Steve Kostas is a legal officer with the Open Society Justice Initiative’s litigation team, based in the London office. Kostas litigates cases across the Justice Initiative’s areas of work, with some focus on cases seeking accountability for state crimes such as crimes against humanity and systematic torture.
He previously worked at INTERIGHTS on counterterrorism and national security cases, where he investigated and litigated cases regarding extraordinary rendition. He was the senior legal officer in the appeals chamber and legal advisor to the President of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and before that an associate legal officer to the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and an International Bar Association Fellow in the appeals chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. He worked in private practice as a litigation associate at Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Washington, D.C., and for human rights NGOs in Delhi, Geneva, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.
Prior to becoming a lawyer, Kostas earned his doctorate in biology researching the genetic regulation of cellular development. He was part of the team that discovered a novel mechanism for gene regulation called RNA inhibition, for which his PhD advisor, Andrew Fire, was awarded the Nobel Prize.
Kostas received a JD from the University of Chicago, and a PhD in molecular genetics from Johns Hopkins University. He is a member of the New York bar.