ASIL is a volunteer-led organization whose Officers and governing Executive Council are elected by its members. Today, leaders from the bench, the academy, the bar and public service are guiding the Society's transformation into a direct, engaged, worldwide network - through conferences, meetings, publications, and electronic communications and information resources.
Click here for ASIL's Constitution/Regulations.

ASIL Officers

Honorary President: Honorable Joan Donoghue

Joan E. Donoghue is an American lawyer, international legal scholar, former U.S. State Department official, and former president of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). She was first elected to the court in 2010, re-elected in 2014, and elected by the ICJ judges to be president of the ICJ in 2021. She was the third woman to be elected to the ICJ and the first American woman elected as president of the Court.

President: Mélida N. Hodgson, Arnold & Porter

Mélida Hodgson is a recognized investor-state and commercial arbitration practitioner, counseling governments, state-owned entities and corporate entities on international investment protection, business disputes and World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute resolution. With three decades of experience practicing at the intersection of international arbitration and sovereign obligations, Ms. Hodgson represents clients operating anywhere in the world across the range of arbitration forums, including the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). She is particularly respected as an arbitration expert in Latin America—Latinvex consistently rates her as one of top lawyers for the region—where she has handled matters for sovereign clients Venezuela, Panama and Peru. Ms. Hodgson is also an arbitrator. She is currently a vice chair of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Institute of World Business Law and serves on the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR and its Task Force on Corruption in Arbitration, as well as on the councils of the AAA/ICDR. Ms. Hodgson is a founding member of the Washington Women in International Arbitration. Earlier in her legal career, Ms. Hodgson was a US government litigator at the US Department of Justice, where she litigated claims brought by bank shareholders against the United States, and an associate general counsel at the Office of the US Trade Representative, where she litigated international trade disputes before the WTO and provided counsel in NAFTA Chapter 11 investor-state arbitrations involving the United States, Canada and Mexico. Before entering the legal profession, Ms. Hodgson was a banker at Chemical Bank (now JP Morgan Chase). Ms. Hodgson is active in the profession beyond her immediate practice, frequently speaking at conferences and writing articles on international investment arbitration and international law, issues, as well as serving in leadership roles of related organizations. She has served as a member of the ASIL Executive Council and the Executive Committee, and is currently co-chair of the Development Committee and a member of the Audit Committee.

Executive Director and Executive Vice President: Michael D. Cooper, ASIL

Engaged in human rights, humanitarian affairs, and international law for three decades, Michael Cooper spent six years with Mercy Corps, a leader in emergency response and sustainable development. Michael began his tenure with Mercy Corps in 2003 when—as Director of Humanitarian Programs—he helped to launch and lead the agency’s $38 million USAID/OFDA relief effort in war-torn Iraq. Later, as Director-at-Large, Michael partnered with world- renowned designer Edwin Schlossberg to conceive and build Mercy Corps’ Action Center to End World Hunger near “ground zero” in Manhattan, with a permanent home later established in Portland, Oregon. A licensed attorney, Mr. Cooper has worked for other leading agencies as well, including Médecins du Monde, the International Rescue Committee, and Human Rights Watch. Before joining the Society, Mr. Cooper served as Associate Vice-President at the University of Oxford, where he developed the vision and implementation plan for a new academic center that will help Oxford share its work with the broader world. To launch this new center, he raised ~ $230M—the largest gift in Oxford history. During NATO’s Kosovo intervention, Michael served with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees as a Protection Officer, working closely with KFOR troops and international agencies to provide legal and physical protection for refugees, returnees, and internally displaced persons from all ethnic groups. Along with Iraq and Kosovo, Michael’s work has taken him to such diverse places as Chiapas (Mexico), Albania, Mongolia, China, and Iran. As Director of the Human Rights Office for the Roosevelt Institute, Mr. Cooper conceived and led the In Your Hands campaign, a national initiative to mark the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Joining Michael at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, Hillary Clinton helped to launch the year-long education and advocacy campaign, which culminated in 50 Human Rights Town Hall Meetings across America and a White House ceremony hosted by President Clinton. Michael has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for human rights and humanitarian causes— from individuals, corporations, foundations, international organizations, and governments. In New York, he directed the Human Rights Watch Council, launched the Human Rights Watch Young Advocates, and served on HRW’s international advocacy team. He worked in the first Obama Administration where he advised senior U.S. Department of Labor officials on legal issues related to terrorism and the protection of federal facilities. On behalf of the Center for Global Development, Michael published a comprehensive MacArthur Foundation-funded study of the European legal regime governing disaster displacement. He published the lead chapters in the Cambridge Handbook of Disaster Risk Reduction and International Law (2019) as well as the award-winning Cambridge Handbook of Psychology and Human Rights (2020). Michael’s work has been featured by the New York Times, Daily News, Huffington Post, PBS, A.P., and others. At the New York City Bar Association, Mr. Cooper has served as primary representative to the United Nations and Chair of the U.N. Committee. He also chaired City Bar’s Council on International Affairs, which coordinates the Association’s advocacy positions and other work product related to issues of global policy and public international law. Michael studied in Norway at the Peace Research Institute of Oslo (PRIO) and has a Master’s in Global Policy and Conflict Resolution from New York University. He is a Public Interest Law Scholar at Georgetown University Law Center, from which he received his J.D. along with a Certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies. Mr. Cooper is admitted to practice in New York and the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY).


