Alfred-Maurice de Zayas is a former UN Independent Expert on the Promotion of a democratic and equitable international order (2012-18), senior lawyer with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Secretary of the UN Human Rights Committee and Chief of the Petitions Department. Zayas grew up in Chicago, studied history and law, holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a Dr. phil. in modern history from the University of Göttingen. He was a Fulbright Graduate Fellow in Germany. Retired member of the New York and Florida Bar, author of 9 books and more than 200 scholarly articles. President of PEN International, Centre Suisse romand 2006-9 and again 2013-17.