Thirteen Harvard Law School students have been awarded 2018 Chayes International Public Service Fellowships for work in 13 countries. The 2018 Chayes Fellows are listed below, with their summer placements and biographical information submitted by the students.
Elise Baranouski, Reprieve, United Kingdom
Elise is a first-year student at Harvard Law School from Danville, Pennsylvania, and is interested in a range of international human rights work. Elise attended Harvard College, where she received a B.A. in government with a minor in global health and health policy, and spent a summer working on public health issues in Athens, Greece. Prior to beginning law school, Elise worked for two years at Perseus Strategies, a Washington, DC-based international human rights law firm focused on representing political prisoners. During her first year at HLS, Elise has participated in the Prison Legal Assistance Project, the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, and the Women’s Law Association. She is also conducting research on comparative capital punishment; next year, she will be working in the International Human Rights Clinic. This summer, Elise will be working with Reprieve, a London-based non-profit dedicated to providing free legal and investigative support to individuals facing execution as well as those victimized by abusive counter-terror policies. Her work will focus on stopping the flow of lethal injection drugs for use in executions.
Emma Broches, Commission for International Justice and Accountability, Europe
Emma is a first-year student at Harvard Law School and is interested in international criminal and human rights law, as well as national security. As an undergraduate at Amherst College, she focused on Middle East history and Arabic and studied in Egypt and Lebanon. Prior to law school, Emma worked in Jordan for an international organization dedicated to providing technical assistance, resources, and training to the Syrian Civil Defense (The White Helmets). She also conducted research on humanitarian aid and conflict-related events in Syria as a Fulbright Fellow in Jordan, and has worked as a paralegal in employment litigation. At HLS, Emma is involved with the Harvard International Law Journal and Harvard Law Student Advocates for Human Rights, and conducts research for the Program on International Law and Armed Conflict. This summer, Emma will be working for an international justice NGO whose mission is to collect, organize, and analyze evidence of international crimes committed during ongoing conflict.
Cristina Cornejo, World Bank Office of Suspension and Debarment, Washington, DC
Cristina is a first-year student at Harvard Law School from Rochester Hills, Michigan (by way of Tokyo, Japan, and Paris, France). She is interested in the intersection of global governance and international development. Cristina earned her B.A. in economics from Harvard College, with a focus on international development. Before law school, Cristina worked as an environmental economics researcher at Abt Associates Inc., conducting cost-benefit analyses of environmental regulations for a number of federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This year, Cristina participated in the Harvard International Law Journal and Harvard Law Student Advocates for Human Rights. She also served as a project leader for the Law and International Development Society, and will become the organization’s vice president of community next year. She is also the incoming co-chair of the mentorship committee of the Women’s Law Association. This summer, Cristina will intern at the World Bank Office of Suspension and Debarment (OSD) in Washington, DC. In this position, she will support OSD lawyers in reviewing World Bank sanctions cases, and conduct research on administrative sanctions and international anti-corruption law.
Niku Jafarnia, International Refugee Assistance Project, Lebanon
Niku is a second-year joint degree student at Harvard Law School and Harvard Kennedy School interested in migrant and refugee rights. Originally from the Bay Area, she graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in political science and a minor in urban planning. Prior to law school, she spent two years working in Turkey as a Fulbright grantee, and returned to Turkey after her 1L year for an internship at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. She has provided legal assistance to refugee populations in Turkey, Greece, Kenya, and Jordan, and has previously worked with asylum seekers in the Bay Area. Additionally, she has conducted research regarding the effects of the Muslim Ban on refugee resettlement and assisted the HLS Immigration and Refugee Clinic in drafting amicus briefs to the Ninth Circuit and the Supreme Court regarding the Muslim Ban. At Harvard, she has worked as a caseworker for the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP), served as the co-president of both the Harvard Immigration Project and the Middle Eastern Law Students Association, and was an editor for Harvard Kennedy School’s Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy. She hopes to use her education to be a more effective advocate for the refugee community. Niku will be spending her summer working with IRAP in Lebanon, where she will be providing refugees with legal assistance and working to improve Lebanon’s refugee policy.
