The Schell Center is led by Paul W. Kahn, Robert W. Winner Professor of Law and the Humanities, and James Silk, Clinical Professor of Law, the Center's Directors. Hope R. Metcalf is the Executive Director of the Center and the current Robert M. Cover-Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Fellow is Alisha Bjerregaard.

Full staff information appears below.

Each year, the Schell Center has a number of fellows in residence, including Tom and Andi Bernstein Human Rights Fellows and Robina Foundation Visiting Human Rights Fellows.

Student directors help develop the Schell Center’s programs and also guide a number of the programs under the Schell Center’s auspices.

Paul W. Kahn is Robert W. Winner Professor of Law and the Humanities, and Director of the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for Human Rights at Yale Law School. He earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Yale University and his J.D. from Yale Law School. He served as a law clerk to Justice White in the United States Supreme Court from 1980 to 1982. Before coming to Yale Law School in 1985, he practiced law in Washington, D.C. From 1993 to 1999, he was Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Professor of Law. He teaches in the areas of constitutional law and theory, international law, and philosophy. He is the author of Legitimacy and History: Self-Government in American Constitutional Theory; The Reign of Law: Marbury v. Madison and the Construction of America; The Cultural Study of Law: Reconstructing Legal Scholarship; Law and Love: The Trials of King Lear; Putting Liberalism in its Place; Out of Eden: Adam and Eve and the Problem of Evil; Sacred Violence: Torture, Terror, and Sovereignty; Political Theology: Four New Chapters on the Concept of Sovereignty; and Finding Ourselves at the Movies as well as numerous articles.

James Silk is clinical professor of law at Yale Law School, where he directs the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic. He is also Director of the Law School’s Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights. In 2014, he became the founding academic director of the Special Academic Program in Human Rights in Yale College. Before starting at the Law School in 1999, he was the director of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights in Washington, D.C., where, in addition to guiding the organization’s advocacy, his work focused on human rights in China, child labor, and corporate responsibility. He serves on the board of the Fair Labor Association and was a founding board member of RUGMARK-USA (now GoodWeave). He graduated in 1989 from Yale Law School. After law school, he was an attorney at the Washington law firm of Arnold & Porter, where his pro bono work included representing a Virginia death row inmate in his appeals. Before attending law school, Silk was editor, policy analyst, and senior writer for the U.S. Committee for Refugees. He taught English in Shanghai, China, in 1982-83. He has a B.A. in economics from the University of Michigan and an M.A. in the humanities from the University of Chicago.

Hope Metcalf is Executive Director of the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights and co-teaches the Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic. As Executive Director of the Schell Center, she works with students and faculty to coordinate human rights events at the Law School, including the annual Bernstein Symposium, as well as the weekly Human Rights Workshop. Metcalf formerly directed the Arthur Liman Public Interest Program, where she advised students on public interest careers and co-taught the Liman Workshop and Liman Practicum, an experiential course on criminal justice reform. She also supervised the National Litigation Project of the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic, which was founded in 2002 to respond to rights violations arising out of U.S. counterterrorism policy. Metcalf's teaching and research focus on U.S.-based human rights violations, particularly with respect to people in various forms of detention. She is co-chair of the ABA Subcommittee on Solitary Confinement and a board member of Junta for Progressive Action, a New Haven-based immigrants' rights organization. Metcalf is a graduate of Yale College and New York University School of Law, where she was Senior Articles Editor of the NYU Law Review. She clerked for the Honorable Virginia Long of the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Alisha Bjerregaard is the Robert M. Cover-Allard K. Lowenstein Fellow in International Human Rights and an Associate Research Scholar in Law. Her work during and after law school has focused on advocating for women's rights. Bjerregaard earned her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she was a Student Director in the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic. Upon graduation from law school, Bjerregaard received a Robert L. Bernstein International Human Rights Fellowship to work at the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) in their Africa Program. Following her fellowship year, Bjerregaard stayed on at CRR as a Legal Adviser, relocating to Nairobi, Kenya. During her nearly five years at CRR, her work focused on using the law to improve reproductive health services in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. Returning to the U.S. and to Yale Law School in 2013, Bjerregaard was a Robina Foundation Visiting Human Rights Fellow and then consulted for various human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, on reproductive rights projects. Bjerregaard holds a B.A. in international relations from Brown University.

Louisa Brown is a Community Human Rights Fellow at Yale Law School, where she conducts research on forced displacement and assists the Schell Center in promoting a vibrant human rights community and in developing human rights projects. Louisa graduated from the University of Cambridge with First Class Honours in 2013. From 2013-2015 she was a Mellon Fellow at Yale University where she completed her MA degree in Global Affairs with a focus on human rights, gender and law. Louisa has previously interned for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Bogotá, Colombia and the Texas Defender Service in Austin, TX.  She has also conducted research in Mexico, Cambodia and the UK. Feel free to contact Louisa with questions about getting involved with human rights at Yale at [email protected].

