The Bernstein Fellowship was established at Yale Law School in 1997 to honor Robert Bernstein as a tireless champion of human rights. Started by Mr. Bernstein’s wife Helen and their three sons, Peter, Tom, and William, the fellowship is supported by Mr. Bernstein’s family, friends, and colleagues and administered by the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School.

Robert L. Bernstein International Human Rights Fellows

2017-2018 Fellows

Conor Casey is an LL.M. Candidate from Ireland. He will be spending his fellowship year at the Mercy Law Resource Centre (MLRC), a Dublin based Public Interest Law Centre dedicated to providing legal assistance and policy advocacy for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

At MLRC, Conor will act as a research and policy officer and assist the center’s advocacy and policy objectives in relation to utilising international and supranational law to promote domestic legal change. This will primarily involve continuing MLRC’s engagement with international human rights bodies which supervise Ireland’s obligations in the field of housing rights; including the UN Human Rights Council, the UN Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty, and the Council of Europe. It will also involve spearheading MLRC’s strategy of utilizing the critical findings of these international human rights forums to generate political pressure and impetus for legal and policy reform.

Prior to Yale, Conor completed an LL.B. (Law) degree in Trinity College Dublin in 2015. During his time at Trinity he was also elected a non-foundation scholar. Conor also spent a year working as a legal researcher to a Senior Counsel of the Bar of Ireland. During this time his work focused on the field of European Union law, international environmental law, refugee and asylum law, and European human rights law. In this capacity he was a member of the official Irish delegation to a case before the United Nations Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee, and assisted in the drafting and preparation of Ireland’s written and oral submissions. He has published work on constitutional, immigration and human rights law in leading Irish law journals.

Claire Kim (J.D. 2017) is spending her Fellowship year at the Center for Reproductive Rights’ Washington, D.C. office. The Center for Reproductive Rights is a leading global legal advocacy organization, with expertise in both U.S. constitutional and international human rights law. Claire will be involved in both legal and policy work, including working on a publication focusing on religious-refusal clauses in both domestic and foreign policy that impact reproductive health care. Claire’s fellowship will also include opportunities to contribute to the Center for Reproductive Rights’ day-to-day advocacy efforts and engage in coalition meetings as well as advocacy meetings with officials.

Claire worked as a Student Director of the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic. She was an Articles Editor for the Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal and a Submissions Editor for the Yale Journal of International Law. Claire also served as an Outreach Director for the International Refugee Assistance Program at Yale and a Career Development Chair for the Yale Society of International Law. She holds a B.A. in Government (International Relations) and History modified with Russian from Dartmouth College.

Sanya Kumar (LL.M. 2017) will be spending her fellowship year at Reprieve, an international human rights organization based in London, which aims to abolish the death penalty or restrict its application worldwide. Her work will focus on South Asian female migrant workers employed in the Gulf States who have been sentenced to death. Sanya will author a report addressing the systemic barriers faced by these women in accessing the legal system, and devise a gender-specific rights-based strategy to engage with law makers and policy makers to restrict the use of death penalty. She will identify cases for strategic litigation, and organize public education campaigns around the report.

At Yale, Sanya is an Inlaks Scholar and a Lillian Goldman Perpetual Scholar. Her areas of interest are criminal law, constitutional law, international human rights, and gender and the law. She is a part of the Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic and has worked with the Capital Assistance Project and the Yale Journal of Law & Feminism. Before coming to Yale, Sanya received her law degree from National Law University, Delhi, where she was a Senior Student Fellow at the Centre for Constitutional Law, Policy and Governance. During law school, she was actively involved in various law reform initiatives – she assisted the Law Commission of India with a project involving review of the criminal justice system, and its report on the death penalty; and worked with the Government of Delhi on issues relating to amendments to rape laws and juvenile justice legislations.


2016-2017 Fellows

Daniel Hessel (J.D. 2016) is spending his Fellowship year working at EarthRights International’s Mekong regional office in Chiang Mai, Thailand. His work focuses on the design and implementation of community-driven operational level grievance mechanisms (CD-OGMs). While typical OGMs are created and run by corporations against whom rights are asserted, the CD-OGM model strives to use culturally-appropriate mechanisms that account for the needs and desires of the rights-asserting communities who create them. As part of his project, Daniel is studying a CD-OGM in Myanmar that has been operating for several years, and working with a local community in Vietnam to help map community resources and develop an appropriate grievance mechanism

At the Law School, he worked as a Student Director of the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights and the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic. He was also an Executive Editor for the Yale Journal of International Law. He spent his law school summers at the Israel Supreme Court, as a Kirby Simon Human Rights Fellow, and at the ACLU's Voting Rights Project, as a Ford Foundation Fellow. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and Legal Studies from Northwestern University.

Asaf Lubin is spending his fellowship year at Privacy International (PI), a London-based organization that works to advance domestic and international policies aimed at strengthening effective privacy protections and data regulations while curtailing illegal surveillance. Asaf is involved in targeted research and trial assistance for ongoing cases and interventions before the European Court of Human Rights, the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, the European Court of Justice, and the U.K. Investigatory Powers Tribunal. Asaf also assists in drafting reports and submissions before international organizations while engaging governments, parliaments, and companies on an array of privacy issues stemming from governmental hacking, data exploitation, algorithmic snooping, and intelligence sharing.

Asaf is also a J.S.D. Candidate at Yale Law School and a Resident Fellow with the School’s Information Society Project. His research focuses on the regulation of intelligence under international law, with particular emphasis on the effects that technological advancements have had on the practice of espionage and the right to privacy in an age of mass governmental surveillance. His work draws on his experiences as a former intelligence analyst, Sergeant Major (Res.), with Israeli Intelligence.

Prior to his doctoral studies, Asaf completed a dual degree in Law and International Relations (LL.B./B.A) at Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel and a Master's Degree in Law (LL.M.) at Yale Law School. He additionally attended the Hague Academy of International Law, interned for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, worked for the Turkel Public Commission of Inquiry, and served as an articled clerk for the International Law Division of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

2015-2016 Fellows

Sharanya Kanikkannan (J.D. 2011) is spending her second year as a Bernstein Fellow with Aids-Free World, where she has joined efforts to end sexual abuse committed by peacekeepers. She spent her first fellowship year at a human rights law firm in Haiti, where she assisted victims of sexual exploitation and abuse by peacekeeping troops. She also worked on UN accountability in the Georges v. United Nations case for the negligent introduction of cholera to Haiti. Working with a team of lawyers and activists, she organized the submission of civil society reports for the Universal Periodic Review of Haiti, and co-authored a report on the 2015 Haitian elections.

Sharanya is a former human rights officer for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and the U.N. peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Before that, she worked for the national ombudsman for human rights in Timor-Leste and the United Nations Development Program to implement a human rights network, as a recipient of the Yale Initiative for Public Interest Law grant. Sharanya is an alumna of the Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic, the Jerome N. Frank Domestic Violence Clinic, and the Yale Visual Law Project. She edited for the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, the Yale Journal of International Law, and the Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal. Sharanya studied international development and economics at the University of Oregon and maintains a strong interest in the intersection of development, rights-based approaches, and access to justice.