Ji Yoon Kang, Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia
Ji Yoon is a first-year student at Harvard Law School from Seoul, South Korea. He is interested in international criminal law, refugee law, and human rights. Before coming to law school, Ji Yoon served as an artilleryman in the Korean army and graduated from McGill University with a B.A. in history. After graduation, he worked at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Seoul, working with humanitarian partners and coordinating media events. At HLS, Ji Yoon is a member of the International Law Journal and will join the International Human Rights Clinic next year. This summer, he will work at the Pre-Trial Chamber of the ECCC, a hybrid court mandated for prosecuting senior Khmer Rouge officials responsible for the Cambodian genocide.
Ayoung Kim, Oxfam, Philippines
Ayoung is a first-year student at Harvard Law School from Seoul, South Korea, but she has lived in Canada, the U.S., and the United Kingdom as well. She graduated summa cum laude from Amherst College with a B.A. in political science and studied international relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science for a year. Ayoung is primarily interested in gender and socioeconomic rights in East and Southeast Asia; prior to law school, she worked with marginalized and displaced women in the Calais refugee camp, Amherst, and Seoul. During her 1L year, Ayoung worked on a Harvard Law Student Advocates for Human Rights (Advocates) project with the Public International Law & Policy Group, organized a career trip for the Law and International Development Society (LIDS), and worked on the Harvard Journal of Law & Gender. For the upcoming year, she will be the vice president for professional development for LIDS and a project leader for Advocates. This summer, Ayoung will be working with Oxfam Philippines and an alternative law group called IDEALS, focusing on gender and business and human rights issues.
Samantha Lint, Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia
Samantha is a first-year student at Harvard Law School interested in human rights in conflict and post-conflict contexts, reproductive rights, and international criminal law. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Richmond with a B.A. in international studies and French and has studied at Sciences Po in Paris. At HLS, Samantha is involved with the Program on International Law and Armed Conflict, the Harvard International Law Journal, and Harvard Law Student Advocates for Human Rights. Prior to law school, Samantha interned at the White House Domestic Policy Council and worked for a USAID project implementer, supporting global health activities in East Africa and Asia with a focus on fragile states. She has also designed and implemented a women’s empowerment program in Rwanda. This summer, Samantha will be working at the Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts of Cambodia, Office of the Co-Prosecutors. The ECCC is a hybrid court located in Phnom Penh, with jurisdiction over senior leaders of Democratic Kampuchea and those responsible for the most grave violations of national and international law committed during the Khmer Rouge regime.
Ava Liu, Natural Resources Defense Council, China
Ava is a first-year student at Harvard Law School originally from Toronto, Canada. She attended McGill University in Montreal and studied political science and philosophy with a minor in international development. She is interested in sustainable international development and social and economic human rights. Before law school, she worked in the Peruvian Andes on community development as a project advisor funded by Global Affairs Canada. She has also worked at the United Nations World Food Programme in Panama City and with an indigenous-led social enterprise in rural Vietnam. She is fluent in Chinese, English, Spanish and French. At Harvard, she is the symposium chair for the Law and International Development Society and co-president of the Canadian Law Students Association. As a Chayes Fellow, she will be working in the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Beijing office on their Environmental Law and Governance project. She will be conducting legal research on questions of Chinese environmental governance pertaining to issues such as climate change, green finance, and urban-rural governance. She is excited about this special opportunity to work in China and reconnect with her cultural roots.
Laya Maheshwari, Médecins Sans Frontières, France and Switzerland
Laya is a first-year student at Harvard Law School from India. He is interested in the role of the American legal system in international litigation, international humanitarian law, and international criminal law. He graduated with distinction from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, where he majored in journalism. He also has a master’s degree in social policy from the London School of Economics. Before coming to law school, Laya worked as a freelance journalist, focusing on issues of culture, propaganda, freedom of speech, and censorship. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the BBC, and The Guardian. His reporting was supported with grants from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and the National Geographic Society. This summer, Laya will work with Médecins Sans Frontières on a research project about international humanitarian law pertaining to medical aid and personnel. He will split his summer between Paris, France, and Geneva, Switzerland; for his research, he will look at UN conventions and memoranda along with case law and analyze the Syrian crisis as a case study.
