In 2008, Scharf served as Special Assistant to the Prosecutor of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. During the Bush Sr. and Clinton Administrations, he served in the Office of the Legal Adviser of the U.S. Department of State, where he held the positions of, among others, Attorney-Adviser for United Nations Affairs, and delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Commission. During this period, he received the Meritorious Honor Award for the role he played in the creation of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
Scharf is the author of 19 books, the most recent being "The Impact of the Ad Hoc Tribunals on the International Criminal Court," which he co-edited with Milena Sterio. Three of his publications have won national book of the year honors, and he is ranked among the twenty most-cited authors in the field of International Law since 2010.