Allana Kembabazi is passionate about the intersection of law and healthcare, particularly in legal and policy frameworks that promote access to health.  At the Initiative for Social and Economic Rights (ISER), where she is currently spending the second year of her fellowship, Allana is using targeted litigation and advocacy to advance the right to health in Uganda with a particular focus on marginalized groups and people with disabilities. She also coordinated the submission of a civil society joint report on economic, social and cultural rights (ESCRs) for Uganda's Universal Periodic Review in October 2016 and is advocating for increased attention to ESCRs.

Allana received a Bachelors of Arts in Government from Wesleyan University, CT in 2011 and a J.D from Yale Law School in 2015.  Before coming to ISER, Allana was a foreign law clerk at the Constitutional Court of South Africa. Her work before law school focused on human rights and social justice issues in the United States and abroad.  During law school, she carried out research exploring the interface between human rights like health and the environment and the use of litigation to advance the right to health in developing countries. Throughout her law school summers she used litigation and advocacy to advance human rights at Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, the ACLU Human Rights Project and as a Kirby Simon Summer Human Rights Fellow at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.  At Yale, Allana was a Global Health Justice Student Fellow, a member of the Global Health Justice Practicum where she co- authored a report advocating for access to Hepatitis C medication in low and middle-income countries. She was also a member of the Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic, co-president of the Yale Society of International, a Lillian Goldman Perpetual Scholar, Executive Editor of the Yale Journal of International Law, editor on the Yale Human Rights and Development Journal, co-director of the Summer Public Interest Fund Student Contribution, community service chair of the Yale Black Law Students Association, and a member of the Africa and Law Policy Association.  She is currently a Bernstein International Human Rights Fellow, and a Humanity In Action Senior Fellow.

Ryan Thoreson, a member of the class of 2014, is spending his fellowship year working with Human Rights Watch’s LGBT Rights Program in New York City. Ryan’s research and advocacy focuses on the intersection of children’s rights and LGBT rights. His current project examines a range of issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity and expression in schools across the United States, including bullying and harassment, discrimination, access to information, and freedoms of speech and assembly.

Ryan earned an A.B. in Government and Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality from Harvard in 2007 and a D.Phil. in Anthropology from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar, in 2012. He has worked with a number of LGBT NGOs in the United States and abroad, including the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association (ILGA) in Brussels, GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) in Boston, and OutRight Action International in New York and Cape Town. He is the author of Transnational LGBT Activism: Working for Sexual Rights Worldwide, published in 2014 by the University of Minnesota Press. While at the Law School, Ryan was a member of the Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic and served as an Executive Editor on the Yale Law Journal and Managing Editor on the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism. After graduating from the Law School, Ryan clerked for the Honorable Scott M. Matheson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.


2014-2015 Fellows

Megan Corrarino (J.D. 2013) was a 2015 Robert L. Bernstein International Human Rights Law Fellow at Human Rights First and extended for an additional year. She authored amicus briefs concerning corporate accountability for human rights violations by U.S. contractors, including the trafficking of Nepali workers in Iraq and involvement of contractors in torture at Abu Ghraib. In another project, Megan coordinated Human Rights First’s collaboration with Argentine human rights groups to successfully push the U.S. government to declassify documents related to activities during the Argentine military dictatorship. An alumna of the Lowenstein Clinic, Megan worked with Clinic students to assess the international human rights implications of concerned violations arising out of the United States’ handling of women seeking asylum from gangs and domestic violence in Central America.

At the Law School, Megan was an articles editor of the Yale Journal of International Law and a member of the Lowenstein Clinic. Ms. Corrarino received an M.P.A. from Princeton University in 2013, and a B.A. with honors from the University of Chicago, where she was Phi Beta Kappa, in 2007. From 2013 to 2014, she clerked for the Honorable Susan P. Graber of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She is currently a litigation associate at Debevoise and Plimpton LLP.

Kyle Delbyck (J.D.2014) is currently spending the second year of her fellowship with TRIAL International's Bosnia office, which advocates on behalf of victims of the Bosnian war. Kyle has written a range of position papers and reports geared towards realizing wartime victims' right to redress. Most recently, Kyle published a report on the benefits that sexual violence survivors derive from compensation in criminal proceedings, advocating for governmental and judicial action. Kyle is now working on a position paper as part of TRIAL's campaign to ensure that wartime survivors participating in court proceedings receive free legal aid. For the first year of her fellowship, Kyle worked with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN BiH), a trial monitoring organization based in Sarajevo. Immediately following law school graduation and prior to beginning her fellowship, Kyle worked with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. During law school, Kyle was a member of the Lowenstein Human Rights Clinic and co-leader of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia project, a student organization that provided research and writing assistance to judges at Cambodia’s war crimes court. Kyle spent both summers abroad on Kirby Simon Fellowships, the first with the Office of the Prosecutor at the Cambodian tribunal and the second in Northern Ireland with the Pat Finucane Centre. Her third year, Kyle participated in the Israeli-Palestinian claims commission project, traveling to Israel/Palestine to study the use of compensation mechanisms in a potential peace agreement. Kyle earned a B.A. in History with Honors from Scripps College in 2009.

Stephanie (Kim) Gee (J.D. 2014) is a staff attorney for the International Refugee Assistance Project’s office in Amman, Jordan. Prior to joining IRAP, she spent two years as the Robert L. Bernstein Fellow in the refugee rights program at Human Rights Watch. Her research and advocacy were focused on the right to education, access to asylum, and the importance of global responsibility-sharing amidst unprecedented levels of displacement. In November 2015, she published the report “When I Picture My Future, I See Nothing”: Barriers to Education for Syrian Refugee Children in Turkey, which documented the major obstacles preventing over 400,000 Syrian children from attending school in Turkey. She also monitored the implementation of the 2016 EU-Turkey migration deal and advocated against the return of Syrian refugees to Turkey from Europe.

At the Law School, Stephanie was a student director of the Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic, a student director of the Schell Center for International Human Rights, and an editor for the Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal. She also participated in the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), the Legal Services for Immigrant Communities Clinic, the Nonprofit Organizations Clinic, and a research project that led to substantive changes in the Korean judiciary’s treatment of sexual violence victims. She spent both law school summers as a Kirby Simon Fellow, working with IRAP in Amman, the Mental Disability Advocacy Center in Budapest, and the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition in Washington, D.C. She received a B.A. in English from Williams College, where she also completed a Jewish Studies concentration and studied advanced Arabic.


2013-2014 Fellows

Mytili Bala (J.D. 2009) is a human rights lawyer based in San Diego, California.  She spent two years as a Bernstein Fellow with the Center for Justice and Accountability (CJA), a San Francisco nonprofit organization that works to hold accountable perpetrators of torture, extrajudicial killings, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Mytili focused on CJA’s transitional justice efforts in Sri Lanka, where she worked alongside civil society organizations and victim groups to elevate local demands for truth and justice after the end of a 26-year civil war. She also assisted with CJA's active cases and investigations in Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, and Haiti. After leaving CJA, Mytili worked as a Nexus Fund Fellow at the Centre for Human Rights and Development in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where she advised local lawyers on their mass graves litigation in Mannar, Sri Lanka and drafted a policy brief based on the organization's habeas cases and disappearances advocacy. 

