American University Washington College of Law Dean Nelson Appoints Professor Padideh Ala’i Faculty Director of the International Legal Studies Program




WASHINGTON, AUGUST 1, 2017 – American University Washington College of Law Dean Camille A. Nelson has appointed Professor Padideh Ala’i as faculty director of the International Legal Studies Program beginning Aug. 1. In this capacity, Ala’i will promote, represent, and coordinate the law school’s renowned international programs, including the International Legal Studies Program which has nearly 4,000 LL.M. alumni around the world. Ala’i is a professor of law who specializes in the areas of international economic law, law of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and comparative law.

“At a time when the post WWII global legal order and U.S. leadership is being challenged in an unprecedented manner, I am looking forward to building upon our exceptional international and comparative programs in order to address the many challenges and new opportunities being presented to our JD and LL.M. graduates” said Ala’i, who also directs the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program and the Program on Trade, Investment, and Development. “Fueled by a global outlook, our graduates have become leaders in government, law firms, industry, and business, and have earned leadership positions in international organizations. We will continue to train the next generation of leaders by providing unique and innovative programmatic opportunities together with a broad international and comparative law curriculum.”

“Our international programs have earned respect worldwide, and we are thrilled that Padideh will be providing leadership to our exceptional group of international faculty, programs, and projects,” said Dean Camille A. Nelson.

AUWCL has nearly 30 full-time international and comparative faculty members and many more adjunct professors. The law school’s groundbreaking initiatives and comprehensive international programs – including abroad programs, international moot courts, and experiential opportunities – help make an American University Washington College of Law education a complete experience. Students, faculty, and alumni enrich their legal understanding and broaden their perspectives by participating in innovative programs at the law school and abroad. Specialized international programs include:

  • Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
  • Brazil-U.S. Legal and Judicial Studies Program
  • Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
  • Center on International Commercial Arbitration
  • Immigrant Justice Clinic
  • International Human Rights Law Clinic
  • International JD Dual Degree Program
  • International Legal Studies Program
  • International Organizations, Law and Diplomacy Program
  • International Trade & Investment Program
  • Impact Litigation Project
  • Kovler Project Against Torture
  • Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Policy
  • Program on International Communications Regulation and Policy
  • Program on International and Comparative Environmental Law
  • Summer Abroad Programs in Europe, The Hague, and Geneva
  • U.S. and International Anti-Corruption Law
  • War Crimes Research Office
  • Women and International Law Program

Since January 2016, Ala’i has served on the Executive Committee of the Society of International Economic Law. She is currently on the Academic Board of the European Law Students Association/WTO Moot Court Competition and has spearheaded AUWCL’s WTO law program in Geneva for the past 7 years. Ala’i has previously served as co-chair of the International Economic Law Group of American Society of International Law as well as co-chair of the AALS Section on Comparative Law. Ala’i teaches international trade law and comparative law. Her scholarship has concentrated on transparency obligations of the WTO, implications of WTO rules on internal domestic transparency, universalizing the administrative state through the multilateral trading system, as well as evolution of international anti-corruption norms, and colonial history of the rhetoric of free trade. She received her BA from the University of Oregon and JD from Harvard Law School.


In 1896, American University Washington College of Law became the first law school in the country founded by women. More than 100 years since its founding, this law school community is grounded in the values of equality, diversity, and intellectual rigor. The law school's nationally and internationally recognized programs (in clinical legal education, trial advocacy, international law, and intellectual property to name a few) and dedicated faculty provide its JD, LL.M., and SJD students with the critical skills and values to have an immediate impact as students and as graduates, in Washington, DC and around the world. For more information, visit


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Washington College of Law
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