Vice President: Marney Cheek, Covington & Burling LLP

Marney Cheek co-chairs Covington's International Arbitration and Disputes practice and has advised companies, non-governmental organizations, and governments on high-stakes international disputes and legal strategy for more than 20 years. Marney's work draws upon her expertise in public international law, investment, and international trade. She serves as both counsel and advocate before numerous international arbitral tribunals and courts, including the International Court of Justice. She currently represents the Government of Ukraine in its landmark cases before the International Court of Justice adverse to the Russian Federation, including Allegations of Genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Ukraine v. Russian Federation). In addition to leading complex investment treaty and international commercial disputes under the rules of major arbitral institutions, Marney routinely advises clients on public international law matters and issues arising under numerous multilateral treaties. She also is at the forefront of business and human rights disputes, having represented global labor unions in the first binding arbitration brought under a business and human rights compact, the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety. Drawing upon her experience as Associate General Counsel at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Marney routinely counsels clients on international trade matters and is a member of the roster of arbitrators for several U.S. free trade agreements. Her pro bono work includes representation of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, among other matters. Marney is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has served on the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law. She is a Lecturer in Law at Columbia University School of Law. She is recognized as an "extraordinarily thoughtful" and "creative" lawyer with a "wealth of knowledge" on international law matters in Chambers and Legal 500.

Vice President: Harlan Cohen, Fordham University School of Law

Harlan Grant Cohen is a Professor of Law at Fordham Law School. His teaching and research focus on international law, international trade, international legal theory, global governance, and U.S. foreign relations law. Professor Cohen is a member of the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law and a member of the American Law Institute. Previously, he served as a member of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law and served as co-chair of the society’s 106th Annual Meeting. Prior to joining the faculty at Fordham Law, Professor Cohen was the Gabriel M. Wilner/UGA Foundation Professor in International Law at the University of Georgia School of Law and Faculty co-Director of the Dean Rusk International Law Center. At the University of Georgia, Professor Cohen was also an affiliated faculty member in the Department of International Affairs. Professor Cohen came to Georgia from New York University School of Law, where he was a Furman Fellow. Prior to that, he worked at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and served as a judicial clerk for Judge Wilfred Feinberg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. Before entering law school, Professor Cohen worked at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the journal Foreign Affairs. Professor Cohen earned his JD from New York University School of Law and an MA in History from Yale University. Previously, he graduated from Yale College with dual degree in History and International Studies.

