Harold Hongju Koh
Harold Hongju Koh is Sterling Professor of International Law at Yale Law School. He returned to Yale in January 2013 after serving for nearly four years as the 22nd Legal Adviser of the U.S. Department of State, for which he received the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award.
Professor Koh served as the fifteenth Dean of the Yale Law School from 2004 until 2009. From 1998 to 2001, he served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. He has authored or co-authored eight books, published more than 180 articles, testified regularly before Congress, and litigated numerous cases involving international law issues in both U.S. and international tribunals.
He holds B.A. and J.D. degrees from Harvard College and B.A. and M.A. degrees from Oxford University, where he was a Marshall Scholar. After graduating law school, he served as a law clerk for Judge Malcolm Richard Wilkey of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the United States Supreme Court, worked as an attorney in private practice in Washington, and served as an Attorney-Adviser for the Office of Legal Counsel, U.S. Department of Justice.
Areas of Expertise: International Law, International Human Rights Law and Policy, Transnational Law, Foreign Relations and National Security Law, International Tribunals
Selected Media Appearances
Did President Obama betray America’s highest ideals in the name of national security? – BBC (HARDtalk)
Obama’s Former Legal Adviser Urges U.S. To ‘Disciple Drones’ – NPR (Talk of the Nation)
Senate reaches deal to speed up CR votes — Defense CEOs to Hill: Do your jobs — Iraq visa program could be budget battle casualty – Politico
Can Obama End the ‘Forever War’? – National Journal
Harold Koh’s Oxford Union speech: a Rorschach test for the war on terror – Foreign Policy