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The student fellows are named in honor of Herbert J. Hansell, a graduate of Yale Law School, who served as Legal Adviser in the U.S. State Department from 1977 to 1979 and who was a leading international lawyer in private practice thereafter. During his time as Legal Adviser, he was closely involved in the negotiation of the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty (the Camp David Accords), the Panama Canal Treaties, the Salt II Treaty, and agreements establishing diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China.
John Bowers is a 3L at Yale Law School. Before coming to Yale, John worked as a staff researcher at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School. John earned his undergraduate degree at Harvard College, where he studied the social sciences and computer science.
Mikaela Cardillo is a 2L at Yale Law School interested in the intersection between law of the sea, national security, and environmental law. Originally from Indiana, Mikaela graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2016 with a degree in political science and economics. She began her career as a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy and served on two ships stationed in San Diego, CA, the USS San Diego (LPD 22) and the USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000). During her tours, she deployed to the Pacific, Arabian Gulf, and Mediterranean Sea. Her time in the Navy inspired her passion for international law and public service. At YLS, Mikaela is involved in the Veterans Legal Services Clinic, the Yale Journal of International Law, the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, the Tsai Leadership Program Ludwig Fellowship, and the Paul Tsai China Center
Justin Cole is a third-year law student at Yale Law School and has a background in national security policy and human rights. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Justin worked for two years prior to law school as an Investment Management Paralegal at Ropes & Gray. At Yale, Justin is an editor-in-chief for the Yale Journal of International Law and a research assistant for several professors on issues including civil rights, health policy, and immigration law. He has split both of his last two summers at different sections of the Department of Defense and Department of Justice and will be clerking for Judge Thomas Hardiman on the Third Circuit in Pittsburgh next year.
Alaa Hachem is a second-year J.D. candidate at Yale Law School interested in international human rights and international humanitarian law. At Yale, she is involved in the Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic, the Yale Law Journal, the Yale Journal of International Law, and the Yale Society of International Law. She spent the summer of 2022 interning at an ad hoc international tribunal in The Hague, helping to investigate and prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity. Prior to law school, Alaa worked at the International Finance Corporation’s Asset Management Company, where she specialized in private equity investments in emerging markets. She graduated from McGill University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Commerce and an Honors in Investment Management.
Rekha Kennedy is a third-year student at Yale Law School. She is interested in researching emerging issues in technology, economic development, and democracy promotion. Before law school, Rekha worked in various technology startups. As a Commercial Innovation Fellow at a social impact startup in Nairobi, Kenya, she worked on financial inclusion issues in East Africa. During law school, Rekha served as a legal clerk for Senator Blumenthal on the Senate Judiciary Committee, where she drafted bills, memos, and speeches on issues ranging from social media regulation to veterans' affairs. Rekha graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia University, where she holds a BA in Political Science and Middle East, South Asian, and African Studies.
Maggie Mills is a 2L at Yale Law School. Before law school, Maggie graduated with honors from the United States Military Academy at West Point, majoring in Russian language and international and comparative legal studies. She spent eight years following her graduation as an Aviation officer in the United States Army, serving in Alabama, Texas, South Korea, and North Carolina. At Yale Law School, Maggie is involved in the Veterans Legal Services Clinic, the Yale Journal of International Law, and the National Security Group. Maggie spent the summer of 2022 as a trainee at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, and continues to pursue an interest in international legal topics intersection with post-Soviet states
Juan Pablo Miramontes is a third-year J.D. candidate at Yale Law School, where he focuses on foreign relations and international human rights law. While at Yale, he interned with the Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section of the Department of Justice, the Office of the Legal Adviser of the Department of State, and Latham & Watkins LLP. He is a Notes Editor for the Yale Law Journal and was an Articles Editor for the Yale Journal of International Law. Prior to law school, he was a Human Rights Fellow at Perseus Strategies LLC and a Research Fellow at National Security Action. He graduated from Harvard College in 2017 with an Honors Degree in Social Studies and a minor in French.
Thomas Poston is a second-year J.D. candidate at Yale Law School. Thomas was previously a Fulbright research fellow in Cambodia and a consultant with a variety of public-sector institutions, including the U.S. Department of State and the Inter-American Development Bank. He has also worked at the Council of Europe, the European Court of Human Rights, and the Natural Resources Defense Council on a variety of international human rights and environmental challenges. A native of eastern North Carolina, Thomas received his B.A. summa cum laude from Wake Forest, where he studied international affairs and economics.
Aaron X. Sobel is a 3L at Yale Law School interested in international and U.S. foreign relations law. He spent his summers at the Department of State's Office of the Legal Adviser, Arnold & Porter’s national security practice, and the Department of Justice’s Civil Division Appellate Staff. Prior to law school, he was a Junior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he published and was interviewed by NPR on the Philippines’ national security laws. Aaron received his A.B summa cum laude in public policy from Princeton, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. After graduation, he will return to Arnold & Porter and then clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit for Judge Barrington Parker.
Michael Sullivan is a second-year J.D. candidate at Yale Law School. He is interested in national security and foreign relations law. At Yale, Michael is an Articles Editor of the Yale Journal of International Law, serves on the board of the National Security Group, and is a European Studies Graduate Fellow in the Yale MacMillan Center European Studies Council. He is also involved in the Veterans Legal Services Clinic. This past summer, Michael interned at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. Prior to law school, Michael was a research assistant at the Center for Anticipatory Intelligence and helped develop reports for use by the intelligence community. He also has experience at the State Department, where he focused on security assistance policy in Europe, Asia, and the Pacific. Before his State Department experience, Michael served as an Osprey Crew Chief in the Marine Corps. During that time, he deployed to the Middle East and supported combat operations against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Michael holds a B.A. in political science from Syracuse University, graduating summa cum laude with distinction.
Heather Zimmerman is a third-year student at Yale Law School. She is interested in the possibilities for international human rights law and movements to challenge state violence, including the use of torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment in policing and incarceration. As a Student Director for the Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic, she works on advocating for the establishment of independent oversight of Connecticut prisons and on federal litigation challenging the abusive use of restraints against people with disabilities incarcerated in Connecticut. Prior to law school, Heather spent a decade working as a human rights advocate, community organizer, and researcher in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Heather has an MSc in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and an MSc in Violence, Conflict, and Development from SOAS, University of London.