Mytili is currently works as a research attorney for the California Court of Appeal in San Diego and teaches a human rights course at San Diego State University.  She continues to work with her Sri Lankan civil society partners to amplify the demands of war-affected women and push for accountability as the country maps out its transitional justice mechanisms and constitutional reforms.

Mytili earned a B.A. in Economics with Honors from the University of Chicago in 2005.  At the Law School, she participated in the Community Lawyering Clinic and the Temporary Restraining Order Project and was a Senior Editor of the Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal.  As a Kirby Simon Summer Human Rights Fellow at People’s Watch, an NGO in Madurai, India, Mytili drafted incident reports of police torture and helped organize people’s tribunals in connection with the National Project on Preventing Torture in India. Following law school and before her Bernstein fellowship, Mytili worked as a litigation associate at Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Irell & Manella LLP.

Carrick Flynn (J.D. 2011) spent the 2013-2014 fellowship year at the Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) in New Delhi, India and Suaram in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. At HRLN he worked on a variety of projects including coercive sterilization, maternal mortality, child marriage, family planning and contraception, and the right to health. At Suaram, he focused his work on civil and political rights, especially the increased use of the Sedition Act to silence dissent.  Prior to the fellowship, Carrick was a Legal Consultant at the Asia Foundation in Timor-Leste. After his fellowship, he moved to Jimma, Ethiopia where he was a Lecturer of Law he served as a Lecturer in Law for the LL.M program in Human Rights and Criminal Law at Jimma University in Ethiopia. He is now a Research Project Manager at the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford.

While at the Law School, Carrick served as a submissions editor for the Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal and as an editor for the Yale Journal of International Law. He also advised asylum seekers with the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project. He earned a B.A. summa cum laude from the University of Oregon with a double major in Economics and International Studies, emphasizing the economic development of sub-Saharan Africa.

Ignacio Mujica (LL.M. 2013) spent his fellowship year working in the Crimes Against Humanity Program of Human Rights First.  His work focused on establishing the identities of the networks of states, corporations, and individuals that provide material support to groups that perpetrate mass atrocities, and on the domestic and international actions that can be taken to disrupt those networks.

Ignacio came to the Law School as a Fulbright Scholar, and his studies focused on international human rights law, international humanitarian law and international criminal law. A native Chilean, he holds an LL.B degree from the University of Chile. Before coming to Yale, he worked both in academic research and in litigation on human rights in Chile, with a particular emphasis on transitional justice and criminal law.

Ignacio currently works in Chile at Vergara Galindo Correa Abogados, focusing on criminal law and government investigations.


2012-2013 Fellows

Efrén C. Olivares (J.D. 2008) spent his fellowship year at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington. His work focused on the rights of indigenous peoples in the context of large infrastructure projects affecting their territories.  He worked on cases, petitions and requests for precautionary measures relating to indigenous peoples’ rights. He also worked on cases and a thematic report regarding the rights of indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation, published in 2014.The goals of his project were to help protect the rights of some of the most vulnerable indigenous peoples in the Americas, and to ensure that appropriate safeguards are in place when they face large-scale development and extractive projects. In 2015, Efrén worked again at the Inter-American Commission on a report regarding the human rights situation in Mexico, which was published in early 2016.

Efrén earned a B.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania in 2005, where he graduated summa cum laude.  At Yale, he was a Student Director of the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights, a member of the Lowenstein Clinic and the Criminal Defense Clinic, and an Articles Editor of the Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal.  After graduation, he worked at Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. in Houston. He is currently the Racial and Economic Justice Program Director at the Texas Civil Rights Project, where he handles human and civil rights cases ranging from immigrants’ rights to disability rights and wage theft, among others.


Katherine Reisner (J.D. 2011) spent her fellowship at the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), where she became Policy Director and advocated on issues concerning overseas refugee resettlement and the Special Immigrant Visa programs. She also provided direct representation to refugee clients in complex emergency situations, managed IRAP’s impact litigation, and supervised students at IRAP’s law school chapters across the country. She was also a Visiting Clinical Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School, where she taught Advanced Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project and Global Refugee Legal Assistance. Before joining IRAP, she clerked for Judge Michael Daly Hawkins on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She is a graduate of Brown University and, in addition to the Law School, the London School of Economics and Political Science. 

More recently, she served as a Counselor in the office of Secretary Jeh Johnson at the Department of Homeland Security, where she worked on refugee, immigration, and related national security law and policy issues. 


Rupali Sharma (J.D. 2012) spent her fellowship at the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), where she supported litigation efforts to expand access to reproductive healthcare in Europe, including a challenge to Ireland’s abortion ban. Following her fellowship, she clerked for Judge Matthew F. Kennelly of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Rupali graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Northwestern University, after which she provided direct services to recent immigrants living with domestic violence and led an emergency contraception campaign at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. As a law student, she served as a student director of the Immigration Legal Services clinic, was a Managing Editor of the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism, interned with the Honorable Mr. Justice Dalveer Bhandari of the Supreme Court of India, and was a member of the Lowenstein International Human Rights clinic. Rupali is currently a Legal Fellow in CRR's U.S. Legal Program and is currently clerking for Chief Judge R. Guy Cole, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit next year.


2011-2012 Fellows

Erin Evers (J.D. 2011)  worked as a researcher for Human Rights Watch from 2012-2016. During this time she was based mostly in Baghdad, where she researched and wrote reports on abuses of women in Iraqi prisons and at the hands of Iraq's counterterrorism service; ISIS's abuses during its takeover of Mosul; and security forces abuses in its fight against ISIS. During her year as a Bernstein fellow, Erin worked with the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) in Egypt.  Her project combined direct legal advocacy, legal research and fact-finding:  She provided direct assistance to asylum-seekers in Egypt, Syria, and Jordan, and to individuals at risk in Iraq, in order to help them gain access to legal, medical and psychological services, working with UNHCR, IOM, and several Egyptian organizations to identify vulnerable individuals, contact them, and assist them with their legal, health and security problems.  She also researched a number of areas related to a broad range of refugee issues, to assist IRAP’s ongoing campaigns for direct access categories for especially vulnerable individuals, including conducting field research on UNHCR methods for making best interests determinations for unaccompanied minors and the standards using for making custody determinations for women at risk.

Erin has worked at numerous human rights organizations throughout the Middle East, including the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey in Izmir and Diyarbakir, the Cairo office of Human Rights Watch, the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (Cairo), and the Nadim Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence (Cairo).  She took a leave of absence between her second and third years of law school and moved to Cairo for three years.  In Egypt, she studied Arabic and worked for an organization that provides legal and psychiatric services to torture victims, interviewing clients, translating interviews for other international organizations, and conducting research on Egypt’s draconian emergency laws and on accountability for state-sponsored torture.  While at Yale, Erin focused on international human rights law and began working on refugee law with IRAP in her third year.  She was a member of the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic.  She worked as a research assistant for Professor James Silk, was an editor for the Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal, and completed substantial research projects comparing the use of judicial activism as a tool to effect democratization and political change in Egypt and Pakistan and on the effects of U.S. foreign assistance in Egypt.  She earned a B.A. from New York University and was a Center for Arabic Studies Abroad Fellow in Cairo (2009-2010).

