Chris Stone was admitted to the Bar of the District Columbia, USA, in 1982, having completed his Juris Doctorate that year at the Yale Law School. He has specialized in comparative criminal procedure worldwide, in the establishment and improvement of prosecuting authorities and institutions for the defense of the indigent, and in the regulation of police powers and police organizations. He is former president of the Open Society Foundations (2012-2017), Guggenheim Professor of the Practice of Criminal Justice at the Harvard Kennedy School (2005-2012), and director of the Vera Institute of Justice (1994-2004). He is currently Senior Research Scholar (adjunct) at Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs, and visiting researcher at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Oxford.
He has assisted in the construction and reform of local, national, and international prosecuting services worldwide. From 1986 to 1988 he designed and managed a series of pilot projects as part of the launch of the Crown Prosecution Service in England and Wales, and thereafter assisted with the creation of the National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa, the Ministerio Publico of Chile, and the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. In addition, he is currently researching the work of several “reform prosecutors” elected as District Attorneys and State’s Attorneys in the United States.
Chris maintains his long-standing commitment to the improvement of police practices, especially in urban communities. He chaired the Executive Session on Policing and Public Safety for the United States Department of Justice at the Harvard Kennedy School (2006-2011) and co-authored “Toward a New Professionalism in Policing” for the U.S. National Institute of Justice, with Jeremy Travis, https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/232359.pdf. He led the training of future chief officers of police on the elimination of racial profiling for the Police Executive Research Forum from 2007 to 2011. He led the research on the improvement of the Los Angeles Police Department under a Consent Decree settling the U.S. Justice Department’s allegations of a pattern and practice of unconstitutional policing. He also chaired the Task Force appointed by the Governor of New York State on Police-on-Police Shootings (2009-10), occasioned by the fatal shootings of two black police officers by white police officers in separate incidents in New York State.
Chris also has a long-standing interest in the development of legal institutions in low-income and middle-income countries, having worked collaboratively with police, prosecutors, and judicial leaders in Brazil, China, India, Nigeria, Russia, and Turkey on issues including the recording of custodial interrogation, plea bargaining, and the reduction and elimination of death sentences. Chris has also contributed to justice-sector and security-sector reform at the World Bank, the UK Department for International Development, and the Center for International Development at Harvard University. He served as the founding chair of the Altus Global Alliance from 2003 to 2008, uniting six research and innovation institutions on five continents working on police and justice-sector reform.
In addition, Chris has taught and advised on the leadership of public institutions and civil society organizations worldwide. He served as faculty director of the Hauser Center for Non-profit Organizations at Harvard University from 2008 to 2012, and has taught numerous courses and workshops on leadership and governance in these sectors as well as on the design and leadership of philanthropies.
He may act as an independent investigator, expert witness, mediator, arbitrator and monitor and as an advisor on compliance programmes. He will lecture, design curriculum, and facilitate discussion groups on issues of policing, prosecution, sentencing, criminal procedure, anti-corruption, human rights, and related criminal and civil controversies arising worldwide.