President and CEO
Member Ex-Officio, Board of Directors
Washington, D.C. (ICNL Headquarters)
Douglas Rutzen is President and CEO of the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), which has worked in 100 countries to develop the legal framework for civil society, public participation, and philanthropy. Doug is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches international civil society law. Under Doug's leadership, ICNL received a MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, the organizational analogue to MacArthur's "genius award" for individuals. In 2013, Doug presented remarks at a UN General Assembly side event moderated by President Obama.
Doug serves on the Community of Democracies' Working Group on Enabling and Protecting Civil Society, along with representatives of 13 governments. In addition, Doug co-chairs the State Department's Global Philanthropy Working Group. Doug has spoken at events organized by the governments of China, Brazil, Canada, and Sweden, and he also trains diplomats at the Foreign Service Institute.
Doug previously taught at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and the Central European University. He has written a textbook on international civil society law and has published in a number of prominent publications, including the Harvard International Review. In 2014, Cornell University invited Doug to participate in the university's Foreign Policy Distinguished Speaker Series.
Upon the country's transition to democracy, Doug served as Legal Advisor to the Czechoslovak Parliament and taught at Charles Law Faculty in Prague. Doug was also an associate at Coudert Brothers, where he was co-counsel on a landmark Supreme Court antitrust case.
Doug served as co-counsel on the first case against Libya for the destruction of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, which resulted in a $2.7 billion settlement.
Doug has served on the advisory boards/steering committees of the National Center on Philanthropy and the Law, Hudson Institute's Index of Philanthropic Freedom, the United States International Grantmaking Project, the East-West Management Institute, and the Charity and Security Network.
Doug first began working with civil society in the mid 1980's, when he served as a consultant to Helen Keller International in Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Doug is a graduate of Yale Law School, with undergraduate studies at Cornell and Oxford.