PHILADELPHIA (March 16, 2009) – Amy Gadsden, an expert in democracy and human rights promotion and Chinese politics who has served the U.S. State Department, has joined the University of Pennsylvania Law School in the newly created position of associate dean and executive director of international programs.
“Amy is an excellent strategist with new and exciting ideas about where our international program might go,” said Penn Law Dean Michael A. Fitts. “At a time when our faculty are increasingly involved in important issues around the globe and our students are interested in overseas opportunities, we are thrilled to add to our staff an accomplished internationalist with Amy’s combination of skills.”
Gadsden assumed her new duties March 2. She will explore possible initiatives such as the creation of an international institute, new models for faculty and student exchange relationships, affiliations with international organizations, development of international rule of law programs, and expansion of non-degree programs. Her portfolio will also include international programming for students, international student-exchange programs and the administration of Penn Law’s visiting faculty fellows and visiting scholars. She will work closely with Matt Parker, assistant dean for graduate programs, who oversees the recruitment of international students for Penn Law’s master’s degree programs, and she will represent the Law School in University-wide international initiatives.
During her career, Gadsden has worked energetically on issues related to legal and political reforms and human rights in China and elsewhere with the U.S. State Department, the United Nations and the International Republic Institute (IRI). At IRI, a non-partisan promoter of democracy around the world, Gadsden created a grass-roots program establishing election processes in villages throughout rural China and worked tirelessly to encourage good governance, rule of law, human rights, and civil society reform in China. While there, she pioneered major initiatives with Chinese HIV/AIDS non-governmental organizations and with women’s rights groups.
Each year, Penn Law enrolls nearly 100 graduate students representing 30 different countries who pursue a master’s degree while studying alongside JD students. Penn Law also offers to its JD students study abroad programs in Europe, Asia and elsewhere, and provides students with practical experience in international law through its Transnational Legal Clinic, in which students, under close faculty supervision, advise clients on petitions for refugee status and other humanitarian cross-border legal issues and by supporting students as international human rights fellows doing fieldwork around the globe.
Penn Law’s International Human Rights Fellows Program provides selected students with summer fellowships to work in human rights, rule of law development, and international criminal tribunals in locations such as Argentina, Cambodia, Ecuador, England, Guatemala, Namibia, Nepal, Uganda, and Washington, DC. Penn Law also offers a joint degree in international studies with the Wharton School’s Lauder Institute.
“It is an honor to join Penn Law at a time when more faculty and students are taking a greater interest in international law and the central role that law plays in international economics, politics and development. I look forward to strengthening and expanding the Law School ‘s efforts in all of these areas. ,” said Gadsden, who holds a Ph.D. in history from Penn and B.A. in history and English from Yale.