Campus & Community

International public service key to Chayes fellowships

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The Chayes International Public Service Fellowship program provides Harvard Law School (HLS) students with an opportunity to work in international public service for the summer. Students work within governments of developing nations making difficult transitions to peace and democracy, as well as with the intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that support them.

The program not only allows law students to offer their skills to governments and organizations engaged in critical work, but also enables fellows to gain firsthand experience with the complex issues faced by societies in development or transition. The Chayes Fellowship program is administered by the Project on Justice in Times of Transition, an interfaculty program of Harvard University, in cooperation with HLS’s Bernard Koteen Office of Public Interest Advising, and provides fellows with a modest stipend to defray travel and living expenses. The fellowship is dedicated to the memory of Abram Chayes, HLS professor.

For summer 2004 the program will sponsor 25 law students in 13 countries. Since its inception, the program has facilitated practical public service opportunities for 78 law school students in 33 different countries.

The 2004 Chayes Fellows and their placements are as follows:

Mujon Baghai (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Poland) is a first-year law school student with a strong interest in public international law and human rights. After graduating from Northwestern University with degrees in history and French, Baghai spent several months in Belgium interning for a member of the European Parliament. In the spring, she moved to Italy, where she worked on advocacy for the International Criminal Court with the NGO No Peace Without Justice, and helped spearhead an Iranian human rights initiative within the Transnational Radical Party.

Ehren Brav (National Resources Defense Council, China) graduated from Tufts University in 2002 with majors in physics, mathematics, and political science. Before coming to law school, he worked in the Human Rights Program at Harvard and as a teaching assistant at Tufts. For the first half of 2003, Brav was in Nigeria on a Fulbright Fellowship researching democratization and helping to coordinate the elections monitoring campaign. He is currently pursuing a concurrent degree at Harvard Law School and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts. After completing his studies, Brav hopes to enter private practice, perhaps in international private equity, before entering government in some foreign policy capacity.

Hui-wen Chen (Human Rights Watch, Washington, D.C.) is an S.J.D. candidate with a commitment to international human rights and public service. While pursuing her LL.B. and LL.M. at National Taiwan University, she participated in the family law reform project of the Awakening Foundation, and served on the board of supervisors of the Taipei Association for the Promotion of Women’s Rights, both of which are leading women’s rights NGOs in Taiwan. Before coming to Harvard, she worked as a law clerk in Taiwan’s Constitutional Court. Her current S.J.D. research explores the interplay between democratization, justice seeking, and the reconstruction of collective memory in transitional societies.

Nancy Chu (Hangzhou Gonshu Basic Court, China) has an interest in international human rights and the relationship between law and development, particularly in Asia Pacific Rim nations. Before law school, she was trained in East Asian Studies at Harvard College, and also spent a postgraduate year at Beijing University. Her work experience includes two years at the Fair Labor Association, an organization dedicated to furthering international labor rights. At HLS, Chu is affiliated with the Harvard Human Rights Journal, Harvard Asia Law Society, and the Human Rights Program.

Shihani DeSilva (World Bank, Washington, D.C.) is a first-year law student from Sri Lanka with an interest in international development, particularly involving law and development in postconflict societies. She graduated from Middlebury College with concentrations in political science, economics, and Japanese, and studied Japanese politics and economics at Sophia University in Tokyo. She has interned at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, Merrill Lynch, and KPMG. DeSilva is currently an article editor for the Harvard International Law Journal, and a staff member of the Harvard Human Rights Journal.

Allison Driscoll (International Law Institute, Washington, D.C.) is planning to pursue a career in international trade law and is particularly interested in efforts to improve both the representation of developing countries in the international trade system and the dissemination of positive effects of trade throughout these economies. Driscoll graduated from Wesleyan University in 1999, where she earned a B.A. in economics with an emphasis on international development issues. Most recently, she worked as a senior research assistant at the Brookings Institution where she held a joint appointment to the foreign policy studies and economic studies programs. She currently serves on the executive board of the Harvard International Law Journal.

Kyle Freeny (International Rescue Committee, Afghanistan) obtained her B.A. in government from Harvard University in 2001, where she also studied Arabic and Near Eastern affairs. She had her first exposure to international human rights work while working in the public relations department of a mental health NGO in the Gaza Strip. After graduation, she lived and worked in Cairo where she developed an interest in refugee and asylum law. Her first love is travel, and before starting law school she spent six months backpacking around the world on her own.

Allison Friedman (Human Rights Law Network, India) is a first-year law student with a background in English and gender studies. Prior to attending law school, she worked for Zero Tolerance, a Scottish campaign aimed at the prevention of violence against women and children. This summer she will be working on the Women’s Justice and Criminal Justice Initiatives for the Human Rights Law Network office in Delhi. Friedman is affiliated with the Women’s Law Journal and the Harvard Human Rights Journal, and plans to focus her studies on international and human rights law.

