Biographies of 2014 Chayes Fellows

Twenty-two Harvard Law School students have been awarded 2014 Chayes International Public Service Fellowships for work in 14 countries. The 2014 Chayes Fellows are listed below, with their summer placements and biographical information submitted by the students.

Victoria Abraham, Women’s Legal Centre, South Africa
Victoria is a first-year student at Harvard Law School from Canada. She is passionate about law in emerging markets and the intersections of race, class, and gender in human rights law. Victoria graduated from Ottawa’s Carleton University with a double degree in journalism and Canadian studies. In her first year at HLS, she has served on the boards of the Women’s Law Association, the International J.D. Society, and the Social Enterprise Law Association. She was also involved with the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender. Prior to coming to law school Victoria focused on AIDS initiatives and education as a journalist in Uganda, freelanced for a variety of publications, and worked in communications. Her work has been published in numerous print and online publications. This summer, she will be working at the Women’s Legal Centre in Cape Town, analyzing the sentencing practices of South African courts in sexual offence cases, and researching the impact of cultural practices on South African women.

Keaton Allen-Gessesse, Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia
Keaton is a first-year student at Harvard Law School with an interest in post-conflict transitional justice and international criminal law. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in political science. Prior to law school, Keaton was a Peace Corps youth development volunteer in Nazca, Peru, where she worked with community activists to develop projects focused on the promotion of reproductive health, governmental support of street children, and indigenous and Afro-Peruvian rights and cultural acceptance. At Harvard, Keaton is a member of Harvard Journal on Racial and Ethnic Justice, Advocates for Human Rights, and the Black Law Students Association. This summer she will be working in the Office of the Co-Prosecutors, United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials, Cambodia.

Tarek Austin, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Washington, DC
Tarek is a first-year student at Harvard Law School with an interest in international trade and investment and international arbitration. After obtaining his B.A. in social studies from Harvard College, Tarek became a trainee at the European Union Delegation to the United States in Washington, D.C. He then worked for one year as a paralegal at White & Case's International Arbitration Group in Paris. At HLS, Tarek is on the executive board of the International Law Journal, is a member of the Moot Court Board, and participates in the Prison Legal Assistance Program. He also serves as a Harvard College Resident Tutor for Winthrop House. This summer, Tarek will be working in the Office of the General Counsel of the U.S. Trade Representative. He will assist attorneys with litigation at the WTO dispute settlement body and provide support for multilateral trade negotiations with Europe.

Saptarishi Bandopadhyay, Institute of Environmental Science for Social Change, Philippines
Saptarishi is a third-year S.J.D. candidate at Harvard Law School. His research focuses on international environmental law, environmental history and politics, and disaster management, and he is currently working on his dissertation, “What we talk about when we talk about disasters.” Saptarishi arrived in the S.J.D. program by way of the National University of Juridical Sciences in India, American University Washington College of Law, and Harvard’s own LL.M. program. Saptarishi was previously an associate with Radon & Ishizumi in New York, where he negotiated pharmaceutical agreements and assisted in constitution development in Nepal and environmental policymaking in the Caucuses. Saptarishi has received research and advocacy fellowships from the Public International Law and Policy Group, the Center for International Environmental Law, Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies, and most recently from Harvard Law School. Last winter Saptarishi traveled in Ladakh, researching civil society responses to flooding. This summer he will support crisis management efforts in the Philippines.

Natasha Burnett, EarthRights International, Peru
Natasha is a first-year student at Harvard Law School with an interest in human rights and the environment. She received her B.A. in international studies with minors in economics and French from Johns Hopkins University. Before coming to law school, she completed her master’s in environmental policy, with specializations in human rights and Latin America, from Sciences Po in Paris. During her master’s program, she served as an intern at the United Nations Environmental Program in New York. This summer, she will be working at EarthRights International in their Lima office, working on human rights and environment issues, particularly with respect to local indigenous groups.

