International Crisis Response Simulation

Friday, March 25, 5:00 – 7:00pm & Saturday, March 26, 9:00am – 6:00pm – Beus Center for Law and Society

The International Rule of Law and Security Program at ASU Law is excited to welcome current ASU Law students and students from any other College to participate in an afternoon orientation and full-day simulation of an international response to an emerging atrocity threat. The simulation is similar to those undertaken by U.S. government officials and will provide a practical learning experience and serve as a laboratory for decision-making, conflict analysis, and international cooperation. The exercise is ideal for students studying international law and policymaking, and those interested in foreign policy, international security, and negotiations.

The simulation is scheduled to take place in person at ASU’s Beus Center for Law and Society (BCLS) in downtown Phoenix, but is subject to switching to a virtual format if pandemic circumstances require. If you have interest in participating in the simulation virtually, email to discuss options. 

Participants will be divided into groups, with each group acting as a different international actor in the simulated crisis. Each team will have experienced advisors to guide them.

Over the course of four rounds of the simulation exercise, you will:

  • assess information in real time through realistic materials including diplomatic cables, maps, classified assessments, and tweets;
  • articulate a series of policies aimed at resolving ongoing and arising challenges and competing issues, and;
  • deal with the immediate and longer-term aftermath of the crisis.

Because this is a team-based exercise, and because each round builds directly on the preceding rounds, it is essential that you commit to the full exercise lasting two hours on Friday, March 25 and all day on Saturday, March 26, 2022.


Register here by March 6:



Teams will represent governments with interests in the country where the atrocity is occurring and international NGOs.


Team Leaders

Each simulation team will be led by a former U.S. ambassador.



The simulation orientation and introductory session will take place from 5:00 to 7:00pm on Friday, March 25, and from 9:00am to 6:00pm on Saturday, March 26. There will be breaks in between rounds of play and a break for lunch.


Simulation Creator and Administrator

In addition to IRLS faculty and staff, the main facilitator for this event is Jim Finkel. A former member of the senior civil service, Jim Finkel served as the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Center for the Prevention of Genocide’s 2013-2014 Leonard and Sophie Davis Genocide Prevention Fellow after ending his 35-year federal service career in May 2012. During the final 20 years of his service, he held positions that provided him an insider’s view of the evolution of U.S. policy toward international accountability and the prevention of genocide and mass atrocities. Finkel was a participant in President Barack Obama’s Presidential Study Directive 10 (PSD 10) effort and was a frequent attendee during the first year of meetings of the President’s Atrocity Prevention Board. He is the co-founder of the Atrocity Prevention Study Group, a non-resident fellow at the Henry Stimson Center, a visiting scholar at George Mason’s Carter School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution and a courtesy professor of practice at the University of Oregon. Finkel holds a master’s degree in international affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a bachelor of arts from Rutgers College, Rutgers University. He is the author of a half-dozen structured, atrocity-based simulations, several of which have been run by the University of Oregon, Vanderbilt University, Claremont McKenna College, Binghamton University, and West Point. His Sri Lanka simulation was run by the IRLS program at Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law in October 2019, and is Bosnia and Herzegovina simulation was run virtually by the IRLS program and the Institute for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention at Binghamton University in 2021.

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