Lauren Oleykowski (J.D. 2011) has focused her career on human rights, child protection, and global poverty alleviation. Prior to law school, Lauren earned a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Rutgers University, and worked in West Africa for three years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guinea and with the American Refugee Committee in Sierra Leone. At the Law School, Lauren focused her studies on international law and human rights. She served as a student director of the Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic; within the clinic, she worked on projects involving human trafficking, economic and social rights, and global food security.

Lauren spent her Bernstein fellowship year in Port au Prince, Haiti, implementing a community-based child protection program funded by UNICEF. Her work focused on developing children’s rights education campaigns with local communities, and developing and implementing trainings for school authorities and teachers on preventing and responding to cases of child abuse and exploitation.

She is currently based in Baltimore, as a Technical Advisor for Catholic Relief Services for a program for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, and Lesotho, as well as several other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. This program supports OVC and their caregivers, especially those affected or infected by HIV. The program builds the child protection capacity of local organizations and government stakeholders, reinforces the economic resiliency of families, increases caregivers’ ability to care for OVC, and works with health and social service structures to reinforce the case management and referral systems ensuring a continuum of care for children affected by HIV.

Stephen Poellot is the Legal Director of the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), where he coordinates legal representation for vulnerable refugees outside of the U.S. who are navigating United Nations and U.S. legal processes. He also teaches a seminar on refugee law and policy at Fordham Law School.

Stephen spent his fellowship year working at the Refugee Legal Aid Project in Cairo, Egypt and providing legal assistance to refugees in need of resettlement. He received an extension of his Bernstein fellowship to work at IRAP and advocate for improvements to the U.S. processes that provide visas to U.S.-affiliated Iraqis and Afghans who are under threat of persecution.

Stephen earned his B.A. in Anthropology from Columbia University in 2005 and his J.D. from Yale Law School in 2011. He has worked at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, American University in Cairo’s Center for Migration and Refugee Studies, and the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board.

Chelsea Purvis (J.D. 2011) is Policy and Advocacy Advisor for Mercy Corps Europe, where she is developing the organization's advocacy strategy on refugees in Europe. Previously, Chelsea was Senior Policy and Advocacy Officer at the International Rescue Committee Europe. There she served as the IRC's policy expert on humanitarian issues in a range of contexts, including the Ebola epidemic and the European refugee crisis.

Chelsea spent her 2011-12 Bernstein Fellowship year at Interights, the International Centre for the Legal Protection of Human Rights in London, supporting litigation and capacity development on the rights of women, sexual minorities, and people with disabilities.  She spent her 2012-13 Bernstein Fellowship year at Minority Rights Group International in London, where she engaged in litigation and advocacy on the rights of minorities and indigenous peoples. 

Chelsea earned her B.A. from Yale and attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, earning a master’s degree in Economic and Social History. While at Yale Law School, Chelsea served as Student Director of the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic, the Immigration Legal Services Clinic, the Temporary Restraining Order Project, and the Orville H. Schell, Jr. Center for International Human Rights.


2010-2011 Fellows

Itamar Mann (LL.M. 2010 and J.S.D. 2016) is a senior lecturer at the University of Haifa Faculty of Law, Israel, where he teaches international law. His research focuses on human rights, refugee and migration law, international criminal law, national security, and legal and political theory. He is the author of HUMANITY AT SEA: MARITIME MIGRATION AND THE FOUNDATIONS OF INTERNATIONAL LAW (Cambridge University Press, 2016).

Itamar also provides legal advice on issues related to his areas of research. As a Bernstein fellow, he worked as a consultant for Human Rights Watch and the Open Society Justice Initiative on issues related to refugee law in Europe. He has also briefly practiced human rights and criminal defense law. He is currently a member of the legal action committee at GLAN (Global Legal Action Network).

Before moving to Haifa, Itamar was the national security law fellow at Georgetown Law Center for three years. He holds an LLB from Tel Aviv University, and LLM and JSD degrees from Yale Law School.

Thomas Stutsman (J.D. 2010) is an attorney in the Office of the Pardon Attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice. He spent his fellowship year at the Vera Institute of Justice, where he worked with Vera’s Chinese partners to expand Chinese scholars’ and practitioners’ capacity to use empirical methods to test justice reforms that advance human rights and the rule of law.

While at the Law School, Thomas served as a research assistant for John Donohue, Nancy Gertner, and Kate Stith.  He also served as a research assistant and a student fellow at the Yale China Law Center, and drafted a report on juvenile justice in China as a participant in the Lowenstein Human Rights Project.  Thomas dedicated his first law school summer to working on criminal procedure reform at the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association in Tbilisi, Georgia, and his second summer to studying the relationship between criminal punishment and political legitimacy in non-democratic countries.  During his third year of law school, he served as a submissions editor for the Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal. Thomas holds a B.A. from Minnesota State University and an LL.M. from Sichuan University Law School.


2009-2010 Fellows

Tendayi Achiume (J.D. 2008) is Assistant Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law, where she is a core faculty member of the Critical Race Studies Program and the Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy. Her research and teaching interests lie in international human rights law, international refugee law, migration, international criminal justice, and property. In 2016 she was appointed to co-chair the 2016 Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law. Tendayi spent her Bernstein Fellowship year working with Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) in its Johannesburg Refugee and Migrant Rights Project. In addition to providing direct legal services to refugees and migrants from across the continent, she was also involved in various advocacy projects, particularly on issues relating to Zimbabwean refugees and migrants in South Africa.

She earned her B.A. from Yale University and her J.D. from Yale Law School. She was a member of the Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic for two of her three years in law school. After law school she clerked for Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke and Justice Yvonne Mokgoro on the Constitutional Court of South Africa. Following her Bernstein Fellowship year, she was a litigation associate at the New York office of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP.

Stratos Pahis graduated from the Law School in 2009 and spent his fellowship year at the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) in Geneva, Switzerland, researching and writing a report on international investment law and human rights.  The Report explores potential conflicts between these two sets of laws and presents an interpretive methodology for diffusing them.   It also presents specific recommendations for increasing the transparency of international investment arbitrations. The report, published in 2011, was guided by an advisory committee of investment and human rights experts and is available online. 

At the Law School, Stratos concentrated his studies in private and public international law.  He was a member of the Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic and an Articles Editor for the Yale Journal of International Law.  Stratos worked for the Inter-American Development Bank during his first summer and for Davis Polk during his second.  He is deeply interested in human rights, development, and corruption; a note that he wrote on judicial bribery was published in the Yale Law Journal.  Stratos is from Vernon, Connecticut and received an A.B. from Dartmouth College in Economics.  He received an M.A. in International Cooperation for Development from the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain.  Stratos is currently a litigation associate at Davis Polk in New York.

Katherine Wiltenburg Todrys spent her fellowship year working with Human Rights Watch’s Health and Human Rights program, documenting health conditions and human rights violations in Zambian prisons. After completing her fellowship year, Katherine remained at Human Rights Watch as a researcher, going on to document health conditions and hard labor in Ugandan prisons and to research police abuses against sex workers in New York City. She is currently writing a book.

After graduating from the law school, Kate worked with the Millennium Villages Project at Columbia University on an HIV and reproductive health patients’ rights project sponsored by the Yale Student Initiative for the Public Interest; she subsequently worked as a consultant with Human Rights Watch researching access to treatment for HIV-positive migrants.  While in law school, she participated in the Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic, served as a research assistant for Professor Oona Hathaway, and was Notes Development Editor for the Yale Law Journal.  She spent her summers interning in the civil division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the U.S. Law & Security program at Human Rights First.  Prior to law school, Kate worked at the Juvenile Rights Division of the Legal Aid Society in the Bronx, New York.  Kate received an A.B. from Harvard University in 2003.


