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Gabriella Blum

Gabriella Blum is the Vice Dean for the Graduate Program and International Legal Studies and the Rita E. Hauser Professor of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.

William P. Alford

William P. Alford is the Senior Advisor to the Graduate Program and International Legal Studies, the Jerome A. and Joan L. Cohen Professor of Law, Director of the East Asian Legal Studies Program, and Chair of the Harvard Law School Project on Disability.

Catherine Peshkin

is the Assistant Dean for the Graduate Program and International Legal Studies. She received her B.A., J.D. and M.B.A. degrees from Duke University and is a member of the New York Bar. Prior to joining the Graduate Program, Catherine was an associate and then partner in the corporate restructuring group at Kirkland & Ellis LLP in New York, having started her legal career as an associate in the business finance and restructuring group at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. Before attending law school, Catherine was the Assistant Director of J.D. Admissions at Duke University School of Law. Between practicing law and returning to academic administration, Catherine spent 18 months trekking and traveling in Nepal, India, Southeast Asia, New Zealand, Spain, Portugal, and the U.K.


Catherine oversees the administration of the Graduate Program and International Legal Studies.  She is also a resource for students with general questions about student life and careers in law.

Sarah Trautz

is the Director of Admissions and Financial Aid for the Graduate Program. She received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and J.D. from the University of Virginia. During her legal career, Sarah worked as a health care regulatory attorney at several law firms and served as in-house counsel for a hospital and a software company.  She also spent four years as a high school math teacher and holds a degree in Math for Teaching from the Harvard Extension School. Sarah grew up in Massachusetts and enjoys travel and many outdoor activities, including skiing, hiking, and running.


Sarah oversees admissions, financial aid, visa matters, and student billing for the Graduate Program and is happy to answer questions on these topics.

Nancy Pinn

is the Director of Administration and Student Affairs and joined the Graduate Program in August of 2001. Originally from New Jersey, Nancy earned both a J.D. and an A.M. in East Asian Studies from Washington University in St. Louis. She also earned a B.A., in English, from Tufts University. A member of the New York Bar, Nancy previously worked as a lawyer in several corporate roles, including nearly three years in-house at the headquarters of a Japanese multinational. She has also worked as Coordinator for International Relations for the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and as an English teacher at a Tokyo high school.  Nancy enjoys reading, cooking, finding humor in unexpected areas, and exploring New England’s many outdoor and cultural offerings.  She welcomes the chance to practice her foreign language skills (particularly Japanese, French, and some Spanish) and to learn new things about new places.


Nancy is responsible for administrative matters and for the academic affairs (course requirements, registration, writing requirements), overall coordination, and general student life issues for the Graduate Program population.

Jane Fair Bestor

is the Graduate Program’s Graduate Writing and Academic Preceptor. She earned her first two degrees (a B.A. and an M.A. in anthropology) at McGill University before taking her Ph.D. (in anthropology) at the University of Chicago. For her M.A. thesis she carried out fieldwork in Iranian Baluchistan on the incorporation of a regional system of peasants and nomads into the Iranian state. Her Ph.D. research was an archival study of dynasty and state formation in Italy between 1250 and 1500, with a focus on the House of Este. As a Liberal Arts Fellow at Harvard Law School from 1993-1994, she studied the anthropology of law and the history of the formation of the ius commune from civil, canon, and feudal law. The results of this research have appeared in articles on succession and marital transactions in Past & Present, Comparative Studies in Society and History, the Rivista internazionale di diritto commune and elsewhere. Jane has recently completed a book manuscript on succession and state formation in Italy.


Jane runs the LL.M. Writing Workshop, advises LL.M. students on admission to the S.J.D. program, and advises S.J.D. students on their study plans, dissertations, and other writing projects. She is available to help all students in the Graduate Program with general issues of research and writing and on getting by as a graduate student in general.

Amy Sacheck

is the Graduate Program’s Assistant Director of Admissions and Financial Aid.  She received her B.A. in Government from Cornell University.  Prior to joining the Graduate Program, Amy worked in the Office of Technology Development at Harvard University.  Amy began her career in the financial services industry where she worked at Fidelity Investments for over fourteen years in compliance.  Amy enjoys running, ballet, and hiking, as well as gardening, studying psychology, and learning about different cultures.


Amy can answer questions about financial aid and visas for LL.M. and S.J.D. students, as well as about the LL.M. admissions process.

Caitie Parmelee

is the Administrative Coordinator and LL.M. Program Assistant for the Graduate Program. She moved to Boston after earning a B.A. in Journalism at the University of Connecticut. She enjoys yoga, bad jokes, and reading about English history.


Caitie can answer questions about the LL.M. degree program, LL.M. student life and academics, mechanics of course registration, and event planning.

Rebecca Russell

is the Student Affairs Administrator and S.J.D. Program Coordinator for the Graduate Program. She received a B.A. in Chinese Language and Literature from the University of Kansas, an M.A. in National Development from National Taiwan University, and an M.A. in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education from Michigan State University. Rebecca previously worked in student services and international education roles at the George Washington University and the University of Michigan. She also taught for several years at international schools in Taiwan and South Korea, and at US public schools. Rebecca is fluent in Chinese. Her hobbies include pottery and freshwater fishkeeping.


Rebecca can answer questions about the S.J.D. degree program, S.J.D. student life and academics, event planning, and Graduate Program website-related questions.

Kyle O’Hara

is the Admissions and Financial Aid Coordinator for the Graduate Program. Kyle grew up in Ohio and moved to Boston to earn her B.A. in History and Literature at Harvard College. She enjoys watching reality TV and going on walks around Cambridge with her dog.


Kyle can answer questions about admissions and financial aid for the LL.M. and S.J.D. degree programs.