Professor Koh is an international lawyer and legal scholar. From 2009 to 2012, he served as the Legal Adviser to the State Department in the Obama administration, and was the most senior legal adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He also served as the Dean of Yale Law School, and returned there as a professor in international law following his departure from the State Department. Professor Koh will address the Lowy Institute on the future of international law under the Trump administration.
Professor Koh of Yale University is an international lawyer and legal scholar. Born in Boston to Korean parents, Koh was schooled in Connecticut and graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard in 1975 with a degree in Government, before studying at Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar. He graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1980. In 1998, Harold was appointed by President Clinton to service as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, a post he held until 2001. From 2004 – 2009, Koh was the Dean of Yale Law School. From 2009 – 2013, he served as the Legal Adviser of the Department of State under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a role he was appointed to by former President Barack Obama. Koh is a Professor of International Law and throughout his career has been an advocate of human rights and civil rights. He has argued regularly before international and domestic courts and tribunals, testified before the U.S. Congress and is the author of nine books and hundreds of articles on International Law. He is an honorary fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, a member of Lincoln’s Inn and the Blackstone Chambers, London, delivered the Clarendon Law Lectures at Oxford in 2014, and will be Goodhart visiting Professor of Legal Science and Visiting Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. He has been honored by the American Bar Association and Columbia Law School for his Lifetime Achievements in International Law and is currently advising Timor-Leste on maritime boundaries.