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Cochav Elkayam-Levy

Cochav Elkayam-Levy

Current work:
Dr. Cochav Elkayam Levy, Visiting Professor-Reichman University; Post-Doc Fellow, the Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations, the Hebrew University; David Hartman Fellow, the Hartman Institute in Jerusalem; Founding head of the Deborah Institute for Gender and Sustainability Studies (IGSS). Her research, which is published in top U.S. legal journals, tackles national security issues, domestic implementation of international human rights, religious liberties, transformative social changes, feminist theories, international sustainable development and global governance. See

Dr. Elkayam-Levy is an expert on international law, human rights law, constitutional and administrative law, global governance, religion & state matters, global sustainable development and feminist theories. She holds an SJD and an LLM (with distinction honors) from the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, where she joined as a Human Rights Scholar; Cochav has been the recipient of several exemplary awards. As a result of her work for the rights of unaccompanied minors and undocumented migrants, Cochav won the Toll Public Interest Center’s Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Leadership, the Exemplary Pro Bono Service Award, and the Public Service Award. Cochav was also awarded the Philadelphia Bar Association Award for Outstanding Achievement in Human Rights. Later in her career, Cochav has been a Perry World House Fellow (2015-16), a Salzburg Cutler Fellow (Washington D.C.) and won Penn Carey Law’s Rule of Law and Human Rights Fellowship; She is also the recipient of the Leboy-Davies Award in Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies, from the Alice Paul Center for Research on Gender, Sexuality & Women. Cochav holds a joint LL.B in Law and Political Science (magna cum laude) from Bar-Ilan University. Before arriving at Penn, Cochav served as a legal counsel for the Human Rights Division under the Deputy Attorney General of Israel (International Affairs). In that capacity, she consulted the government on the implementation of human rights standards and participated in international negotiations and international discussions. Cochav also served as an associate with the Supreme Court Department of the Israeli Attorney General’s Office.

Dr. Elkayam-Levy recently authored Israel’s groundbreaking national report on Gender Mainstreaming During Emergencies for the National Security Council (NSC) at the Prime Minister’s Office, and is a member of the Israeli President’s new Climate Forum.

SJD program:
Feminist Legal Theories in International Law; Shifting Discourses: Women’s Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief and the Right to Gender Equality in International Human Rights Law; Advisor: Prof. William Burke-White; May 20, 2019

Impact of SJD program in your career:
The SJD program has made a significant impact on my career. I had the chance to learn from and work with the best legal experts in the world and was privileged to have had the guidance and mentorship of Prof. William Burke-White who supported my research from the very beginning and throughout my career. I also feel fortunate to have had the support of the most dedicated administrative staff of Penn Carey Law - at the graduate program, career development, legal clinics, pro bono centers and library - who made sure that I will succeed in every step of my career and have access to the most updated knowledge and resources in the field. I cannot thank them enough.

What makes the SJD program at Penn unique:
Definitely the personal treatment, professional work, and amazing involvement and support during my studies. If I compare it to other institutions that I have known throughout my career, no doubt Penn Carey Law has one of the best SJD programs in the world.

Advice to SJD candidates:
Create a support net of friends, professors, administrative staff, and colleagues around you to support your writing. The doctoral program is a difficult journey but one that you’ll cherish for the rest of your life with the right persons by your side and with the endless professional resources that Penn Carey Law has to offer.