Governance

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: Hon. Patrick Lipton Robinson, International Court of Justice

Hon. Patrick Lipton Robinson is a member of the International Court of Justice for the term commencing February 2015. Following his call to the Bar in 1968, Judge Robinson began a long and distinguished career in public service, working for the Jamaican government for over three decades. From 1968 to 1971, he served as a Crown Counsel in the Office of the Director of the Public Prosecutions. Between 1972 and 1998, he served briefly as Legal Adviser to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, subsequently in the Attorney General's Department as Crown Counsel, Senior Assistant Attorney-General, Director of the Division of International Law, and as Deputy Solicitor-General. Judge Robinson's long-standing experience in United Nations affairs dates back to 1972, when he became Jamaica's Representative to the Sixth Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, a position he held for 26 years. He played a leadership role on several issues in the Committee, including the definition of aggression and the draft statute for an international criminal court. From 1981 to 1998, he led Jamaica's delegations for the negotiation of treaties on several subjects, including extradition, mutual legal assistance, maritime delimitation and investment promotion and protection. Judge Robinson also represented Jamaica on several other United Nations bodies, including the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law and the United Nations Commission on Transnational Corporations, serving as Chairman of that Commission' s Twelfth Session in 1986. He represented Jamaica at all sessions of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea and was accredited as an ambassador to that Conference in 1982. As a member of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights from 1988 to 1995, and its Chairman in 1991, Judge Robinson contributed to the development of a corpus of human rights laws for the Inter-American System. As a member of the International Law Commission from 1991 to 1996, he served on the Working Group that elaborated the draft statute for an international criminal court. Judge Robinson also served as a member of the Haiti Truth and Justice Commission from 1995 to 1996, and was a member of the International Bio-ethics Committee of UNESCO from 1996 to 2005, serving as its Vice-Chairman from 2002 to 2005. Judge Robinson was elected a Judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in 1998 and served as the Tribunal' s President from 2008 to 2011. Judge Robinson has also served as an arbitrator in disputes under the ICSID Convention. Judge Robinson is a Barrister of Law, Middle Temple, United Kingdom. He holds a B.A. in English, Latin, and Economics from the University College of the West Indies (London), an LLB with honors from London University, and an LL.M. in International Law from King' s College, University of London, in the areas of the Law of the Sea, the Law of the Air, Treaties, and Armed Conflict. He also holds a Certificate of International Law from The Hague Academy of International Law.
 

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

 

President-Elect: Gregory Shaffer, University of California, Irvine School of Law

Gregory C. Shaffer is Chancellor's Professor of Law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. His publications, which include seven books and more than one hundred articles and book chapters, principally focus on international economic law and globalization from a theoretical and empirical perspective. The work is cross-disciplinary, 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 trade and investment law implicate domestic regulation and social and distributive policies. He previously was 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 on World Affairs and the Global Economy (WAGE) and the European Union. He received his B.A., magna cum laude, from Dartmouth College and his J.D., with distinction, from Stanford Law School. He practiced law in Paris for seven years for Coudert Frères and Bredin Prat, where he was a member of the Paris bar.

 

Executive Vice President and Executive Director: Mark Agrast, ASIL

Mark Agrast is Executive Director and Executive Vice President of the American Society of International Law. He previously served as deputy assistant attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Legislative Affairs from 2009 to 2014. Mr. Agrast was a senior vice president and senior fellow at the Center for American Progress from 2003 to 2009, and held senior staff positions with the U.S. House of Representatives from 1992 to 2009. He practiced international law with the Washington office of Jones Day from 1985 to 1992. Mr. Agrast has served in numerous leadership capacities in the American Bar Association, including as a member of its Board of Governors and its Executive Committee, a longtime member of the ABA House of Delegates, chair of the Commission on Immigration and the Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities (now the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice), and chair of the Commission on Disability Rights. He currently serves on the Council of the Section of International Law and as a member of the Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress. Mr. Agrast has been a leader of the World Justice Project since its inception and has played a central role in designing and implementing its Rule of Law Index, which measures the extent to which countries adhere to the rule of law. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Washington Foreign Law Society and a past co-chair (and ABA delegate) of the National Lesbian and Gay Law Association (now the National LGBT Bar). Mr. Agrast is a member of the American Law Institute and a life fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He graduated summa cum laude from Case Western Reserve University, pursued his postgraduate studies as a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, and received his J.D. in 1985 from Yale Law School, where he was editor in chief of the Yale Journal of International Law.
 