Vice President: Steven Hill, Former Legal Adviser and Director Office of Legal Affairs, North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Steven Hill is Former Legal Adviser and Director of the Office of Legal Affairs at NATO Headquarters in Brussels. In this role, Mr. Hill was Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg's chief legal adviser. He led the multinational legal team in the Office of Legal Affairs, which provides timely legal advice on policy issues, develops consensus solutions for compliance with multinational legal requirements, and promotes and defends the Organization's legal interests in numerous internal and external venues. He also represented NATO in external legal bodies such as the Council of Europe's Committee of Legal Advisers and conducted regular engagements with NATO Allies, Partners, and other international organizations as well as the general public. Prior to joining NATO, Mr. Hill served as Counselor for Legal Affairs at the United States Mission to the United Nations, where he participated in multinational negotiations on the rule of law, sanctions, counter-terrorism, peacekeeping, and the protection of civilians. He was also a member of the Management Committee for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, the Principal Donors Group for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, and the U.S. observer delegation to the Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court. Prior to his work in New York, he led the legal unit at the International Civilian Office / European Union Special Representative in Kosovo and was a Visiting Professor of Law at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center in China. Mr. Hill began his legal career in the Office of the Legal Adviser (L) at the U.S. Department of State. In a series of assignments, he focused on diplomatic property law, economic sanctions, international humanitarian law, and human rights law. He represented the U.S. in numerous United Nations human rights-related committees and treaty bodies as well as before the International Court of Justice and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. From 2004 to 2005 and again in 2007, he served as a legal adviser at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. Mr. Hill graduated from Yale Law School and Harvard College and is a member of the New York bar.

Vice President: Saira Mohamed, Berkeley Law

Saira Mohamed's primary interests are in the areas of criminal law and human rights, with her research focused on responses to mass atrocity. Examining the roles of criminal law and armed force in preventing and stopping widespread violence, her work considers the meaning of responsibility in mass atrocity crimes and seeks to unsettle conventional conceptions of choice and participation in this context. Her most recent articles have appeared in the Yale Law Journal, Columbia Law Review, and California Law Review. Her article "Deviance, Aspiration, and the Stories We Tell: Reconciling Mass Atrocity and the Criminal Law," 124 Yale L.J. 1628 (2015), won the award for the best paper by a junior scholar from the Association of American Law Schools Section on Criminal Justice. In 2020, Mohamed was awarded the Berlin Prize Fellowship to study the military obligation to disobey illegal orders and the duties of states toward members of their armed forces. Mohamed previously served as Senior Advisor in the Office of the U.S. Special Envoy for Sudan, where she counseled government officials on legal and policy issues regarding the work of the International Criminal Court in Darfur and the resolution of the civil war in Sudan. She also was an Attorney-Adviser for human rights and refugees in the State Department's Office of the Legal Adviser, where her portfolio included asylum and human rights litigation in U.S. courts. Immediately prior to joining Berkeley Law, she was the James Milligan Fellow at Columbia Law School. Mohamed is a graduate of Columbia Law School, where she was Executive Articles Editor of the Columbia Law Review and recipient of the David Berger Memorial Prize for international law. She also received a Master of International Affairs from Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs. She holds an undergraduate degree from Yale University in history and international affairs. She clerked for Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She is an elected member of the American Law Institute and previously served as a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law.

