RFA interview

Nicholas Koumjian, Head of the IIMM

Nicholas Koumjian (United States) officially commenced his functions as Head of the Mechanism on 1 July 2019.

Mr. Koumjian joined the Mechanism with 35 years of experience as Prosecutor, including almost 20 years in the field of international criminal justice.

He served as the International Co-Prosecutor at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia from 2013 to 2019. He previously served as Trial Attorney at the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia; Deputy General Prosecutor for serious crimes in Timor-Leste; International Prosecutor in the War Crimes Section of the Prosecutor’s Office for Bosnia and Herzegovina; and Principal Trial Attorney and Senior Appeals Counsel in the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

He was the Principal Trial Attorney for the trial of Charles Taylor, and assisted victims from Côte d’Ivoire on a pro-bono basis. He also represented Abdallah Banda and Saleh Jerbo before the International Criminal Court in a case involving the situation in Darfur.

He previously worked as a Prosecutor in the United States and has professional experience in the fields of international human rights law and transitional justice.

Mr. Koumjian holds a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of North Carolina and a Master of Business Administration from the University of California, Los Angeles.

RFA interview

Kaoru Okuizumi, Deputy Head of the IIMM

Kaoru Okuizumi (Japan) officially commenced her functions as Deputy Head of the Mechanism on 15 November 2019.

Before joining the Mechanism, Ms. Okuizumi was the Director of the UN Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict, established by the Security Council to assist national authorities to ensure criminal accountability for conflict-related sexual violence. Prior to that, she served as the Deputy Chief of the Justice and Corrections Service of the UN Department of Peace Operations.

Ms. Okuizumi’s experiences in international and hybrid courts include assignments at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the Human Rights Chamber of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and most recently as Deputy Registrar at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Ms. Okuizumi has also worked in UN peacekeeping operations and field offices in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kosovo and Nepal.

Ms. Okuizumi is a member of the New York State Bar and a graduate of the University of Chicago, the New York University School of Law and the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. She was also a Wasserstein Fellow at Harvard Law School. Ms. Okuizumi is on the Board of Directors of the Institute for International Criminal Investigations.