Katy Lawder has worked with the Schell Center since 2010. She coordinates the various fellowships, including the Robert L. Bernstein Fellowships in International Human Rights, the Robina Foundation Post-Graduate Fellowships in International Human Rights, and the Schell Center’s Kirby Simon Summer Fellowships. As the Center’s fellowship coordinator, Katy oversees the application processes, assists students, graduates, and visiting fellows in accessing the Center’s various resources, and supports post-graduate fellows throughout the year. She also facilitates the Center’s network of former fellows, helping to connect current students with the dozens of Schell Center alums who are now working in human rights across the globe. Katy has a background in International public health and international humanitarian assistance and has worked for a variety of different organizations (including Family Health International, Oxfam/UK, Catholic Relief Services, USAID, and UNDP) with 2 year postings in Angola, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Azerbaijan, and Nicaragua, as well as shorter assignments or consultancies elsewhere, mostly in Africa. She received her B.A. from Hampshire College, and has an MA in International Development Administration from the School for International Training, and an MPH from Yale.  She can be reached at 203-432-5318 or by email at: [email protected]


Barbara Mianzo, Senior Administrative Assistant
[email protected]

The Schell Center invites scholars or practitioners in the field of human rights to spend periods from a few weeks to a year. Schell Fellows engage in their own research projects and generally have independent financial support. Schell Fellows are encouraged to participate in the intellectual life of the Law School. They give talks or participate in panels, attend workshops, and consult with students. Fellows visit the Law School only at the invitation of the Schell Center.

The current fellows are: 

Paul Linden-Retek is a Robina Foundation Visiting Human Rights Fellow at Yale Law School and a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Political Science. In addition to helping to administer the Multidisciplinary Academic Program in Human Rights at Yale College, Paul conducts research on the political philosophy of European integration, cosmopolitan constitutionalism, and law and the humanities. He holds a J.D. from Yale Law School and an A.B. from Harvard University.

Rachel López is a Schell Center Visiting Human Rights Fellow at Yale Law School and an Associate Professor of Law at the Thomas R. Kline School of Law at Drexel University. At Drexel, she is the Director of the Community Lawyering Clinic at the Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships, which provides free legal services to the residents of two communities in West Philadelphia that are adjacent to Drexel’s campus and engages in projects aimed at addressing the systemic challenges facing those communities. Her scholarship focuses primarily on developing methods of accountability for human rights violations, reforms to transitional justice mechanisms, and models for collective representation. Before coming to Yale in 2017, Professor López researched the complementarity of transitional mechanisms as a Fulbright Scholar in Guatemala and Spain. Her most recent publications can be found on her SSRN page here.

Nicholas Robinson is a Lecturer in Political Science at Yale University, where he teaches a course on human rights, and a Schell Visiting Human Rights Fellow at Yale Law School, where he has taught on the legal profession. After graduating from Yale Law School in 2006, Nick spent seven years in South Asia, clerking for Chief Justice Sabharwal of the Indian Supreme Court, working at Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) in New Delhi on rights litigation involving water and health, and teaching law at National Law School-Bangalore, Lahore University Management Sciences, and Jindal Global Law School. He was also a senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi where he worked on reforms on the Indian legal system and the implementation of social welfare programs. Before coming to Yale in 2016, Nick was a Research Fellow at the Center on the Legal Profession at Harvard Law School as part of their Globalization, Lawyers, and Emerging Economies Project. He currently researches and writes in the areas of the legal profession, human rights, administrative law, and courts, with a particular emphasis on South Asia. His SSRN page can be found here.

Jennifer Rosenbaum (JJ) is a Robina Foundation Visiting Human Rights Fellow for the 2016/2017 academic year where she focuses on a human rights approach to raising standards for low-wage workers on global supply chains- both global production networks and global labor subcontracting chains.  Her research and consultations with worker organizations focus on legal, policy, and organizing approaches to raising workplace standards, overcoming forced labor, and promoting new forms of bargaining.   She was previously the founding Legal and Policy Director for the National Guestworker Alliance and the New Orleans Workers' Center for Racial Justice where she was the legal strategist behind national campaigns including the Signal workers, who exposed labor trafficking from India to the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, and the Justice @ Hershey's campaign, where hundreds of foreign students won new regulations for the cultural exchange visa program. She has litigated cases before trial and appellate courts, lead national policy campaigns, and testified before the United States Congress on labor issues of migrant workers. In 2014, she was appointed by United States Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Whistleblower Protection Advisory Committee.  She has taught courses in immigration, labor and employment, and international human rights at Tulane Law School, Northeastern Law School, and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.