2008-2009 Fellows

Kristina Baehr (J.D. 2008) spent her fellowship year working with the Carter Center to launch a Gender Crimes Prosecution Unit for the Ministry of Justice in Liberia to prosecute domestic violence and sex offense cases. Kristina worked closely with the Chief Prosecutor to establish a case management system, coordinate with police and health professionals to develop an interdisciplinary rapid response team, and develop policies and protocols for the new Unit. Kristina graduated in 2004 from Princeton University. After college, she worked in Uganda for TASO (The African AIDS Support Organization), where she drafted TASO’s strategy for economic empowerment for people living with HIV/AIDS. In law school, Kristina directed the Temporary Restraining Order Project, served as activism chair of Yale Law Women, and co-founded and directed the Domestic Violence Clinic. After her fellowship with the Carter Center, she served as a law clerk for Judge Nancy Gertner in the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts. Kristina now practices at a trial litigation firm, McKool Smith, in Austin.

Alisha Bjerregaard  (J.D. 2008) spent her fellowship year working with the Center for Reproductive Rights in their Africa Program, focused on reproductive health issues in Kenya. Alisha worked with CRR’s Kenyan partner organizations to conduct advocacy and provide technical legal assistance around legislative and constitutional reform processes in Kenya. She also researched and wrote a human rights fact-finding report that looked at the impact of Kenya’s restrictive abortion law on women, healthcare providers and the healthcare system. The report, "In Harm’s Way: The Impact of Kenya’s Restrictive Abortion Law,” was launched in March 2010 at the Commission on the Status of Women. Alisha relocated to Nairobi, Kenya in early 2011, where she continued to work at the Center for Reproductive Rights as a Legal Adviser. She focused on devising long-term advocacy strategies around the report’s findings in addition to working on other reproductive rights projects in Kenya as well as in Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda. In Tanzania, a primary focus of her work was on mandatory pregnancy testing and the expulsion of pregnant students in Tanzanian schools. In September 2013, Alisha returned to the U.S. and to Yale Law School where she was a Robina Foundation Visiting Human Rights Fellow. After working as a consultant for Amnesty International in 2015, Alisha again returned to Yale Law School, where she is now the Robert M. Cover-Allard K. Lowenstein Fellow in the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic.

Matiangai Sirleaf is an Assistant Professor of Law at the University Pittsburgh Law School.  Her scholarly work asks how institutions can more systematically address the challenges of providing redress for survivors of mass violence in resource-constrained contexts.  Her work draws on insights from the fields of international law and human rights, as well as criminal law.  She is a graduate of Yale Law School.  Prior to law school, she earned an M.A. in International Affairs, from the University of Ghana-Legon while on a Fulbright Fellowship.  Matiangai's practice experience includes serving as counsel in the International Human Rights Practice Group at Cohen Milstein, where she assisted with numerous cutting-edge international human rights cases, representing victims of human trafficking and forced labor, torture, enforced disappearance, extrajudicial killing, and arbitrary detention. Prior to this, she worked in South Africa where she clerked on the Constitutional Court for South Africa for former Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo, taught a course on civic engagement with human rights for the International Human Rights Exchange Programme at the University of Witwatersrand, and worked at the International Center for Transitional Justice in Cape Town, South Africa on a Bernstein Fellowship (a fellowship for selected Yale Law School graduates to engage in full-time human rights advocacy). 


2007-2008 Fellows

Nick Robinson is currently a Lecturer in Law and Robina Fellow at Yale Law School. After graduating from Yale law school in 2006 he spent seven years in South Asia. In 2006-07 he clerked for Chief Justice Sabharwal of the Indian Supreme Court.  In 2007-2008 Nick was a Bernstein Fellow at Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) in New Delhi where he worked on rights litigation involving water and health. In 2009-2010 he was a Ruebhausen South Asia Teaching and Research Fellow, during which time he was visiting faculty at the law department at Lahore University of Management Sciences and the National Law School in Bangalore. In 2010-11 he was an Assistant Professor at Jindal Global Law School and from 2012 to 2013 a senior fellow at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi where he worked on reforms in the Indian legal system and the implementation of social welfare programs in India. In 2013, Nick returned to the U.S. and was a Research Fellow at the Program on the Legal Profession at Harvard Law School until 2016. 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.

Katherine Southwick (YLS ’05) moved back to Washington DC in March 2016 after five years in Southeast Asia (Philippines and Singapore).  She is a Visiting Scholar at George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution while she completes a doctoral dissertation for the Faculty of Law at National University of Singapore.  Her research concerns theories of rule of law promotion in ethnically divided societies.  She previously served as a senior program manager in the Manila, Philippines office of the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI). While at ABA ROLI, she co-authored two reports on the ASEAN human rights system.  Katherine spent her fellowship with Refugees International (RI), where she focused on statelessness.  She presented at the United Nations, and published several articles and reports, partly based on field research in Bangladesh, Kenya, and Ethiopia.  She continues to serve as an expert witness in asylum cases involving persons of Ethiopian-Eritrean origin, and regularly comments in the media on the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar.   Her work on statelessness informs her current doctoral research.  Before her fellowship, Katherine practiced international arbitration in a major firm and clerked for the late Judge Charles P. Sifton in the Eastern District of New York.  She also worked for human rights organizations based in New Delhi, India and Kampala, Uganda.  Katherine grew up in Africa and holds a B.A. from Yale College.


2006-2007 Fellows

Etelle Higonnet (J.D. 2005) is Waxman Strategies’ Campaign and Legal Director, where she focuses on forest conservation in Southeast Asia and Africa, with an emphasis on the fighting deforestation tied to the palm oil and rubber industries. Prior to coming to Waxman, Etelle worked for a range of NGOs in conflict areas around the world. From 2006 to 2007, Etelle spent her fellowship year with Human Rights Watch in and around the Ivory Coast documenting sexual violence in the country’s civil war. She then was Amnesty International’s West Africa research. She also served in Iraq as Analysis Director with the Iraq History Project of the International Human Rights Law Institute, a large-scale human rights documentation initiative that has gathered close to 10,000 testimonies from victims of rights violations in every governorate of Iraq, both before and after 2003. She has served as a consultant for various organizations, including UNICEF and Open Society. Most recently, she worked with Greenpeace Southeast Asia on a broad range of environmental issues including climate, energy, oceans, toxic waste, ecological agriculture, environmental justice, and forest protection.  She has written numerous articles, reports and op-eds on environmental subjects and human rights, and is the author of the book Quiet Genocide. 

Etelle earned a BA from Yale University and a J.D. from Yale Law School. While at the Law School, she worked on the Yale Journal of International Law and the Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal, and was a member of the Immigration Clinic. She also consulted with the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center to draft a strategic plan for a documentation system based on the work of the Yale-affiliated Documentation Center of Cambodia. Prior to law school, Etelle was the Africa Associate at Human Rights Watch and worked for a human rights NGO in Senegal, running the organization’s ten field offices.

