Harold Hongju Koh

About/Bio

Harold Hongju Koh is Sterling Professor of International Law at Yale Law School. He returned to Yale in January 2013 after serving for nearly four years as the 22nd Legal Adviser of the U.S. Department of State, for which he received the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award. Professor Koh served as the fifteenth Dean of the Yale Law School from 2004 until 2009. From 1998 to 2001, he served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. He has authored or co-authored eight books, published more than 180 articles, testified regularly before Congress, and litigated numerous cases involving international law issues in both U.S. and international tribunals. He holds B.A. and J.D. degrees from Harvard College and B.A. and M.A. degrees from Oxford University, where he was a Marshall Scholar. After graduating law school, he served as a law clerk for Judge Malcolm Richard Wilkey of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the United States Supreme Court, worked as an attorney in private practice in Washington, and served as an Attorney-Adviser for the Office of Legal Counsel, U.S. Department of Justice.

Recently Published

Oxford Statement on the International Law Protections Against Cyber Operations Targeting the Health Care Sector

Many have recently written about the application of international law in cyberspace and to the global COVID-19 pandemic, but relatively few have examined the intersection between these two areas. Notwithstanding that oversight, recent weeks have seen cyberattacks on organizations at the frontline of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including malicious cyber operations against the World Health…

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Ending the Forever War: One Year After President Obama’s NDU Speech

Originally published on JustSecurity.org on May 23, 2014. May 23, 2014 marked the one-year anniversary of President Obama’s important speech at the National Defense University (NDU) setting forth his proposed framework for post-9/11 counterterrorism strategy.  The President’s historic move in that speech was to call for the eventual repeal of the…

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Syria and the Law of Humanitarian Intervention (Part III – A Reply)

Editor’s Note: This piece was originally published on Just Security. My recent two-part essay on Syria, posted on this blog, made both a policy claim and a legal claim. My policy claim was that despite undeniable political miscues, President Obama’s recent threat of force catalyzed a long-stalemated diplomatic process for securing Syrian chemical weapons. The Russians…

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