Two HLS alums were recently profiled in The Washington Post as part of a series on federal workers who are making a difference. Irene Chan ’02 and Michael Bahar ’02 were selected for their contributions to public welfare. Chan, assistant country director in the China office for the Food and Drug Administration, works to help ensure that food products imported from China meet the FDA’s standards of quality and safety. Bahar, deputy legal advisor to the National Security Council Staff, is one of five NSCS lawyers who advise the national security advisor, the White House staff and the president on national security legal issues.
Both Chan and Bahar began their federal government careers as Heyman Fellows. The Heyman Fellowship, established at HLS in 2000 through the generosity of the late Samuel J. Heyman ’63, provides a financial award aimed at encouraging HLS graduates to pursue careers in the federal government.
As the FDA’s assistant country director in Beijing, China, Chan is responsible for policy analysis and capacity building activities related to food and animal feed, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. She previously served as special assistant to the FDA’s deputy commissioner for policy, and was responsible for policy analysis and special projects related to guidance, regulation, and legislation development, and was central in the drafting and publication of the FDA’s Food Protection Plan in 2007. From 2005 to 2006, Chan was assistant general counsel of the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association. From 2002 to 2005, she served as an attorney in the FDA Office of the Chief Counsel. Chan has a B.S. and M.S. from Stanford and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. She received a M.P.H. from the Harvard School of Public Health in 2007.
A lieutenant commander in the Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps, Bahar is an adjunct professor at New York University, and serves as the deputy legal counsel to the vice chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 2002, Bahar worked for a year as a litigation associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. During his active duty career, he has served as a prosecutor at the Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Florida (2003 – 2005), as staff judge advocate to the NASSAU Strike Group (2005 – 2006), and as an aide and speechwriter to the deputy judge advocate general of the Navy (2006 – 2007). In 2008, he earned an LL.M. in national security and international law from Columbia.
For a complete list of all Heyman Fellows, see the Bernard Koteen Office of Public Interest Advising online.