Honorary Vice President: Gregory Shaffer, Georgetown University Law Center

Gregory Shaffer is Scott K Ginsburg Professor of International Law at Georgetown University Law Center. His publications include eleven books and more than one hundred articles and book chapters. His book Emerging Powers and the World Trading System: The Past and Future of International Economic Law (Cambridge University Press) won the 2022 Chadwick F. Alger Prize of the International Studies Association. Professor Shaffer's work is wide ranging, but it focuses principally on international economic law, and law and globalization more broadly. It is cross-disciplinary, theoretical, and empirical, addressing such topics as transnational legal ordering, legal realism, hard and soft law, comparative institutional analysis, public-private networks in international trade, the rise of China and other emerging economies, and the ways international economic law implicates domestic regulation and social and distributive policies. He is currently working on a book project regarding the challenges to the rule of law from a transnational perspective, implicating both international and domestic law and institutions. Professor Shaffer previously was Chancellor's Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of California Irvine School of Law, Melvin C. Steen Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School, Wing-Tat Lee Chair at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, and Professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School, where he also directed two university research centers respectively on World Affairs and the Global Economy (WAGE) and the European Union Center of Excellence. He received his B.A., magna cum laude, from Dartmouth College and his J.D., with distinction, from Stanford Law School, where he won the Carl Mason Franklin Prize of International Law and served as Editor on the Stanford Law Review. From there, he practiced law in Paris for seven years for Coudert Frères and Bredin Prat, where he was a member of the Paris bar. Professor Shaffer is a recipient of multiple U.S. National Science Foundation awards, was a Shimizu Visiting Professor at London School of Economics, a Fernand Braudel Fellow at the European University Institute, a Fulbright Senior Research Scholar in Rome, a Visiting Scholar at the American Bar Foundation and at the World Trade Organization, and winner of the Inaugural John Jackson Memorial Prize awarded by the Journal of International Economic Law. He served for eight years on the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law, was a founding member of the AJIL Unbound Committee, is on the board of multiple other journals around the world, and is a Book Series Editor for Hart-Bloomsbury. He has given invited lectures in over 25 countries. He is an Elihu Root Patron of the Society.

Honorary Vice President: Catherine Amirfar, Debevoise & Plimpton

Catherine Amirfar is a litigation partner in the International Dispute Resolution Group and Co-Chair of the firm's Public International Law Group. Her practice focuses on international commercial and treaty arbitration, international and complex commercial litigation and public international law. She is a member of the firm's Management Committee. Prior to rejoining Debevoise in 2016, Ms. Amirfar spent two years as the Counselor on International Law to the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State. During her tenure as Counselor, Ms. Amirfar advised the State Department on its most significant litigation matters involving international law and foreign relations and liaised with senior officials of the Departments of Justice and Defense, the National Security Council and the Office of White House Counsel. She represented the United States before international bodies and broadly advised the State Department on international legal issues arising in the areas of human rights, armed conflict, sovereign and diplomatic immunity, international arbitration and claims settlement and the intersection of U.S. and international law. Ms. Amirfar received the State Department's Superior Honor Award in recognition of her contributions to the Department. She is among the youngest advocates ever to argue before the International Court of Justice and is ranked among the top international legal practitioners in the world by Chambers Global (2019). She has written extensively on international arbitration, the relationship between international law and U.S. domestic law, international human rights and humanitarian law; investor-state disputes; and the law of consular and diplomatic immunities. She is a frequent lecturer on international law and has guest lectured at Yale Law School and NYU Law School, among others. Ms. Amirfar was elected President of the American Society of International Law (ASIL) in 2020 and served as Vice President from 2016-2018. She is co-host of the ASIL podcast International Law Behind the Headlines, and currently is a member of the American Law Institute, the Council on Foreign Relations, the State Department's Advisory Council on International Law, and the Court of Arbitration of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre. She also serves as Co-Chair of the ICCA-ASIL Task Force on Damages in International Arbitration. Ms. Amirfar originally joined the firm in 2002 and became a partner in 2008. From 2000 to 2002, she clerked for the Hon. D.A. Batts, Southern District of New York. She received a J.D. cum laude from New York University Law School in 2000, where she was a Root-Tilden-Snow Scholar. She served as an editor for the NYU Law Review and was awarded top honors in the NYU Orison S. Marden Moot Court Competition. She received a B.A., with honors, from Stanford University in 1995.

