For nearly three decades, I have been building and managing international and education-related programs. As the images and text below make clear, I've always worked to build institutions that promote good ideas for making a better world.
The International Security Program at Yale (1989-1994)
While a graduate student and then as a post-doc, I helped historian Paul Kennedy to build the International Security Program at Yale. Kennedy had recently published his epic Rise and Fall of the Great Powers triggering a global conversation about whether the US was in a period of irreversible declineThe success of Kennedy's book brought a flow of foundation support to International Security Program which funded scholarships for graduate students and post-docs (thank you) as well as sponsoring conferences and lecture series. I started by convening a weekly security studies symposium. Soon I was also helping to organize a lecture series.
Then I co-chaired a number of military and naval history conferences. Two led to major books, edited by my co-chair John Hattendorf. Ubi Sumus: The State of Naval and Maritime History described and examined the state of the field in over 30 countries. I contributed a chapter with Ken Hagan looking at naval history in the United States - covering everything from university teaching, museums, archives and collections through bibliography, historiography, outlets for publication and sources of funding for research. Other than prospects for new academic slots, the state of the field was strong. The follow-on conference produced Doing Naval History: Essays Toward Improvement. This time I contributed the concluding chapter, summing up and looking forward. Pointing to the capacity of emerging digital storage technology, I introduced the idea of a American Naval Records Society - a suggestion that bore fruit in 2010 when a group of volunteer historians and archivists did exactly that.
National Strategy Information Center (1994-1995)
After five years back at Yale, I joined the National Strategy Information Center, a Washington DC think tank focused on intelligence and non-traditional security threats. With support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, I worked on a project defining Security Studies for the Twenty First Century. The project framed out a dozen courses on Security Studies topics, providing syllabi and extensive course descriptions by leading scholars - along with critiques by other major scholar teachers. I worked with every author, providing editorial guidance and sometimes even outlining chapters. I also drafted chapters on Intelligence and Security and on Transstate Security which included topics such as organized crime, terrorism and cyber security - back in the mid-1990s! I organized the conference to workshop the chapters and the discussions. Assembling a book with 36 authors, each referring to the others' work, kept me pretty busy that year. The following year, I joined the faculty of the US Air War College where I took on similar duties part-time, serving as deputy to the dean in charge of electives. In that capacity, I helped the military faculty develop elective courses based on their interests and expertise.
The Columbia Journal of Transnational Law (1998 to present)
Until I was elected Editor-in-Chief of the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law (JTL) I'd never had daily management experience. JTL was the second oldest and largest journal at Columbia Law School, with 74 editors and staffers plus board of directors and advisers from around the world. JTL is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation with staff to recruit and retain, tax filings to submit, an endowment to husband, and events to run. It is also an academic enterprise, evaluating, editing and publishing submissions as well as issuing academic credit to staff.
I found running JTL to be more challenging than any other aspect of law school. So I have remained on the board of directors ever since in order to ease the way for my successors. I have been serving on the investment and digital strategy committees as well as on the committee that selects the recipient of the annual Wolfgang Friedmann Award. Over the past 40+ years, the Journal has remembered Professor Friedmann's extraordinary life by honoring an individual who has greatly contributed to the goals of transnational law. We have recognized outstanding human rights activists, scholars, jurists, and diplomats.
Asian University for Women (2001-2004)
Shortly after September 11th, I read a New York Times article about a start-up effort to build a women's college in Bangladesh that would train a different kind of leader. Strongly believing that this kind of cohort was needed and urgently hoping to do something constructive to ameliorate the growing rift with Islam and the West, I contacted the Board Chair, Stephen J. Friedman who happened to be a senior partner at Debevoise & Plimpton where I was practicing. Steve quickly put me to work and had me elected secretary and treasurer of the AUW Support Foundation. Kamal Ahmad - the driving force behind the enterprise - had already assembled a world-class team that included such lights as Alice Stone Ilchman and Mark Malloch Brown, and I was thrilled to join them.
For several years, I managed the daily operations of the support foundation, writing grant proposals and business plans, building the board, and otherwise helping to launch the university. Today the Asian University for Women has hundreds of students from 16 countries around the world. I left AUW in 2004 to follow Steve Friedman to Pace Law School where he has just assumed the deanship and asked me to join him as the first full-time Director of Graduate Studies (a title which evolved over time to reflect my increasing sphere of responsibility).