Patrick Maxwell, Geneva Call, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Patrick is a first-year student at Harvard Law School. He received a B.A. from Goshen College in 2011. Patrick spent four years working for peacebuilding and civilian protection NGOs, including as peacebuilding coordinator for the Mennonite Central Committee in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and as a protection officer for Nonviolent Peaceforce in South Sudan. Much of his work there involved engagement and negotiation with armed non-state actors. He is interested in international humanitarian law, negotiation, civilian protection in armed conflict, and dispute resolution systems. At HLS, Patrick is a training director for the Harvard Mediation Program. This summer, he will be returning to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to work for Geneva Call. His project will assess aid organizations’ perceived compliance with humanitarian norms and laws.
Kate Peiffer, United Nations World Food Programme, Italy
Kate is a first-year student at Harvard Law School from Vancouver, Canada interested in international human rights issues and public international law. She completed her undergraduate degree in international relations and German literature at the University of British Columbia and spent the intervening two years between college and law school in Germany, Arizona, and Toronto working at non-profits, a tech start-up, and a law firm. Kate is particularly interested in Europe and has spent most of her adult life there, specifically in Germany, France, and Italy. At HLS, Kate has been involved with Harvard Law Student Advocates for Human Rights, working on a project in conjunction with Human Rights Watch on mining in Guinea. She is also on the board of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review and was a member of the Women’s Law Association’s alumnae committee. This summer, Kate will work at the United Nations World Food Programme in Rome in their Administrative and Employment Law branch. There she will work on a privileges and immunities project, and will more broadly consider administrative and employment law issues within the framework of international treaties and law, such as the Conventions on Privileges and Immunities applicable to the UN, as well as the ILO Administrative Tribunal.
Lilianna Rembar, Legal Resources Centre, Ghana
Lilianna is a first-year student at Harvard Law School from Irvington, New York, who is interested in international law and a broad range of human rights law, particularly working for racial equality and women’s rights. At Harvard, Lilianna chairs the international committee of the Women’s Law Association, is speakers editor for the Journal of Law and Technology, and works on the Journal on Racial and Ethnic Justice. She also serves as a research assistant working on criminal justice issues. Prior to attending law school, Lilianna worked as an analyst in the Cybercrime and Identity Theft Bureau of the New York County District Attorney’s Office and as a litigation paralegal at Simpson Thacher and Bartlett. She graduated from Dartmouth College in 2014 with a double major in art history and government. This summer she will be working with the Legal Resources Centre in Accra, Ghana, an organization dedicated to building human rights capacities. Lilianna looks forward to focusing on two projects: “Abolish the Death Penalty in Ghana” and “Justice for Children: Bridging the Gap Between Legislation and Practice.”
Natalie Trigo Reyes, José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective Corporation, Colombia
Natalie is a second-year student at Harvard Law School from San Juan, Puerto Rico. She is interested in international human rights with a focus on migrant and refugee rights. She graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in economics in 2010. While at Yale, she studied abroad at La Sorbonne in Paris and Peking University in Beijing. From 2013-2016, she served the Obama Administration as a political appointee at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), where she worked as special assistant to the chief of staff and chief operating officer in the Administrator’s Office, and as strategic communications and outreach advisor in the Office of Private Capital and Microenterprise. Prior to her role at USAID, she served as aide to chambers to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor from 2010-2013, and as special assistant to the U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador. She is fluent in Spanish, English, and French, and proficient in Mandarin Chinese. At HLS, she has worked as an advocate at the Tenant Advocacy Project and on the staff of the Harvard Human Rights Journal, and is participating in the International Law Journal and the International Human Rights Clinic. Natalie is co-founder of ConPRmetidos, a non-profit social enterprise based in San Juan dedicated to advancing innovative solutions that enhance Puerto Rico’s economic competitiveness. In the wake of hurricane María’s devastation of Puerto Rico, she also co-founded an initiative at HLS to provide free legal assistance to the island’s most vulnerable communities and coordinated a spring break legal and humanitarian brigade for 29 students who volunteered on the ground. In summer 2017, Natalie was a Chayes Fellow at the Mexico City headquarters of the Centro de los Derechos del Migrante (Center for Migrant Rights), a binational NGO dedicated to defending migrant workers’ rights as they move between their home communities in Mexico and workplaces in the United States. This summer, she will be working in Bogotá, Colombia, at the Corporación Colectivo de Abogados José Alvear Restrepo (José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective Corporation), an NGO dedicated to defending and promoting human rights in Colombia with a focus on fighting impunity and fostering inclusion and the rule of law, to achieve a stable and lasting peace.