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Chris Mirasola

Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law


Chris Mirasola
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Chris Mirasola is Climenko Fellow and lecturer on law. His scholarship focuses on assertions of power and authority in national security and international law. He examines how government lawyers invoke the idea of sovereignty to justify such assertions, and shows how private law doctrines, particularly from property law, can help us to understand them. Much of Chris’s work is doctrinal, and draws on his experiences as a Department of Defense attorney, where he saw firsthand how flexibly private, public, domestic, and international law doctrines are used in national security and international lawyering. Chris also studies the evolution of these legal arguments, and therefore examines, to the extent available, primary source documents. Further, some of his research assesses these assertions of power in the national security and international law practice of the People’s Republic of China. For that work, Chris relies on his Chinese language skills and time spent working in the PRC to engage with government documents, Chinese language scholarship, and related materials.

Chris’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Southern California Law ReviewHarvard National Security Journal, and Harvard Negotiation Law Review, among other publications. He has also written on national security law, international law, and Chinese law for Lawfare. As attorney-advisor at DoD from 2019 through 2022, Chris’s portfolio included military deployments within the United States, DoD humanitarian and security assistance programs abroad, international agreements in the Western Hemisphere, DoD’s myriad activities responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. For this work, Chris was awarded the Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Award. Prior to graduate school, Chris worked in China, where he designed online teaching modules for criminal defense attorneys and taught English.

Chris graduated with a BA with Honors in International Studies from The Johns Hopkins University, an MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a JD, cum laude, from Harvard Law School.