Harold Hongju Koh

Image of Harold Koh

Bacon-Killkenny Distinguished Visiting Fellow

Harold Hongju Koh is Sterling Professor of International Law and former Dean (2004-09) at Yale Law School, where he has taught since 1985. A Korean-American, he graduated from Harvard, Magdalen College, Oxford (PPE Marshall Scholar 1977), and Harvard Law School, and has received 17 honorary degrees and more than thirty awards for his work in human rights and international law. Professor Koh has served under four US presidents, as Senior Advisor (2021) and Legal Adviser to the US Secretary of State (2009-2013) (Secretary of State‚Äôs Distinguished Service Award), Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (1998-2001),  and Attorney-Adviser at the US Department of Justice (1983-1985). He also served in the judicial branch as a law clerk for Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the US Supreme Court, and Judge Malcolm Richard Wilkey of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. He is an Honorary Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, Emeritus Fellow of Balliol College Oxford, and served as George Eastman Visiting Professor at Oxford University, Arthur Goodhart Visiting Professor of Legal Science at Cambridge University, Visiting Fellow at All Souls College Oxford, and a named lecturer at the Law Faculty, Balliol College, and Magdalen College, Oxford. He is the author of eight books and more than 200 articles, has testified frequently before the United States Congress, and has argued regularly before US and international courts, most recently appearing before the International Court of Justice on behalf of Ukraine against Russia in March 2022. A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, he is a member of the Council of the American Law Institute, and received the Wolfgang Friedmann Award from Columbia Law School and the Louis B. Sohn Award from the American Bar Association for his lifetime achievements in international law.