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China Law Center’s Jeff Prescott ’97 Named 2010-2011 White House Fellow

Jeffrey Prescott ’97, Deputy Director of The China Law Center and Senior Research Scholar and Lecturer in Law at Yale Law School, has been named a White House Fellow, one of the country’s most prestigious programs for leadership and public service. Jeff is one of 13 individuals named to the 2010-2011 class. He will spend a year working as a full-time, paid Fellow to a senior White House staff member or other top-ranking government official.

“Jeff Prescott is one of the most talented people of his generation I know,” said Paul Gewirtz ’70, Potter Stewart Professor of Constitutional Law and Director of The China Law Center. “He has great intelligence, consistent insight and wisdom, the discipline and skills to get things done, and tremendous decency. He has truly been an invaluable part of The China Law Center. Being named a White House Fellow is a wonderful honor for him, and also a wonderful opportunity. Everyone who knows Jeff congratulates him on this remarkable achievement, and Yale Law School and The China Law Center share in the pride that Jeff deserves to feel.”

Founded in 1964, the White House Fellows Program offers exceptional men and women first-hand experience working at the highest levels of federal government. Selection as a Fellow is highly competitive and based on a record of remarkable early career professional achievement, evidence of leadership potential, and a proven commitment to public service.

“This year’s White House Fellows are comprised of some of the best and brightest leaders in our country,” said First Lady Michelle Obama in a White House announcement. “I applaud their unyielding commitment to public service and dedication to serving their community.”

Jeff Prescott earned his B.A., magna cum laude, from Boston University in 1993 and his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1997. At Yale Law School, he was a senior editor of The Yale Law Journal and served in the Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic, for which he was awarded the C. LaRue Munson Prize. Following law school, he clerked for the Honorable Walter Stapleton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. From 1998 to 2001, he was a Robert Bernstein Fellow and staff attorney at the Lawyer’s Committee for Human Rights (now Human Rights First), where he helped launch the Rights Defenders Program, which provides lifelines for lawyers and advocates at risk for their work around the globe. From 2002 to 2007, he founded and led the China Law Center’s Beijing office and was a visiting scholar at Peking University Law School. He also taught human rights as a visiting professor at Fudan University in Shanghai. He speaks and writes on a wide range of topics related to Chinese policy and U.S.-China relations and is fluent in Mandarin.

He will be on leave from Yale Law School during his Fellowship year, which begins at the end of August.