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John Cotton Richmond

Adjunct Professor of Law
Partner, Dentons

John Richmond is an attorney and diplomat whose work focuses on human rights, democracy and rule of law. He has served as ambassador-at-large in the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons since 2017, when the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed him to serve in the nation’s highest-ranking position dedicated to combatting human trafficking and leading foreign policy in the global fight for freedom. As a partner at Dentons, Richmond helps companies keep their supply chains and workforces free of human trafficking. He was named one of the federal “Prosecutors of the Year" after a decade of successfully trying complex police misconduct, cross-burning, neo-Nazi hate crimes, forced labor and sex trafficking cases across the nation. Richmond is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a senior adviser to Love Does, a fellow at the C.S. Lewis Institute and a frequent speaker on justice, leadership, faith and vocation.

Richmond’s work to combat human trafficking has earned him numerous honors, including the David Allred Award for Exceptional Contributions to Civil Rights. He twice received the Department of Homeland Security’s Outstanding Investigative Accomplishments in Human Trafficking Award, won the Distinguished Law Enforcement Teamwork Award from the Federal Executive Board and twice received the Department of Justice’s Special Commendation Award, in addition to other honors.

Some of his notable trials include United States v. Campbell, in which a U.S. citizen forced eastern European women to work at massage parlors and engage in sex acts through a coercive scheme; United States v. Rivera, in which numerous victims were rescued and the defendants were convicted in a complex labor and sex trafficking case; United States v. Teel, in which 10 corrections officers were convicted of "color of law" violations for the routine and systematic beating of inmates at a Mississippi jail that resulted the death of an inmate; United States v. White, in which the leader of one of the largest Neo-Nazi organizations in the country was convicted of targeting individuals with “true threats” of harm.

Richmond has served as an expert on human trafficking for the United Nation’s Working Group on Trafficking in Persons and at the European Union’s multilateral meetings on human trafficking. He has trained judges, prosecutors, federal agents, law enforcement officers, non-governmental organizations and international delegations on human trafficking investigative and prosecutorial strategies. Prior to joining the Department of Justice, he worked on human trafficking crimes as director of the International Justice Mission’s slavery work in India.

Areas of Expertise

International Law, Criminal Law, Human Trafficking Law

Additional Courses

Human Trafficking Law, Policy, and Litigation - Fall 2022