Join us here on this page on January 13 at 11:00am Washington, DC time for a live streamed panel discussion on the future of the anti-trafficking movement. Hear from a group of current and former U.S. Department of State Ambassadors of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking about strategies to end human trafficking and how we can sustain hope in the new year and moving forward.
Come back to this page for the live stream. Participants are welcome to leave comments and ask questions in the chat space; we will address as many as time allows.
This event is hosted by the U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.
John Cotton Richmond
U.S. Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
John Cotton Richmond (2018-Present) John Cotton Richmond is the current Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. Ambassador Richmond leads the United States’ global engagement to combat human trafficking and supports the coordination of anti-trafficking efforts across the U.S. government. During his tenure thus far, Ambassador Richmond has championed a comprehensive approach to combating all forms of human trafficking and the need for increased accountability and an end to impunity for traffickers. He has prioritized funding for prevalence estimates that are targeted, whether by industry or geography, and that can serve to both scale interventions that are effective and discontinue those that fail.
Prior to his current position, Ambassador Richmond co-founded the Human Trafficking Institute, a nongovernmental organization that seeks to decimate modern slavery at its source by empowering police and prosecutors to use victim-centered and trauma-informed methods to hold traffickers accountable and ensure survivors are treated with respect and care. Ambassador Richmond also served as a federal prosecutor for 10 years at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Human Trafficking Prosecutions Unit where he investigated and prosecuted numerous victim-centered labor and sex trafficking cases throughout the United States. He regularly served as an expert to the UN Working Group on Trafficking in Persons. He worked on the ground in India for three years pioneering the International Justice Mission’s anti-slavery work.
U.S. Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (2015-2017)
Senior Council, Krevolin & Horst
Ambassador Susan Coppedge is Senior Counsel with the law firm of Krevolin & Horst.
Susan was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the Ambassador-at-Large for the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at the United States Department of State, serving from 2015 to 2017.
Susan served for 15 years as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Georgia, investigating and prosecuting a wide variety of criminal cases including trying 21 jury trials. Over her career, Susan indicted 49 human traffickers in cases involving domestic sex trafficking of adults and minors, international sex trafficking of adults and minors, and labor trafficking. Overall, 93 victims were assisted, and the perpetrators brought to justice. Susan also served as the office’s Human Trafficking Coordinator, has trained law enforcement, and worked extensively with anti-trafficking NGOs.
Ambassador Coppedge began her legal career clerking for then Chief Judge William C. O’Kelley in the Northern District of Georgia, then entered the Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division through the Honors Program. A native of Dalton, Georgia, Ambassador Coppedge obtained her undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Duke University, and her law degree with distinction from Stanford University. Susan lives with her two children in Atlanta, GA. She presently serves on the Boards of Polaris and Street Grace.
U.S. Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (2009-2015)
Director of Justice Programs at Chambers Lopez Strategies and Senior Fellow in Modern Slavery at Yale University’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition
Luis C.deBaca was Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and served under Secretaries of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and John F. Kerry from 2009-2015. With the longest tenure as Ambassador to the TIP Office, Ambassador C.deBaca expanded the reach of the TIP Report to nearly all countries, including adding the United States, and demonstrated leadership on new issues like the intersection of human trafficking and environmental issues, including by highlighting endemic abuses in the global fishing industry and abuses of domestic workers by diplomats. He also oversaw the invigoration and growth of the interagency coordination process and prioritized efforts to prevent forced labor in supply chains through both the consumer and federal procurement lenses. He also sought to elevate understanding of and support for victims’ journeys towards being survivors with the freedom to choose their own futures. Under his leadership, the first multi-year Congressionally mandated Child Protection Compact Partnership was negotiated to effectively address child trafficking in all its forms in concert with the government of Ghana.
Before joining the Department of State, he served as Counsel to the House Committee on the Judiciary, where his portfolio for Chairman John Conyers, Jr. included national security, intelligence, immigration, civil rights, and modern slavery issues. Ambassador C.deBaca also served as a federal prosecutor at the Department of Justice where he prosecuted human trafficking cases, as well as money laundering, organized crime, and hate crimes. He served as lead trial counsel in the largest involuntary servitude prosecution in U.S. history involving the enslavement of more than 300 Vietnamese and Chinese workers in a garment factory in American Samoa.
Ambassador C.deBaca is Director of Justice Programs at Chambers Lopez Strategies and is Senior Fellow in Modern Slavery at Yale University’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, where he serves as a Visiting Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School.
Mark P. Lagon
U.S. Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (2007-2009)
Chief Policy Officer, Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and Distinguished Senior Scholar in the Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University.
Mark P. Lagon was Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and served under Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice from 2007-2009. Ambassador Lagon prioritized implementation of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and its 2008 reauthorization, coordinated U.S. foreign assistance funding to support NGOs’ global anti-trafficking efforts, raised global awareness on reducing migrant workers’ vulnerability to human trafficking, and promoted corporate social responsibility initiatives. Ambassador Lagon also believed in advancing U.S. interests in multilateral venues. He extended the office’s anti-trafficking engagement into various UN and regional fora such as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the Organization of American States. Ambassador Lagon successfully co-led the first U.S. delegation to appear before the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on the status of U.S. implementation of two optional protocols supplementing the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Prior to leading the TIP Office, Ambassador Lagon served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs from 2004-2007 with lead responsibility for UN-related human rights and humanitarian issues, UN administration and reform, and the Bureau’s public diplomacy and outreach programs. From 1999 to 2002, he served on the Republican staff at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, with particular responsibility for the State Department authorization bill, international organizations, economic sanctions, human rights, and broadcasting and public diplomacy.
Ambassador Lagon is currently the Chief Policy Officer at Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, as well as a Distinguished Senior Scholar in the Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University.