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Harold Hongju Koh Named Sterling Professor of International Law

Former Yale Law School Dean Harold Hongju Koh, who recently returned to the school after serving for more than three years as Legal Adviser to the U.S. Department of State, has been named a Sterling Professor of International Law. The Sterling Professorships are among the highest honors bestowed on Yale faculty.

“We are so very pleased and honored that Harold is returning to YLS," said Dean Robert Post ’77. “He is a beloved former Dean, a charismatic teacher, and for the past three years he has been one of the key figures in the interpretation and application of international law. He will immeasurably enrich our community. The Sterling professorship is a fitting recognition of his immense achievements.”

Professor Koh is one of the country’s leading experts in public and private international law, national security law, and human rights. He began teaching at Yale Law School in 1985 and served as Dean from 2004 until 2009, when he took leave as the Martin R. Flug ’55 Professor of International Law to join the State Department. From 1993 to 2009, he was the Gerard C. & Bernice Latrobe Smith Professor of International Law at Yale Law School, and from 1998 to 2001, he served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.

A Marshall Scholar, Professor Koh graduated from Harvard, Oxford, and Harvard Law School and has received twelve honorary degrees and more than thirty awards for his human rights work, including awards from Columbia Law School and the American Bar Association for his lifetime achievements in international law. He has authored or co-authored eight books, published more than 170 articles, testified before Congress, and litigated numerous cases involving international law issues. He is a Fellow of the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Council of the American Law Institute.