EastWest Institute (2003-2004)
In 2003 spent a year building an important new program at the EastWest Institute. In the run-up to the Second Gulf War, key relationships between the US and European allies had broken down. At the same time, governments, business and civil society were failing to communicate on how best to promote domestic security from terrorist threats. Building on John Mroz's unique network of influential persons, I took up the task of creating a "Worldwide Security" initiative.
During my tenure at EWI, I provided the thought leadership and organized a series of pubic and private conversations among diverse stakeholders to explore ways to restore trust and collaboration on security issues in a post-9/11 world. I published op-eds in the New York Times and the Financial Times explaining worthwhile initiatives. I raised program funds from foundations, individuals and from companies. And like to think that I was part of the solution - restoring ties and building new awareness about the kind of cooperation across borders and sectors required to ensure security in an era without precedent.
Pace Law School (2004-2013)
For nearly a decade as Director and then as Assistant Dean, I built up and ran Pace Law School's graduate programs and international affairs. The core task of most US law schools is training lawyers in their JD (first-degree) programs. Increasingly however, they have added LLM (masters) and SJD (doctoral) degrees to leverage their academic resources while increasing revenues. When I joined Pace, it had 8 LLM students. Over the next few years, I increased the quality and quantity of these programs, so that we soon had almost 50 students. To accomplish this, I created new courses, teaching some and bringing on new adjunct faculty for others. Working Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and other members of the full-time faculty, I instituted new policies and procedures. I increased our visibility around the US and in key markets in developing world. I mentored each student from the initial point of contact through graduation and beyond. And working closely with the distinguished environmental law faculty, I created new academic tracks in Real Estate Law (the region's first), Climate Change Law (the nation's first), and Land Use and Sustainable Development (again, the first in the Northeast). I also created an International Business Law track for Pace's LLM in Comparative Legal Studies.
Next Generation Nepal (2006-2012)
In 2006 I volunteered to assist Conor Grennan in creating Next Generation Nepal, a unique a foundation working to end child trafficking and return children to their parents. Conor's journey is documented in his best-selling Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal.
When Conor returned from his first trip to Kathmandu, he asked me to help set up a 501(c)(3) NGO to run homes for children trafficked from the countryside into the city during Nepal's long and devastating civil war. For the next four years, I served as a founding board member and officer as we grew into the robust mature organization.
Since our launch, NGN has:
- Found the families of 465 displaced children and reconnected them through facilitated communication.
- Permanently reunited 119 children with their families.
- Conducted over 218 missions in remote areas to research families, conduct assessments, and monitor the progress of reconnected children.
- Worked in collaboration with 18 local and international organizations working on child protection and community development as trafficking prevention.
- Provided educational scholarships to 33 ex-trafficked and reunified children.
- Provided technical support and training to 17 government and civil society organizations.
- Provided technical advice and advocacy on orphanage trafficking and voluntourism to the diplomatic community, government and civil society in Nepal. As a result of NGN’s advocacy work at least three Embassies in Nepal have changed their travel advice to warn against the risks of orphanage voluntourism.
New York City Bar (1999-Present)
One of my major commitments over the years has been to the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. Established in 1870 to promote the profession and rule of law, the City Bar has a multi-prong mission. Here are the prongs to which I have contributed hundreds of hours of volunteer effort.
- Harnessing the expertise of the legal profession to identify and address legal and public policy issues in ways that promote law reform, ethics and the fair and effective administration of justice, and a respect for the rule of law at home and abroad.
- Mobilizing the legal profession to engage in activities that promote social justice, human rights, and democratic values and principles.
This website's Law page describes my work in some more detail. For purposes of this page, I would just note that I served three-year terms chairing the Committee on International Human Rights and the umbrella Council on International Affairs that I am currently chairing the Committee on Asian Affairs. I have also served a term as an elected member of the Nominating Committee. In each of these leadership positions, as well in my other assignments, I have found the City Bar a remarkably effective institution for promoting professionalism and the rule of law. This work has enabled me to work with lawyers, judges and advocates around the world. And it has taken me from Guangdong, China to Guantanamo, Cuba. Along the way, I have generated dozens of protest letters, substantive reports, programs, panels and off-the-record conversations all build a better rule of law. The City Bar is a life-long commitment.