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Our Staff

The Office of International Programs is dedicated to increasing understanding of international, foreign and comparative law across all areas of the academic and extracurricular program. Always moving forward, our office seeks to meet changing legal education needs through innovation or adaptation of our existing programs.

Amy E. Gadsden
Associate Dean for International Programs


Dr. Amy Gadsden is Associate Dean and Executive Director for International Programs at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. From 2006-2008, she served as Resident Country Director for China at the International Republican Institute (IRI), a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing democracy worldwide. Prior to that, Dr. Gadsden was Special Advisor for China in the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. She has worked extensively on joint cooperation projects with Chinese governmental and non-governmental agencies and has done consulting work for the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations High Commissioner’s Office for Human Rights, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and the National Committee on US-China Relations. She is a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI) and an Advisory Council member of the Women’s Democracy Network (WDN). Dr. Gadsden has a B.A. in History and English from Yale College and a Ph.D. in Chinese history from the University of Pennsylvania.

Lauren E. Owens
Assistant Director of International Programs


Lauren Owens (nee Swift) is the Assistant Director of International Programs at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. In her role, Lauren serves as the initial point of contact for most student advising, international event planning, and the hosting of international visitors.

Lauren has worked in the field of international higher education for more than ten years on several continents, developing expertise in the use of field-based research to analyze critical global legal issues. Prior to joining Penn, Lauren spent four years coordinating socially responsible overseas programs for SIT Study Abroad. She has previous experience in NGO settings, organizing citizen exchange programs; as well as university settings, facilitating bilateral student exchanges.

Lauren has a B.A. in Anthropology from Dickinson College; an M.Phil. in Race, Ethnicity and Conflict from Trinity College Dublin; a Graduate Certification in International Education from SIT Graduate Institute; and is currently completing her M.Phil. research at the University of Pennsylvania on Identity Politics and University Building in the Balkans.

Lauren’s personal and professional travels have brought her to over thirty countries.

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