Jimmy Gao (International Bridges for Justice, China) has a strong interest in international development, particularly involving rule of law, environmental protection, and the use of technology and the Internet. He is a graduate of systems design engineering at the University of Waterloo in Canada, with an option in international studies. In his first year at HLS, Gao worked with HLS Advocates to research and write memos in support of the Commission for the Investigation of Armed Groups and Clandestine Security Organizations in Guatemala, and on litigation involving the nonconsensual sterilization of Romani women in Slovakia. He is an associate editor and Webmaster for Harvard Asia Quarterly, works on the Journal of Law and Technology, and is a certified mediator with the Harvard Mediation Program. Gao is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

Gwendolyn Gordon (International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Tanzania) received a B.A. from Cornell University in 2002, and would like to pursue a career in international public interest and human rights. She is intrigued by law’s interactions with anthropology, especially as they relate to native and entering populations in conflict. Gordon works with the Harvard Human Rights Journal, the Harvard International Law Journal, and with HLS Advocates for Human Rights.

Brandon Hogan (Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, South Africa) is a first-year law student and graduate of Howard University. He is interested in African politics and political philosophy, and is particularly concerned with theories of motivation and justice. Hogan’s undergraduate thesis explored the impact of public protest on U.S. policy toward South Africa during the 1980s. He has also written on the influence that Pan-Africanism and Marxism had in shaping anti-colonial movements in Sub-Saharan Africa. Hogan has interned for Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and currently works with the Harvard International Law Journal.

Jonathan Kaufman (Sand County Foundation Community Based Conservation Network, Tanzania) is a first-year student at HLS. He received an M.A. in Chinese language and literature from Yale and subsequently studied in Taiwan on a Fulbright Scholarship. This summer, Kaufman will work with the Sand County Foundation’s Community Based Conservation Network in Tanzania.

Amy Lehr (International Criminal Court, The Hague, the Netherlands) graduated cum laude from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton in 2000. Her interest in international relations developed when she studied abroad in Jerusalem, focusing on Middle East politics. Lehr’s senior thesis addressed international intervention and administration of collapsed states. After graduation, she taught college English in Bangkok through the Princeton-in-Asia program, while also working for Ashoka, an international NGO. Subsequently, she worked for Landmine Survivors Network in Washington, D.C., and later moved to Burma and worked for Save the Children/United States before coming to HLS. She is a board member of HLS Advocates for Human Rights and is a member of the Harvard Human Rights Journal and Harvard International Law Journal. She is particularly interested in international law and policy, as well as human rights in Eastern Europe and East Asia.

Adrian Lu (Judicial Reform Foundation, Taiwan) graduated from the University of Texas, Austin, in 2002 with a degree in electrical engineering. After graduation, Lu spent a year in Shanghai teaching freshman English at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. During the second half of the year, he interned in the intellectual property practice group of a Chinese law firm, Shanghai Allbright Law Offices. This summer Lu will work with the Judicial Reform Foundation in Taipei on an evaluation of recent criminal procedure reforms in Taiwan. Lu is interested in a career involving legal practice and legal development in China.

Jesse Newmark (World Bank, Washington, D.C.) developed a commitment to social and economic justice as a result of his experience doing manual labor at a steel factory in Tucson, Ariz., and working at an automobile plant, in social services, and as a bilingual teacher in Oakland, Calif. He has focused on current international issues as part of a delegation to Caracas, Venezuela, and as a founding member and volunteer for a nonprofit aimed at learning about and providing services to indigenous communities in Chiapas, Mexico.

Meredith Osborn (International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Tanzania) is a first-year student at HLS, and is interested in the rule of law, criminal justice, and democratic theory. She has been involved in the HLS Advocates for Human Rights’ Africa Initiative, the Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Journal, and the Public Interest Auction. This fall, Osborn prepared a report on Sierra Leone’s judiciary, and this spring, she has been involved in developing strategies for prosecuting sexual violence at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, where she will be interning this summer. A graduate of Harvard College, she will be returning to Leverett House as a pre-law resident tutor next year. Between Harvard degrees, Osborn was a St. Andrews Scholar at the University of Edinburgh, where she received her M.Sc. with distinction in international and European politics. She wrote her dissertation on U.S. democratization efforts in Africa during the Clinton administration.