Vice President: David W. Bowker, WilmerHale

David W. Bowker chairs the International Litigation Practice at WilmerHale LLP and has a wealth of commercial litigation and arbitration experience representing U.S. and foreign companies, multi‑nationals, foreign states, international organizations and nonprofit organizations before international arbitration tribunals, state and federal trial courts, courts of appeal, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is also an active member of the firm's International Arbitration Group, Trial Group, and Government and Regulatory Litigation Group. Mr. Bowker has litigated high-stakes cases in U.S. federal and state courts for nearly 20 years. Mr. Bowker teaches international law and dispute resolution as an adjunct professor at the University of California at Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) and Georgetown University Law School. He serves on the U.S. Department of State's Advisory Committee on Private International Law. In addition to the American Society of International Law, he is also a member of the American Law Institute, the American Bar Association, and the International Bar Association. Mr. Bowker served as the Attorney-Adviser for the Law of Armed Conflict in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State. Prior to that, he served as a graduate intern on the National Security Council staff.
 

Vice President: Anna Spain Bradley, UCLA Law

Anna Spain Bradley is vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). In this capacity, she serves as the senior campus official responsible for leading and coordinating efforts to create an inclusive environment for all students, staff, faculty, alumni and community partners by fostering and affirming a campus culture based on our core values of excellence, equity, diversity and inclusion and by facilitating an integrated vision and shared responsibility for advancing these institutional goals. She previously served as a professor of law and assistant vice provost for faculty development and diversity at the University of Colorado Law School. Spain Bradley is currently writing a book on global racism and human rights, and she has been invited to advise the United Nations, foreign governments and international organizations on these matters. She is the author of Human Choice in International Law, forthcoming from Cambridge University Press in 2021, as well as a casebook, numerous book chapters, law review articles and shorter works. She has received ASIL's Francis Lieber Award and the University of Colorado Law School's Gamm Justice Award in recognition of excellence in scholarship. She teaches courses on international human rights, international dispute resolution, mediation and national security, and she has served as a faculty adviser to the University of Colorado's Black Law Students Association and International Human Rights LLM students. In 2018, she was one of four educators in the nation to receive an OZY Educator Award. Prior to joining the University of Colorado faculty, Spain Bradley served as the deputy director of the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations and a lecturer at the UCLA School of Law. She previously served as attorney-adviser at the U.S. Department of State's Office of the Legal Adviser and as a delegate to the U.N. Compensation Commission in Geneva, twice earning the State Department's Meritorious Honor Award. She has held positions at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where she worked on climate change policy, and at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, where she worked on international trade agreements. In addition, she has more than 20 years of experience as a mediator helping to resolve disputes and end conflicts, and she is a founding member and former board member of Mediators Beyond Borders International. She occasionally serves as legal counsel for nations before international tribunals and frequently gives keynote talks to a variety of audiences. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Spain Bradley is also a former member of ASIL's Executive Council, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and a member of the state bar of Pennsylvania. She earned her B.A. in environmental studies at Denison University and her J.D. at Harvard Law School, where she served as an executive editor of the Harvard Human Rights Journal. She has worked in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, North America and South America.
 

Vice President: James Thuo Gathii, Loyola University School of Law

James T. Gathii has served as a professor of law and the Wing-Tat Lee Chair in International Law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law since July 2012. He is a graduate of the University of Nairobi and Harvard Law School. He is currently a Counsellor of the Society and sits on the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law, the Journal of African Law and the Journal of International Trade Law and Policy, among others. His research and teaching interests are in public international law, international trade law, Third World approaches to international law (TWAIL), African constitutionalism and human rights. His books include African Regional Trade Agreements as Legal Regimes (Cambridge University Press, 2011, Paperback 2013); War, Commerce and International Law (Oxford University Press, 2010); and The Contested Empowerment of Kenya's Judiciary, 2010-2015: A Historical Institutional Analysis (Sheria Publishing House, 2016). In addition to his books, Professor Gathii has authored over 80 articles and numerous book chapters. Professor Gathii is an Independent Expert of the Working Group on Extractive Industries, Environment, and Human Rights Violations in Africa formed by the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights. He is also an expert member of the Working Group on Agricultural Land Investment Contracts of the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDRIOT). He has sat as an arbitrator in two international commercial arbitrations hosted by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague. He is a founding member of the TWAIL network. He is an elected member of the International Academy of International Law. He has consulted for the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Economic Commission for Africa, among other organizations.
 