Jeremy Robbins is the Executive Director of the Partnership for a New American Economy, a bipartisan coalition of more than 500 CEOs and mayors making the economic case for immigration reform. Jeremy previously worked as a Policy Advisor & Special Counsel in the Office of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Robert Sack of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and a litigation associate at WilmerHale in Boston. While at the firm, he, along with working on general corporate litigation matters, he was part of the firm’s team representing six Bosnian men detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, the European Court of Human Rights, and federal courts in Washington, D.C., and Massachusetts. Jeremy received his B.A. in Political Science from Brown University in 2002 and is a 2006 graduate of the Law School. Jeremy spent his fellowship year in Argentina working with the Center for Legal and Social Studies (El Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales) and the Association for Civil Rights (Asociacion por los Derechos Civiles) to develop and implement projects on behalf of people detained in Argentine prisons. Projects included: developing and securing funding for project to strengthen criminal defense services for inmates; photographically documenting human rights abuses in Argentine prisons for two published human rights reports; and partnering with Argentine publishers and pharmaceutical/hygienic-product companies to provide children’s books and toiletries in the prisons in which children under four live with their incarcerated parents. Jeremy also published an article on social change litigation in the Argentine political science journal Nueva Doctrina Penal.



Sari Bashi (J.D. 2003) is the Israel/Palestine Advocacy Director at Human Rights Watch. In 2005, Sari spent a year as a Bernstein Fellow in Israel establishing Gisha-Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, the leading Israeli human rights group offering legal assistance to Palestinians who face restrictions on their freedom to travel into and out of the Gaza Strip.  Sari served as Gisha's director for nine years, growing it to a staff of 22 and helping thousands of people overcome travel restrictions to access jobs, schools, medical services, and family unity. For her work with Gisha, Sari received a social innovation fellowship from the Echoing Green Foundation and the Emil Grunzweig human rights award from the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.  She has taught international law at Tel Aviv University and writes and lectures on international humanitarian law and Israeli policy toward the occupied Palestinian territories, especially Gaza. Sari clerked on the Israeli Supreme Court for Justice Edmond Levi and is a licensed attorney in Israel and New York. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree (summa cum laude) from Yale University and a Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School. Prior to studying law, Ms. Bashi worked as a correspondent for the Associated Press in Jerusalem and conducted research on ethnic identity among Ethiopian immigrants to Israel as part of a Fulbright Scholarship.

Avani Mehta Sood (J.D. 2003) is an Assistant Professor at UC Berkeley’s School of Law, where she teaches Criminal Law, Evidence, and a Colloquium on Law & Psychology.  Her scholarship applies empirical methods and theories of psychology to study legal decision-making and doctrines of law, with a focus on questions relating to criminal punishment and the use of evidence in legal cases.  Avani spent her fellowship year working with the International Legal Program of the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) on promoting the use of India’s Public Interest Litigation mechanism (PIL) to address violations of women’s rights.  She conducted case studies and extensive field research in India, which she used to author an advocacy report and several law review articles.  She also conducted legal training workshops to familiarize judges and lawyers in India with international law relating to women’s human rights.  Following her fellowship, Avani spent another year with CRR, working on a project documenting rights abuses faced by women seeking reproductive healthcare in Kenya.  Avani received her B.A. in Psychology from Princeton University in 1999, graduated from the law school in 2003, and received a Ph.D. in Psychology from Princeton University in 2013. 

At the law school, Avani was an Editor of the Yale Law Journal and a member of the Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic and the New Haven Legal Assistance Clinic.  Between law school and her fellowship year, Avani worked at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and clerked for Judge Kimba Wood in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.



Elizabeth Brundige (J.D. 2003) is an Associate Clinical Professor of Law at Cornell Law School as well as the Assistant Dean for International Programs and Jack G. Clarke Executive Director of International and Comparative Legal Studies. She formerly served as the Executive Director of the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice. Professor Brundige founded and directs the Law School’s Global Gender Justice Clinic, in which students engage in local, global, and transnational efforts to address gender-based violence and discrimination.

Prior to joining Cornell Law School, Liz was a clinical teaching fellow and lecturer at the Law School, where she co-taught the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic. She spent her year as a Bernstein Fellow working with the International Association of Women Judges on programs designed to advance women’s human rights and access to justice in southern and East Africa. She was also an Associate Legal Officer in the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and a law clerk for Judge Kermit V. Lipez of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and Justice Sandile Ngcobo of the Constitutional Court of South Africa. Liz received a B.A. in History from Yale College and an M.Phil in Development Studies from Oxford University.

Brandee Butler spent her fellowship year in Libreville, Gabon, working with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in the Child Protection Program.  Her work entailed documenting and developing strategies to improve the state protocol for repatriating victims of child trafficking, advocating for bilateral coordination of repatriation/reunification protocols, developing awareness campaigns on child trafficking and exploitation, and promoting juvenile justice reform. 

Brandee received her B.A. from Harvard-Radcliffe College in 1999 and graduated from the Law School in 2002.  During law school, she received a Schell Center Summer Human Rights Fellowship to work at the Rape Crisis Center in Cape Town, South Africa, where she researched sexual-offenses legislation and revised and edited the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Guide.  Through the Law School’s Intensive Semester program, Brandee spent half of her third year at the Center for the Study of AIDS in Pretoria, South Africa, conducting independent research, writing about the legal implications of South Africa’s HIV/AIDS crisis, and working on a human rights-based training manual to empower prospective HIV/AIDS vaccine trial participants. 

Following her fellowship year, Brandee joined the Alliance for Children’s Rights, a legal non-profit organization that helps children in the dependency system gain access to education, health care, and other benefits and services in Los Angeles County.  Brandee is now a Program Officer for Human Rights and International Justice at the MacArthur Foundation in Chicago. 


2003-2004 Fellows

Tara J. Melish  (J.D. 2000) is a Professor of Law and Director of the Human Rights Center at the University at Buffalo School of Law (SUNY), where she teaches public international law, international human rights law, and comparative social rights jurisprudence.  She spent her fellowship year undertaking strategic litigation and advocacy in the area of economic, social and cultural rights at the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), a non-profit law firm that specializes in litigation before the Inter-American Commission and Court of Human Rights.  Following her fellowship, Tara worked at the United Nations as Associate Social Affairs Officer in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs and as United Nations representative of Disability Rights International (DRI) in the drafting negotiations of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol. Active in litigation and reporting procedures before UN and OAS bodies, Tara has continued to serve as legal adviser to DRI, and consultant to a number of NGOs.  She publishes and lectures widely on human rights issues and has taught at the law schools of Notre Dame, George Washington, Oxford, Georgia, and Virginia, as well as in the Global School on Socio-Economic Rights.  

At Yale, she received the Ambrose Gherini Prize and served as Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal, Book Reviews Editor of the Yale Journal of International Law, Student Director of the Schell Center, and teaching assistant for an undergraduate human rights course.  Tara clerked on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for the Honorable James R. Browning and has been the recipient of professional fellowships from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Fulbright Foundation.

Brent Wible (J.D 2003) most recently served in the White House as Senior Counsel and Special Assistant to the President. Prior to that, he was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and Assistant Chief of the Fraud Section in the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division.

