Harold Hongju Koh, recently designated as the inaugural Martin R. Flug '55 Professor of International Law, is a leading expert on public and private international law, national security law and human rights.
Koh is currently on leave while serving as legal adviser to the U.S. Department of State. He will resume teaching at the Law School when his public service ends.
Koh is the author or co-author of eight books, including "Transnational Litigation in United States Courts," "Foundations of International Law and Politics" (with Yale Law School colleague Oona Hathaway), "Transnational Legal Problems" (with H. Steiner and D. Vagts), "Transnational Business Problems" (with Vagts and W. Dodge) and "The National Security Constitution," which won the American Political Science Association's 1991 award as the best book on the American presidency. He was also the editor of "The Justice Harry A. Blackmun Oral History Project." He has published more than 150 articles on international human rights, international business transactions, national security and foreign affairs law, among other topics.
Koh began teaching at Yale Law School in 1985 and served from 2004 until 2009 as its 15th dean. He was the Gerard C. and Bernice Latrobe Smith Professor of International Law since 1993. A graduate of Harvard University, he studied at Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar before earning his J.D. at Harvard. He served as a law clerk for Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Malcolm Richard Wilkey of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Before joining Yale, he practiced law at Covington and Burling from 1982 to 1983 and at the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice from 1983 to 1985.
From 1998 to 2001, Koh served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.
A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, Kohn is an honorary fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, and a member of the Council of the American Law Institute. He has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Century Foundation.
The Flug Professorship was established by Martin R. Flug '55 to be held by "a preeminent scholar with a uniquely distinguished reputation who has demonstrated continued excellence, innovation and intellectual vitality in the field of international law."