Rebecca Crootof ’11 Named Executive Director of Yale ISP

The Information Society Project (ISP) at Yale Law School has announced the appointment of Rebecca Crootof ’11 JD, ’16 PhD as its new executive director, effective August 1, 2016. Crootof will assume her new responsibilities following the departure of Valerie Belair-Gagnon, who has served as executive director since 2014.

"Rebecca is an amazingly talented scholar with deep institutional knowledge of international law," said ISP faculty director Professor Jack Balkin. "I am delighted with her appointment; she will continue the Yale ISP's long-standing commitment to interdisciplinary research."

Crootof is currently PhD in Law at Yale University and Resident Fellow with the ISP, and she is co-teaching a seminar on law and disruptive technologies at Yale Law School. Her dissertation, Keeping Pace: New Technology and the Evolution of International Law, examines how technology fosters change in the international legal order, both by creating a need for new regulations and by altering how sources of international governance are created and interact. Following graduation with an English major and Mathematics minor from Pomona College, she worked as National Projects Manager for the Fair Housing Program at The Equal Rights Center in Washington D.C. After earning a JD at Yale Law School, she clerked for the Hon. John M. Walker, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit (2012-13), and the Hon. Mark R. Kravitz, U.S. Connecticut District Court (2011-12).

"I have found the ISP to be a valuable resource and warm community, and I am tremendously excited to contribute to its continued development," said Crootof. "I will do my best to meet the high bar set by Valerie and other extraordinary ISP executive directors.”

While at the ISP, Crootof will continue exploring the impact of autonomous weapon systems, cyberattacks, and other new weaponry on the law of armed conflict and the law of state responsibility. She is also interested in better understanding how domestic tort law apportions responsibility, in anticipation of causality issues that will arise with the proliferation of increasingly autonomous robotic and disembodied AI systems. Additional research areas include public international law, international human rights law, and national security and foreign affairs law. Crootof has published legal articles in the Pennsylvania Law Review, the Yale Journal of International Law, the Cardozo Law Review, and the Yale Law Journal; contributed to a NATO book on autonomous weapon systems; and authored blog posts on Lawfare and Slate.

Belair-Gagnon will leave her post as executive director of ISP to become an Assistant Professor at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities starting in September 2016.

The Information Society Project at Yale Law School was founded in 1997 to study the impact of the Internet and other information technologies on law and society. For more information, please visit the Information Society Project website.