police officers for the beating of Rodney King.
Prospers would use these experiences in his next post, as assistant U.S. attorney for Central District of California (1994–1996) where he continued his work on violent crime issues, focusing then on investigating and prosecuting major international drug cartels.
Upon hearing about the acts of genocide in Rwanda where an estimated eight hundred thousand people were slaughtered over a one-hundred-day period, Prosper wanted help bring about justice for the victims. He left Los Angeles first to become a legal advisor to the U.S. government’s mission in Rwanda (1995), then as one of two trial attorneys, and later as a war crimes prosecutor for the United Nations (UN) International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (1996–1998). This was the tribunal established by the UN to bring the perpetrators the genocide to justice. Here Prosper made a lasting mark on the international criminal justice system as he and his fellow