Brent has a B.A. in History from Haverford College and spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bénin. At the Law School, Brent served as a student director of the Lowenstein Clinic, Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal, and Editor on the Yale Law Journal.  As a Bernstein Fellow, Brent spent his fellowship year working with the Academy for Educational Development in Washington, D.C., and in Bénin, West Africa, on sexual abuse and sexual harassment in Bénin’s schools.  A subsequent article exploring strategies to address the problem appeared in the Columbia Human Rights Law Review.  Brent has also published articles in the Yale Law Journal, Denver Journal of International Law and Policy, William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal, Columbia Human Rights Law Review, and Georgetown Immigration Law Journal.  He clerked for Judge Allyne R. Ross of the District Court for the Eastern District of New York and Judge Sonia Sotomayor of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. 


2002-2003 Fellows

Molly Land (J.D. 2001) is Professor of Law and Human Rights at the University of Connecticut.  Drawing on her human rights expertise and background as an intellectual property litigator, Molly’s scholarship focuses on access to knowledge and the intersection of intellectual property, information law, and human rights.  Her recent work explores the extent to which human rights law can provide a foundation for claims of access to the Internet as well as the opportunities and challenges for using new technologies to achieve human rights objectives.  Molly spent her fellowship year working with Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, where she led a fact-finding team researching state protection of refugee and immigrant victims of domestic violence in Minneapolis.  Prior to joining UConn, she was an Associate Professor of Law at New York Law School and a Visiting Lecturer in Law and the Robert M. Cover - Allard K. Lowenstein Fellow in International Human Rights at Yale Law School.  While the Cover-Lowenstein Fellow, Molly led fact-finding teams reporting on women’s rights in Zambia, the lack of remedies for human rights violations in Kashmir, and the effect of zero-tolerance policies on the right to education in Connecticut; she also participated in litigation before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and other international tribunals.  After graduating from Yale Law School in 2001, Molly clerked for the Honorable Denise Cote, U.S. District Judge, in the Southern District of New York.

Eric A. Friedman works on global health and human rights projects at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at the Georgetown University Law Center, and is Project Leader for the Framework Convention on Global Health (FCGH) initiative. The FCGH is a proposed global health treaty based upon the right to health and aimed at closing gaping national and global health inequities.

Before joining the O’Neill Institute in 2010, Eric worked on HIV/AIDS and global health campaigns at Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), beginning with his Bernstein fellowship year. Much of his advocacy and policy work focused on the massive shortage of health care workers in sub-Saharan Africa and incorporating the right to health into U.S. and developing country policies.  He served on the Board of the Global Health Workforce Alliance, chaired the Health Workforce Advocacy Initiative, and published several guides on the health workforce and right to health.

Eric graduated from the Law School in June 2002.  He was a member of the Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic from his second semester of law school on.  His clinic projects included preparing a human rights and HIV/AIDS framework, developing model HIV/AIDS legislation for several countries in East Africa, and conducting preliminary work for a report on human rights and HIV/AIDS in India.  Eric received the Khosla Memorial Fund for Human Dignity Prize for his human rights work in law school.  He received his undergraduate degree from Yale, graduating in 1999 with a B.A. in psychology.


2001-2002 Fellows

Susan Benesch (J.D. 2001) is faculty associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. She founded and directs the Dangerous Speech Project seeking to diminish violent hatred, online and offline, and she teaches human rights at American University in Washington, D.C.

From 2005 to 2009 she taught at universities including Georgetown and Baltimore, was a Dean’s Visiting Scholar at Georgetown's law school, and was Senior Legal Advisor to the Center for Justice and Accountability, an NGO that brings torturers and other human rights violators to justice. Before those positions, Susan directed the Refugee Program at Amnesty International USA, focusing on unaccompanied children, Haitians, and the detention of asylum-seekers. As a Bernstein Fellow, Susan worked at the organization now called Human Rights First, where she built a network of grassroots activists around asylum issues, and went on to advise the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum on building a similar network for genocide prevention. Susan graduated in 2001 from the Law School, where she founded the Cuba Exchange Project, sending Yale students to Havana to debate Cuban law students on topics including human rights. For six years before law school, Susan was a full-time newspaper and magazine journalist in Latin America. She covered a dozen countries, focusing especially on Haiti and Cuba. Susan also co-authored a book on the writing of poetry, called The Hand of the Poet (Rizzoli 1997).

Marco Simons is the Legal Director of EarthRights International (ERI), in Washington, D.C., which focuses on holding corporations and other actors accountable for human rights and environmental abuses. He also spent his fellowship year with ERI, working on transnational litigation and advocacy projects promoting multinational corporate responsibility and accountability for human rights violations.

After his fellowship year, Marco clerked for the Honorable Dorothy Wright Nelson on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena, California. He then practiced human rights and civil rights law with Hadsell & Stormer in Pasadena, California, before returning to ERI. Marco has been counsel in several U.S. transnational lawsuits against multinational corporations, including Doe v. Unocal Corp., brought by victims of human rights abuses associated with a gas pipeline project in Myanmar (Burma), which ended in a historic settlement in 2005; and Wiwa v. Royal Dutch Petroleum (Shell), involving abuses against the Ogoni people of Nigeria, which settled in 2009 on the eve of trial. In recent years ERI’s work has grown to encompass a variety of legal strategies, including working with lawyers in Myanmar, throughout the Mekong region, and in the Amazon basin, using national, regional, and international mechanisms to address abuses arising out of development projects, extractives and polluting industries, and land confiscation.

Marco graduated in 1997 from Harvard College, where he received a joint degree in environmental science and archaeology, and graduated from Yale Law School in 2001. While at Yale, Marco served as a student director of the Lowenstein International Human Rights Project, served as an editor on the Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal, and worked in the Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic. He has taught human rights law at Occidental College and American University’s law school.


2000-2001 Fellows

Fiona Doherty spent her fellowship year in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where she worked with the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ).  She assisted in CAJ’s efforts to ensure that the human rights commitments in the Good Friday Agreement were fully implemented.  While at CAJ, Fiona assisted in many of CAJ’s legal cases, involving such issues as the government’s use of lethal force, collusion between the security forces and paramilitaries, and prisoners’ rights. 

After her fellowship, Fiona worked as a Senior Associate at the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (now Human Rights First).  From 2005 – 2011, she was an Assistant Federal Defender at the Federal Defender’s office in the Southern District of New York.  In 2011, she began as the Senior Liman Fellow in Residence at Yale Law School.  She has been a Clinical Associate Professor of Law at the law school since 2012.

Fiona graduated from the law school in 1999. 

Robert D. Sloane, Professor and R. Gordon Butler Scholar of International Law at Boston University Law School, spent his fellowship year working for Tibet Justice Center to promote human rights and self-determination for the Tibetan people. He carried out research in Nepal, India, and Tibet, litigated or served as an expert in several asylum cases, and cooperated with the Tibetan exile government on international advocacy.

Rob received his B.A., magna cum laude, with Departmental Honors in Philosophy, from Columbia in 1996; his J.D. in 2000 from the Law School, where he served as a student director of the Lowenstein Clinic and received the Khosla Memorial Human Dignity Prize; and earned a diploma from the Hague Academy of International Law in 2007. 

After his fellowship year, Rob clerked for Second Circuit Judges Robert D. Sack and Gerard E. Lynch; worked at Debevoise & Plimpton, where he helped litigate the ICJ Avena case; spent a year as a Schell Fellow at Yale, where he taught Human Rights and International Arbitration; and worked for a year as an Associate-in-Law at Columbia. 

