James P. Kelly, III
Jim Kelly is the Founder and President of Solidarity Center for Law and Justice, P.C., an Atlanta, Georgia-based public interest human rights law firm that promotes the right to education and freedom of religion and expression. From 2001 to 2022, he authored and filed five amicus curiae briefs in the Supreme Court of United States pertaining to educational freedom, religious freedom, and freedom of expression.
Since 2005, Kelly has served on an of counsel basis as the Director of International Affairs for the Washington D.C.-based Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies. He is responsible for European judicial and civil society outreach strategy and engagement and for monitoring developments in the areas of human rights, rule of law, democracy, anti-corruption, and national sovereignty.
From 2005-2008, Kelly served as the Federalist Society’s representative on the U.S. National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (“UNESCO”) and as Chairman of the National Commission’s Social and Human Sciences Committee. From 2001-2008, he served as a private legal advisor to the U.S. Department of State and as an official U.S. delegate at five international human rights conferences, on the topics of education for democratic citizenship, migration, and bioethics.
In 2019, Kelly was appointed by the U.S. Department of State to serve as a Substitute Member of the European Commission on Democracy through Law (the “Venice Commission”). In addition to serving on the Venice Commission, Kelly is one of six U.S. experts to the OSCE Moscow Mechanism. In March 2022, he initiated Ukraine’s consideration and use of the Moscow Mechanism as the first official international investigation of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which resulted in the Report on Violations of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law, War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity Committed in Ukraine (1 April – 25 June 2022)
Kelly is a lecturer at the Busch School of Business at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he developed and teaches a class titled Evolution of Business, Human Rights, & ESG.
In 2005, Kelly published Christianity, Democracy and the American Ideal, a compilation of the writings of the French-Catholic philosopher Jacques Maritain.
Kelly is the Founder and General Counsel of Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program, Inc., the state of Georgia’s largest ($48 million raised in 2022) K-12 student scholarship organization awarding scholarships to thousands of children from low and middle-income families to attend the K-12 private schools of their parents’ choice.
He has served as a member of the Georgia Board of Juvenile Justice (2006-2012) and the Georgia Judicial Nominating Commission (2005-2010), which is responsible for vetting state trial and appellate court judicial candidates.
Kelly has earned a Master of Arts degree in International Relations with a Concentration in Justice and Homeland Security from Salve Regina University (2008); a Master of Nonprofit Management degree from Regis University (2002); a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Georgia School of Law (1985); a Master of Taxation degree from Georgia State University (1980); and a Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree from the University of Georgia (1978).
Kelly resides in Alpharetta, Georgia, with his wife, Lisa. They have two married children.