Sean Rosario (International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Tanzania) is a first-year HLS student. Before coming to HLS, he was a soldier in the U.S. Army JAG Corps, serving on active duty for four years. During this time, Rosario volunteered as a NATO Peacekeeper with the Stabilization Force in Bosnia-Herzegovina. His duty stations include Mannheim and Sarajevo. Rosario is interested in the application of international law in operational (military) frameworks, and he intends to use his internship to further his understanding of the Rwandan genocide and its aftermath.

Adam M. Smith (Office of the Legal Advisor to the United States Embassy, The Hague, the Netherlands) is a J.D. candidate at HLS with an interest in the political and economic transformation of postconflict states. Prior to coming to Harvard, Smith was a political economist at the United Nations where he focused on African and Middle Eastern issues, helped craft the Monterrey Consensus on Financing for Development, and served on UN teams addressing crises in Cote d’Ivoire, the Central African Republic, Nigeria, and Cameroon. Before joining the UN, Smith consulted for the UN’s Committee on Liberian Sanctions, briefed NGOs on the diverse economic/political aspects of rebuilding Sierra Leone, and worked on several state enterprise reform projects in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Latin America. He has also been a staff member of the World Bank’s World Development Report team, and a consultant to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Smith has been published in Forbes, The American Prospect, the Harvard International Law Journal, Orbis, and The Fletcher Forum.

Stephan Sonnenberg (Council of Europe, Switzerland) is a joint-degree student between HLS and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Before coming to law school, he spent a year in southern Russia working with local NGOs to design and implement a humanitarian relief project for internally displaced Chechnians, and another year enjoying the student life in Paris. Sonnenberg has since been involved with human rights advocacy, development work, and conflict resolution. During the summer of 2003, he interned as a short-term expert with the International Helsinki Federation in Moscow.

Clifton Strickler (U.S. Agency for International Development, Washington, D.C.) studied philosophy at the University of Texas before moving to Osaka to teach English at a Japanese high school. While in Japan, he had the opportunity to travel to Southeast Asia and to be involved with the Osaka office of Amnesty International. Two years later, he returned to attend HLS, where he is currently involved in the Harvard International Law Journal and the Human Rights Program.

Jeff Thorn (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Kazakhstan) studied in the Program of Ethics, Politics, and Economics as an undergraduate at Yale, where he concentrated on the role of the courts in American civil society. Since then, Thorn has served in the Peace Corps in Uzbekistan as an English teacher and youth camp director, and has worked in Washington, D.C., as the special projects director for a land mine action NGO. His interests include the development of democratic institutions and civil society throughout the former Soviet bloc, and the improvement of nonprofit efforts throughout Central Asia.

Adam Watkins (High Court of the Republic of the Marshall Islands) graduated from Brown University in 2000 with a dual degree in public policy and economics. Upon graduation, he spent a year as a management consultant with Monitor Group, and then co-led a startup nonprofit, Books for South Africa, which successfully gathered and shipped over 60,000 children’s books to Khayelitsha Township, outside Capetown, South Africa. In 2002-03, Watkins served as a teacher and administrator at Marshall Islands High School on Majuro Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands. This summer he will return to Majuro to help the High Court of the Marshall Islands amend the young nation’s substantive and procedural criminal law – which is based on American law – to more accurately reflect the country’s values and ongoing process of development.

Erica Westenberg (World Bank, Washington, D.C.) focuses on economic and political development in Africa. She graduated from Harvard College in 2002, where she majored in government and received the certificate in African studies. She was a State Department intern in Botswana and conducted her honors thesis research on participatory poverty reduction in Nigeria. In 2003, she received her M.Sc. in development management from the London School of Economics, where her dissertation was on coalition building and transnational advocacy within the African diaspora. She is currently co-chair of the International Law Society at HLS and also works with the Harvard International Law Journal.

Abby Wood (UN Agency for International Development, Egypt) is a first-year student at HLS. She hopes to find a career in sustainable development, specifically focusing in micro-finance and women’s issues in developing countries. Before coming to Harvard, she spent three years in Dallas working at a law firm, then at a breast cancer fundraiser, and then teaching yoga. During that time, she volunteered with Project Transformation, a community development organization, helping to start Project Transformation Oklahoma City. She has lived and traveled in Central America, and her experiences there prompted her ongoing interest in development. Next year, she will attend the Fletcher School for Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.

Tally Zingher (International Criminal Court, The Hague, the Netherlands) is in her second year of a four-year joint-degree program at HLS and the Kennedy School of Government’s masters of public administration in international development program. She was born in New York and received a B.A. in economics and Near Eastern languages and civilizations from Harvard College in 1999. Upon graduating, she spent one year in Israel on a Fulbright Scholarship pursuing research into the economics of Haredi women and two years working as an investment-banking analyst for the technology M&A Boutique, Broadview International. Her main academic interests relate to international law, U.S. economic foreign policy, and Middle East economic and legal development.