Alpha Fall, LL.M., ‘02, Founder of the Institute For Human Rights and Development in Africa

Author: Charles Williams


Alpha Fall, LL.M., ‘02, died April 21, 2011 in Brussels. Mr. Fall was a gentle soul, a generous friend, and a true giant in the protection of human rights in Africa. He founded the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA) – a first of its kind regional human rights organization focusing on advocacy before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. IHRDA remains perhaps the most important regional human rights organization in Africa.

He formerly headed the International Center for Transitional Justice’s office in the Congo (serving under extremely difficult circumstances) and, at the time of his death, was head of the UN’s transitional justice office in Bujumbura, Burundi – a high profile and demanding assignment.

Notre Dame’s reputation was burnished everywhere this beloved graduate served the cause of human dignity. He was well known – personally or by reputation — by almost all of our African graduates and by human rights defenders across Africa. He assisted many Notre Dame students to secure jobs and internships in the field and served as an intellectual and practical resource for many of us at Notre Dame. He was an incredible advocate for the Notre Dame Center for Civil & Human Rights. He was a man of deep Muslim faith who thrived at Notre Dame.

More information about Mr. Fall’s life and work is available here.