Torry Castellano, Adalah, Israel
Torry is a first-year student at Harvard Law School interested in international law and human rights advocacy. Torry received her undergraduate degree at Stanford, where she studied international human rights law as a research assistant for Stanford Law School Professor Jenny Martinez. Torry has continued this work at HLS through her involvement with the Harvard International Law Journal and Harvard Human Rights Journal, and she has recently been accepted into the HLS Negotiation Workshop. Prior to her undergraduate studies, Torry played drums in The Donnas, an all-female rock band. The Donnas toured internationally for more than a decade, during which time Torry experienced a variety of cultures and perspectives as well as the challenges of gender bias. Although her career in music differed from human rights work, she finds that the skills it required are applicable in the field of human rights law and advocacy. This summer Torry will be working at Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel.

Mira Chernick, Dejusticia, Colombia
Mira is a first-year student at Harvard Law School. She graduated magna cum laude from New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a concentration in international human rights and social justice. Before coming to law school, she spent two years developing, delivering, and evaluating health education programs in underserved public high schools in New York City and Western Massachusetts. At HLS, Mira is involved in Advocates for Human Rights, Harvard Human Rights Journal, Harvard Law and Policy Review, and the Law and International Development Society. This summer, she will be working on issues of transitional justice with Dejusticia in Colombia.

Becca Donaldson, Namati, Washington, DC
Becca is a first-year student at Harvard Law School from Wisconsin who is spending her summer with Namati, an organization working to improve access to justice by building a movement of grassroots legal advocates. She will be researching national legal aid frameworks to develop a toolkit for communities advocating for quality legal aid at scale, among other projects. Before law school, Becca worked with Northwestern University to establish student engagement opportunities at their new campus in Qatar's Education City, and with Vital Voices Global Partnership, a D.C.-based non-profit, where she coordinated international programs supporting women who are leading change for their political, economic, and social empowerment. She also spent a year as a Fulbright Fellow in the United Arab Emirates, researching civil society and youth volunteerism. Becca graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. in communication studies and political science.

Brent Drummond, United Nations International Law Commission, Switzerland
Brent is a first-year student at Harvard Law School with an interest in the rights of children, specifically child labor, child abuse, juvenile sentencing guidelines, the right to food, the right to education, and the right to safety. He graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in English. At Harvard, Brent is an editor of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, a submissions reader on the Harvard International Law Journal, and a member of the Harvard Black Law Students Association’s Africa Summit Committee, the Harvard African Law Association, and the Harvard European Law Association. Before law school, Brent worked at a non-profit that advocates for children with special needs and disabilities and was a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Senegal where he worked on food security and gender equality initiatives. This summer, he will assist the International Law Commission’s special rapporteur on the protection of persons in the event of disasters.

Brian Kelly, International Criminal Court, The Netherlands
Brian is a second-year student at Harvard Law School with an interest in international humanitarian law, international criminal law, and foreign relations law. He has a B.A. in modern Middle East studies and international relations from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s in public affairs with a concentration in international relations from Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School. Prior to law school, Brian worked at the U.S. Department of State in the Office of Iranian Affairs, the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, and the Office of the U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan. He has previously interned at the White House with the vice president's national security staff, at the FBI with the Office of International Operations, and at Open Society Afghanistan in Kabul. Brian has also completed language immersion programs for Arabic in Lebanon and for Persian in Tajikistan. At HLS, he is co-editor-in-chief of the Harvard National Security Journal and a clinical student in the International Human Rights Clinic. Brian will be splitting his summer between the investigations division of the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court and the Office of the Legal Adviser at the State Department.

Katie King, Equal Education Law Centre, South Africa
Katie is a first-year student at Harvard Law School, where her interests include transitional justice and human rights in central and southern Africa. Born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, she attended Miami University, where she majored in diplomacy and foreign relations, concentrating on Sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin American studies. She wrote her capstone paper on the barriers intellectual property laws place on access to anti-retroviral drugs in South Africa. At Harvard, she helped develop humanitarian border management protocols for the Democratic Republic of the Congo and researched legal recognition of community-based paralegals for the Law and International Development Society. Katie has also participated in the Harvard Human Rights Journal and the Harvard African Law Association.  This summer she will be working for the Equal Education Law Centre in South Africa.