Vice President: Hon. David J. Scheffer, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

David Scheffer is the Mayer Brown/Robert A. Helman Professor of Law and from 2006 to 2019 served as the Director of the Center for International Human Rights. He teaches International Human Rights Law and International Criminal Law. From January 2012 through October 2018, Scheffer was the U.N. Secretary-General's Special Expert on United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials. He was selected by Foreign Policy Magazine as one of the "Top Global Thinkers of 2011." He received the Berlin Prize in 2013 and was in residence at the American Academy in Berlin during the Fall 2013 term. In 2018, he received the "Champion of Justice" Award from the Center for Justice and Accountability. He also received the Dean's Teaching Award 2007-2008 and founded and edits (2007-2011, 2019-present) the Cambodia Tribunal Monitor (www.cambodiatribunal.org). Scheffer was previously the U.S. Ambassador at Large for War Crimes Issues (1997-2001) and led the U.S. delegation in U.N. talks establishing the International Criminal Court. During his ambassadorship, he negotiated and coordinated U.S. support for the establishment and operation of international and hybrid criminal tribunals and U.S. responses to atrocities anywhere in the world. Scheffer also headed the Atrocities Prevention Inter-Agency Working Group. During the first term of the Clinton Administration, he served as senior adviser and counsel to the U.S. Representative to the United Nations, Dr. Madeleine Albright, and served from 1993 through 1996 on the Deputies Committee of the National Security Council. Scheffer has held visiting professorships at Northwestern Law, Georgetown University Law Center, and George Washington University Law School and taught at Duke University School of Law and Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. He has published extensively on international legal and political issues and appears regularly in the national and international media. His book, All the Missing Souls: A Personal History of the War Crimes Tribunals (Princeton University Press, 2012) received the 2012 Book of the Year Award from the American National Section of the International Association of Penal Law and was chosen among the Washington Post's "Best of 2012: 50 Notable Works of Nonfiction." His latest book is The Sit Room: In the Theater of War and Peace (Oxford University Press, 2019). Scheffer is a member of the New York and District of Columbia Bars, the American Society of International Law (formerly serving on the Executive Council), the American Bar Association (which awarded him the Max Kampelman Award in 1999 and where he chairs the Center for Human Rights Working Group on Crimes Against Humanity), the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs where he is a Nonresident Senior Fellow, and he was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the International Law Students Association (2004-2008).
 

Honorary Vice President: Lori Damrosch, Columbia Law School

Lori Damrosch is the Henry L. Moses Professor of Law and International Organization and the Hamilton Fish Professor of International Law and Diplomacy at Columbia Law School.  She received her B.A. and J.D. from Yale University and began her legal career as a law clerk to Judge Jon O. Newman, followed by three years in the Office of the Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State, and three years as an associate with Sullivan & Cromwell, before joining the Columbia faculty in 1984. Her publications include The International Court of Justice at a Crossroads (ed., 1987); Law and Force in the New International Order (ed., 1991); Enforcing Restraint: Collective Intervention in Internal Conflicts (ed., 1993); Beyond Confrontation: International Law for the Post-Cold War Era (ed. 1995); Enforcing International Law through Non-Forcible Measures (Hague Academy of International Law, 1997); and International Law: Cases and Materials (4th ed., with Henkin, Pugh, Schachter and Smit, 2001). Professor Damrosch served as a resident fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace (1995-96), and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Department of State Advisory Committee on International Law. Introduced to the Society by Steve Schwebel during her stint at the Office of the Legal Adviser, she has long been active in the Society.  She was the organizer of the U.S.-Soviet (later U.S.-Russian) research project on international law, has served on numerous Society committees and as Vice President, Counsellor, member of the AJIL Board of Editors, and, since 2003, as Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal. 
 

Honorary Vice President: Lucinda A. Low, Steptoe & Johnson LLP

Lucinda A. Low is a partner in Steptoe's Washington office, where she is a member of the firm's Management Committee and head of the Compliance, Investigations, Trade and Enforcement Department. Her practice focuses on US and international anti-corruption laws, advising clients on matters ranging from preventive work to representation in internal investigations and enforcement matters worldwide. She is a widely recognized authority in the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and related international conventions from the OECD, OAS, United Nations, and European Union. Ms. Low graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, where she was Editor-in-Chief of the UCLA Law Review. She was an Adjunct Professor at American University, Washington College of Law in 1993 and at the University of Colorado School of Law in 1987 and 1989.
 

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.