Honorary Vice President: Sean D. Murphy, George Washington University Law School

Sean D. Murphy is the Manatt/Ahn Professor of International Law at George Washington University Law School and is a Member of the U.N. International Law Commission, where he serves as Special Rapporteur for Crimes against Humanity. From 1995 to1998, he was legal counselor at the U.S. Embassy in The Hague, arguing several cases before the International Court of Justice, representing the U.S. government in matters before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and serving as U.S. agent to the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal. From 1987 to 1995, he worked in the U.S. Department of State Office of the Legal Adviser, primarily advising on matters relating to oceans and international environmental law, international claims, and international humanitarian law. Since entering academia, Professor Murphy has represented several countries in international courts and tribunals, and has served as an arbitrator or ad hoc judge in inter-State and investor-State arbitrations. Professor Murphy has published numerous articles on international law; his article on international environmental liability won the American Journal of International Law (AJIL) 1994 Deák Prize for best scholarship by a younger author. His book Humanitarian Intervention: The United Nations in an Evolving World Order won the 1997 American Society of International Law 1997 certificate for preeminent contribution to creative scholarship. His most recent books are Principles of International Law (3d ed. 2018); International Law relating to Islands (2017); Foreign Relations and National Security Law: Cases, Materials and Simulations (5th ed. 2017) (with Swaine and Wuerth); and Litigating War: Arbitration of Civil Injury by the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission (2013) (with Kidane and Snider). Professor Murphy served for ten years on the AJIL Board of Editors and is a Patron of the Society.

Secretary: James Nafziger, Willamette University College of Law

James Nafziger is the Thomas B. Stoel Professor of Law and Director of International Programs at the Willamette University College of Law.  He is also Honorary Professor at the East China University of Politics and Law.  After receiving B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Wisconsin and a J.D. from the Harvard Law School, Professor Nafziger was Henry Luce Fellow and later Administrative Director of the American Society of International Law.  He is a former Fulbright lecturer in Mexico and Mongolia as well as Scholar-in-Residence at the Rockefeller Foundation's Study Center in Bellagio, Italy.  In 2005 he was Co-director of Research at the Hague Academy of International Law.  Professor Nafziger received the Burlington Northern Foundation Award for "excellence in teaching and scholarly activity" and the university President's Award for Excellence in Scholarship, in both cases the first given to a member of his law faculty.  Having initiated the Oregon Law Commission's project to codify choice-of-law rules, he has served as its Reporter.  He is the author or editor of eight books, over 100 articles or essays in books, and 80 other published writings. An elected member of the American Law Institute, he is an Honorary Vice-President of the American Branch of the International Law Association, having served as its President and Chair of its Executive Committee.  He also chairs the ILA's Committee on Cultural Heritage Law and is Honorary President of the International Association of Sports Law.  He received an award for extraordinary contributions to the American Society of Comparative Law, having served as its Treasurer.  Professor Nafziger is on the National Council of the United Nations Association-USA and is a former president of both its Oregon Division and the Oregon International Council. 

Treasurer: Nancy L. Perkins, Arnold & Porter LLP

Nancy Perkins, Counsel to firm, Arnold & Porter LLP, has a diverse  international  practice,  including arbitration and trade litigation,  regulatory   counseling,  and legislative work.  She has litigated disputes before the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes ("ICSID") and the GATT/World Trade Organization ("WTO"), including the first case ever brought under the WTO dispute settlement system.  She also has worked on antidumping and countervailing duty cases, proceedings under the Generalized System of Preferences, and matters involving Sections 201 and 301 of the U.S.  trade laws.  She has assisted several foreign governments in the negotiation of treaty provisions, and has counseled numerous clients with respect to export control and customs regulations, the Exon-Florio statute, FOCI matters, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the NAFTA, and antitrust, tax, and other aspects of foreign direct investment in the United States. Ms. Perkins is the Chair of the International Law Section of the D.C. Bar, Treasurer of the American Society of International Law ("ASIL"), and a member of the Editorial Advisory Committee of International Legal Materials, published by the ASIL. She joined Arnold & Porter in 1988, following a clerkship with the Honorable Eugene H. Nickerson in the District Court for the Eastern District of New York.  She is a member of the Bars of both Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia, and is a member of the American Law Institute.