Brian Klosterboer, Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum, Uganda
Brian is a first-year student at Harvard Law School hoping to pursue a career in corporate accountability and international torts. Before coming to law school, he lived in Kampala, Uganda, where he researched the Ugandan media and military with a grant from the Fulbright Program. He also interned for the Daily Monitor newspaper and co-founded a bar and restaurant in Kampala. At HLS, Brian has been involved in Advocates for Human Rights, the Journal on Legislation, Lambda, and the American Constitution Society. This summer, Brian will be working in the litigation and client services divisions of the Human Rights Awareness and Protection Forum to address issues facing women and sexual minorities.

Caitlin Koseck, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Italy
Caitlin is a first-year student at Harvard Law School interested in international legal work and the flexibility and inquisitiveness required by its cross-cultural transactions. Caitlin has her B.A. in German language and literature. Before attending law school she developed her interest in food policy issues by interning with Food and Water Watch and working on an organic farm. This summer, she will be working for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, pursuing her interest in large-scale international work while supporting its mission to eradicate food insecurity and malnutrition. By working in the Administrative Law Branch, she will learn about the organization and internal support system of a large intergovernmental organization while contributing to their mandate to support their members in achieving food security.

Sarah Lee, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, France
Sarah is a first-year student at Harvard Law School from Korea and France. She is interested in the rule of law, international humanitarian law, and the impact of technology on public international law, public governance, and the developing world. She received her B.A. in political science and East Asian languages and cultures from Columbia University, where she completed an honors thesis on China’s electronic government and its implication on public governance and economic development. At HLS, she actively participates in the International Law Journal and the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association. This summer, Sarah will be working at the Parliamentary Assembly for the Council of Europe to research and report on post-Snowden legal developments in mass surveillance and whistleblower protection.

Elizabeth Loftus, World Bank Integrity Vice-Presidency, Washington, DC
Elizabeth is a first-year student at Harvard Law School with an interest in the relationship between aid regimes and local-level development. She graduated from Cornell University with a double major in history and political science with a concentration in comparative politics. After college, she worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon where she collaborated with communities to address water sanitation, reforestation, food security, and literacy. At HLS, she is involved in the Harvard Human Right Journal, the Law and International Development Society, and the Trade Innovation Initiative. Her research with LIDS and TII has explored incentivizing anti-corruption efforts in public sectors and improving access to finance for cooperatives and small enterprises. This summer, she will be working in the Special Litigation Unit of the World Bank Integrity Vice-Presidency in Washington, D.C.

Elizabeth Nehrling, Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Mexico
Elizabeth is a second-year student at Harvard Law School and is passionate about issues at the crossroads of migration, gender, and development. Elizabeth has her M.S. in migration, mobility, and development from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, where she focused on gender roles and human rights within migratory patterns. Pre-law school she spent three years working on gender-based development and female empowerment projects in rural West African villages, and over four years working with asylum seekers in the U.S. and U.K., including at the Tahirih Justice Center, a non-profit organization that works to protect immigrant women and girls from gender-based violence. At HLS she is a part of the Law and International Development Society, Harvard Immigration Project, HLS Advocates for Human Rights, Harvard Africa Law Association, and the Journal of Law and Gender. She has also been a student attorney with the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic, where she worked with asylum seekers, and the International Human Rights Clinic, where she worked on a project focused on multi-stakeholder initiatives with MSI Integrity. Last summer Elizabeth worked with asylum seekers and refugees as a student attorney at Lawyers for Human Rights in Johannesburg, South Africa. This summer she will be working in Mexico City with Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, a transnational migrant rights organization dedicated to overcoming the U.S.-Mexico border as a barrier to justice.

C. Danae Paterson, Public International Law & Policy Group, Washington, DC
Danae is a first-year student at Harvard Law School and is profoundly interested in the relationship between public international law, conflict resolution/peace negotiations, and human rights in transitional states. She received her B.A. in comparative literature from the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to attending law school, Danae served in the Peace Corps in Rwanda, and earned a master’s of science in comparative politics from the London School of Economics, where she specialized her coursework in nationalism, conflict and peace studies, and gender. Her distinction-awarded thesis centered on an application of instrumentalist nationalism theory to the development of women’s rights in 20th century Iran. At Harvard, Danae is a member of the Harvard Human Rights Journal and Harvard Human Rights Advocates, where she worked with a dedicated team to innovate a new anti-sex trafficking project at Harvard. This summer she will work on issues relating to conflict-affected states, peace negotiations, and post-conflict constitutions at the Public International Law & Policy Group.

