Mary Noel Pepys has significant years of legal experience in the private and public sectors. She has worked for the past twenty years, since 1993, as an international rule of law attorney helping emerging democracies develop justice systems that ensure the basic principles of the protection of citizens’ human rights, equal treatment of all individuals before the law, and a predictable legal structure with fair, transparent and effective government institutions are developed. Pepys has worked in over 40 countries, lived five years in former communist countries, and more recently lived in Afghanistan for almost two years where she served as the Justice Advisor at the U.S. Embassy from 2008 to 2009.
Previously, from 1984 to 1993, she worked at Heller, Ehrman, White and McAuliffe and later at her own law firm as a land use attorney. From 1982 to 1984, she served as a legal officer for the international peacekeeping force, Multinational Force and Observers, headquartered in Rome, which oversees the security arrangements of the 1978 Camp David Peace Accords. Prior to that, Pepys worked in Washington, D.C., as the Special Assistant to Ambassador Daniel J. Terra at the Department of State from 1981 to 1982, and for Congressman Henry S. Reuss, Chairman of the Committee on Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs, from 1980 to 1981. She served as a law clerk to Justice Thomas A. Caldecott, Presiding Justice of the California Court of Appeal, from 1978 to 1979. Pepys earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Jose State University.