Rob  has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Michigan and Harvard Law Schools and The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He twice received the Francis Lieber Prize for outstanding scholarship on the law of war by an author under 35, and in 2013, received the Francis Deák Prize for the best article in the American Journal of International Law by a younger author. Rob also continues to practice human rights law through his service as President of Tibet Justice Center.


1999-2000 Fellows

Jonathan Freiman represents clients from around the world, litigating appeals, cross-border disputes—including those involving foreign sovereigns—art and artifact cases, and other complex cases. Victories in 2015 included a California Supreme Court reversal in major insurance case; a Connecticut Supreme Court case reversing the largest-ever class action judgment in that state and the largest reversal of any judgment in a commercial case; and an Eleventh Circuit reversal reinstating a $10M suit. He has defeated a Nobel Prize winner in litigation over the ownership of the patent to the technology that earned the Nobel, successfully defended the President of Mexico in a lawsuit falsely alleging culpability for human rights violations, and successfully defended Yale in a claim to a van Gogh masterpiece.

In 2002, he co-founded the post-9/11 clinic at Yale and spent several years litigating cases at the intersection of national security and civil liberty.  He served as lecturer, research scholar and clinical advisor at YLS and as a senior fellow at the Schell Center, and has spoken in Europe, Canada, and the U.S. at venues including PBS and the BBC.

While a student, Jonathan was student director of the Lowenstein Clinic, shared awards from the Florida Supreme Court and Cuban American Bar Association, received the Albom Prize in appellate litigation, served as a Keck Fellow in Legal Ethics and was Senior Editor of the Yale Law Journal.  After graduation, he taught a transitional justice seminar in Yale College and clerked for former YLS Dean Hon. Louis H. Pollak.

Jaya Ramji-Nogales is Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Institute for International Law and Public Policy at Temple University, where she teaches Civil Procedure, Evidence, Gender and Migration, and Refugee Law and Policy.  Among other publications, she co-authored the books Refugee Roulette and Lives in the Balance, in-depth empirical studies of the asylum adjudication process in the United States.

Jaya spent her fellowship year launching a refugee law clinic at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.  After returning from Africa, she joined Debevoise & Plimpton, where her pro bono projects included a Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act lawsuit against the Ethiopian government which was initiated by the Lowenstein Clinic based on Noah Novogrodsky’s Bernstein Fellowship work.  She then became a staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union in New York.  Prior to joining the faculty at Temple, she was a fellow at the Georgetown University Law Center, where she supervised law students representing asylum seekers. 

Jaya graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1995 and from Yale Law School in 1999.  As a law student, Jaya interned with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project; the South Asia Human Rights Documentation Center in New Delhi, India; and the Documentation Center of Cambodia in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  She published two pieces stemming from her work in South Africa: “Inside Illegality: Migration Policing in South Africa after Apartheid,” in Africa Today (2001) (with Jonathan Klaaren) and “Interpretation Consistent with International Law?  The Detention of Asylum Seekers in South Africa,” in Refuge (2002).

Mark Templeton spent his fellowship year in Bangkok, Thailand, where he helped establish a regional office for the New Delhi-based South Asia Human Rights Documentation Center (SAHRDC).  During that time, he carried out a fact-finding trip to Pakistan and worked with grass-roots organizations in northeastern Thailand, representing fishers and farmers affected by development projects.  He also published an article about human rights protections under the new Thai constitution and wrote a report on Indonesia’s National Human Rights Commission.

After completing his fellowship year, Mark served as Special Assistant to Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Harold Koh; he was also a member of the U.S. delegation to the 2001 U.N. Commission on Human Rights.  Mark received an A.B. degree in Social Studies from Harvard College in 1994.  A 1999 graduate of the Law School, Mark was a student director of the Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic.  He has served as a consultant and author for Human Rights Watch and a consultant and editor for the Open Society Institute.  While a consultant for McKinsey & Company, his clients included the U.N. Development Program’s Commission on the Private Sector and Development.  He was Associate Dean at the Law School from 2005 to 2009, was Director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources from 2009 to 2010, was Executive Director of the $20 billion Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Trust from 2010 to 2011, and is now Associate Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Abrams Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School.


1998-1999 Fellows

M. Ahadi Bugg-Levine received the Bernstein to promote the rights of people with disabilities while working at the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) in Johannesburg, South Africa. Ahadi drafted and provided technical support for the disability provisions of South Africa’s Equality Act; educated disability rights activists on the legislation; and assessed disability-related complaints submitted to the SAHRC. 

Currently, Ahadi is the President of Bugg-Levine, Inc. an independent consulting practice. Ahadi has advocated for the rights of women, people with disabilities, children, and racial and ethnic minorities in Africa, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and the United States.   She uses these experiences to provide strategic and implementation services to non-profits including foundations and non-governmental organizations. Ahadi graduated from Wellesley College in 1992. She received her J.D. from the Law School and her M.A. in Political Science from Yale University in 1998.  She earned her Ph.D. in Political Science from Yale University in 2001. 

Noah Novogrodsky is a Professor at the University of Wyoming Law School and the Co-Director of the Center for International Human Rights Law & Advocacy.  Noah was awarded a Bernstein Fellowship for 1998-99 to conduct constitutional development work in the Horn of Africa. When war broke out in May 1998 between Eritrea and Ethiopia, Noah turned his attention to investigating and documenting war-related human rights abuses, visiting refugee camps on both sides of the border, writing articles for publication, and sharing his findings with human rights groups, aid agencies, and UN officials. 

Noah graduated from Swarthmore College with highest honors in 1992 and received an M.Phil in International Relations from the University of Cambridge in 1994.  While at Yale Law School, he co-taught a seminar called “Bearing Witness” with Professor Harlon Dalton, co-chaired the Cambodia Genocide Justice Project, worked as a Research Assistant for Professors Owen Fiss and Paul Gewirtz, and acted as a team leader for the Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic.  Following his graduation from Yale Law School in 1997, Noah worked as a law clerk for Judge Nancy Gertner of the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts.  From September 2002 until May 2008, Noah was an Adjunct Professor and the Founding Director of the International Human Rights Clinic at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.  Noah has been a visiting professor at Georgetown University Law Center, the University of Connecticut School of Law and the Human Rights Center of the UC Berkeley School of Law.

Jeffrey Prescott is Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Iran, Iraq, Syria, and the Gulf States, National Security Council.  He joined the Obama Administration in 2010 and has served as Deputy National Security Advisor to Vice President Biden, and as Special Advisor for Asian Affairs and White House Fellow.  He spent his Bernstein fellowship year (1998-99) at the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (now Human Rights First), where he helped establish the Rights Defenders Program, which provides lifelines for lawyers and activists at risk around the world. Prior to joining the White House, Jeff was Deputy Director of the China Law Center and Senior Research Scholar and Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School.  He joined the China Law Center in 2002 and founded and directed the Center’s Beijing office, and was a Visiting Scholar of Peking University Law School.  In 2001, as a Luce Scholar, he taught human rights and international law at Fudan University in Shanghai.  Jeff is a 1997 graduate of Yale Law School and clerked for the Hon. Walter K. Stapleton, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.