Emma Scott, Lawyers Collective, India
Emma is a first-year student at Harvard Law School interested in human rights, access to justice, violence against women, immigration, and social mobility. Born and raised in California, she graduated from California Polytechnic State University with a B.S. in social sciences and a concentration in cross-cultural studies and international development. After studying in Thailand and traveling through Southeast Asia, Emma interned at the Center for Vocational Building Technology in Ban Thin, Thailand. Following graduation, Emma interned at a small business law firm before becoming an LSAT instructor and interning with the Fair Housing Program at the ACLU of Maryland. At Harvard, she has been an active member of Unbound, the American Constitution Society, the Law and Social Change Program of Study, Students for Sustainable Investment, Advocates for Human Rights, and the Journal of Law and Gender. She is a founding member of the Social Enterprise Law Association and, most recently, volunteered with the humanitarian aid group No More Deaths on the U.S.-Mexico border over spring break. Next year Emma will work in the Post-Foreclosure Eviction Defense/Housing Clinic at HLS. This summer she will work with the Lawyers Collective in New Delhi, India on their Women's Rights Initiative.  

Peter Stavros, International Criminal Court, The Netherlands
Peter is a first-year student at Harvard Law School. He hails from the great city of Toronto, Canada and graduated from the University of Toronto with an honours B.A. dual-specialist degree in political science and historical studies. Peter has always been passionate about travelling, and lived in multiple countries across the Middle East and Europe before finally settling back down in Canada. Most recently, he has been to Argentina and Hungary with Habitat for Humanity, and has studied the rise and fall of Central Europe in Austria and the Czech Republic. Peter is very interested in international development and human rights and hopes to find more ways of being actively involved in that field in the future. He is very excited to be in the Netherlands this upcoming summer where he will be working at the Investigations Division of the International Criminal Court’s Office of the Prosecutor.

Jillian Wagman, Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia
Jillian is a first-year student at Harvard Law School with an interest in international criminal prosecution. As an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley, Jillian specialized in peace and conflict studies. At Harvard she has been involved with Advocates for Human Rights and was the marketing co-chair for the public interest auction. This summer, she will be working in the Office of the Co-Prosecutors at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.

Kristopher Yue, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, The Netherlands
Kristopher is a first-year student at Harvard Law School from Vancouver, Canada. He is interested in public international law, particularly international human rights law and international criminal law. During his undergraduate studies at Queen’s University, Kristopher specialized in comparative politics and political philosophy. At HLS, he has been involved with Advocates for Human Rights, the Harvard Human Rights Journal, and a research project on international trade law. Before HLS, Kristopher volunteered at a refugee camp in the West Bank managed by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. He has also worked in the Office of the Honourable Peter Milliken, who served as the speaker of the Canadian House of Commons. This summer, Kristopher will be working at the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

Helen Zhang, Socio-Economic Rights Institute, South Africa
Helen is a second-year student at Harvard Law School with an interest in the intersection between international development and human rights, especially socioeconomic rights and corporate social responsibility. Born in China and raised in Canada, she received her undergraduate degree in business from Queen's University, specializing in finance. At HLS, she is involved with the International Human Rights Clinic, is an active member of the Law and International Development Society, and has done research on the topics of compulsory land acquisition laws and food advertisement regulations for LIDS clients. Last summer, as an intern at Zhicheng Public Interest Law in Beijing, she prepared memos and a report to assist the organization's advocacy for legislative and administrative reform in areas of domestic violence and sexual abuse. For the upcoming summer, she is looking forward to working with lawyers and researchers at the Socio-Economic Rights Institute in Johannesburg on issues related to housing rights and mining disputes. She believes strongly in the employment of comparative and interdisciplinary approaches to further the ends of social justice.

Last modified: September 19, 2014

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