The International Finance and Development Fellowships are awarded to full-time LLM students on a competitive basis to provide outstanding opportunities to gain experience working with international organizations. These post-graduation placements are for a minimum of 10 weeks in duration for which the Law School provides modest financial support.
Students are placed in a range of practice areas including law and development, trade law, climate change, corporate law, and intellectual property law at a number of international organizations.
Past organizations have included: the World Bank, United Nations, International Monetary Fund (IMF), International Finance Corporation (IFC), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), International Development Law Organization (IDLO), International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
The 2013-2014 fellows are:
Madhu Aravamuthan, IMF
Madhu obtained her BA, LLB (Honours) degree from NALSAR University of Law, India in 2008 where she received the prestigious Microsoft IP Scholarship in 2007 and the Merit Scholarship instituted by the University. During her undergraduate studies she was an enthusiastic participant in several extracurricular events. She was elected Representative of the Literary and Debating Committee, a founder member of the Technology and Law Forum, competed in parliamentary debates across the country and the national moot court event on international taxation. She was also a student representative in the Recruitment Coordination Committee and a research assistant on an Action Aid project regarding rights of migrant workers. Madhu also completed internships at the Supreme Court of India as well as large Indian law firms such as Amarchand Mangaldass and Luthra & Luthra.
Upon graduation, Madhu joined Herbert Smith Freehills in London, which is the world’s eighth largest law firm. As a trainee, she worked in the international arbitration team and was instrumental in the team that won a substantial infrastructure arbitration award (LCIA) for European clients. Madhu qualified as an associate in the Project Finance and Restructuring team where she advised international clients on several cross-border finance and complex debt restructuring deals in an array of sectors including renewable energy, oil and gas, telecommunications and asset financing. She also lead a workgroup on a financial regulatory investigation into the functioning of a top European bank. Madhu was active in promoting pro bono initiatives and charitable organizations in her firm. She was admitted to the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu, India in 2008 and enrolled as a Solicitor in England & Wales in 2011.
At NYU, Madhu is pursuing an LLM in International Business Regulation, Litigation and Arbitration to further her interest in international trade, finance, socio-economic development and the correlations between law, business and social change. She serves as a Graduate Editor on the Journal of International Law and Politics.
Andrea Piccolo Brandão, UNIDRIOT
Andrea Piccolo Brandão obtained her Law Degree from Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-RIO) in 2005. She also holds a post-graduation degree in Private Law from PUC-RIO obtained in 2008.
She started her career as a volunteer in pro-bono work and, since then, accumulated more than ten years of experience as litigator and contract advisor in Veirano Advogados, one of Brazil’s leading law firms. As a litigator, she worked on a number of sophisticated cases involving civil, corporate, contracts and consumer matters for companies from different sectors, including the banking, oil and gas, energy, logistics, entertainment and mining industries. She has also coordinated and supervised attorneys on the defense of a leading logistics company’s interests in more than five hundred lawsuits involving torts, contract disputes and real estate issues.
In addition to her litigation background she has (i) drafted, reviewed and negotiated numerous commercial contracts; (ii) advised clients, including foreign outside counsel from major law firms, on the above mentioned matters; (iii) participated in several due diligence reviews, assessing issues related to the negotiation of the sale and purchase of companies and assets. Recently, she has also advised foreign clients interested in the growing Brazilian Insurance & Reinsurance market.
Andrea is currently pursuing a Traditional LLM with focus on commercial, litigation and international law. She aspires to continue working with contracts and litigation within the international law sphere, and in the longer term transition to legal teaching.
Stephanie Chu, World Bank
Stephanie obtained her Bachelor of Laws (Honors) from The University of Melbourne in Australia in 2007. She was Editor of the Melbourne University Law Review and participated actively in the broader legal community during her studies, including working in public interest law as a volunteer at a community legal center. Stephanie also holds a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in European Studies and French) and a Diploma of Modern Languages from The University of Melbourne, and studied abroad at the Université de Paris VII: Denis Diderot in Paris, France, in spring 2005, after receiving the Melbourne Abroad Scholarship in Language Studies.
Stephanie was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor in the Supreme Court of Victoria, and the High Court of Australia, in April 2009. She has practiced for over five years in the financial services industry in Australia. Stephanie worked in the banking and finance group of Mallesons Stephen Jaques (now King & Wood Mallesons), where she specialized in advising financial institutions on regulatory matters. She then moved to in-house practice in 2010 when she joined the legal team of the National Australia Bank’s private wealth management business, where she advised on corporate and commercial matters ranging from corporate governance to financial services and securities law.
Stephanie is currently completing a Master of Laws (LLM) in International Legal Studies at NYU, with a focus on international finance and trade regulation, development financing and international organizations. Stephanie was a Student Associate in the International Organizations clinic in fall 2013, working on a project with The World Bank Group. She is a student representative of the LLM International Legal Studies Specialization Committee.
Cedric Hocepied, UN
Cédric Hocepied is a young Belgian who graduated cum laude from the Université Catholique de Louvain in 2013 with a focus in transnational and comparative law. Born and raised in Brussels, he started his law studies in the city (at the Facultés Universitaires de Saint Louis) before moving to Louvain la Neuve, where he became actively involved in the student life.
Cédric discovered his passion for public international law during his first year of master and chose to deepen his knowledge in the field by doing an exchange program at the Université de Montréal. In particular, he is deeply interested in issues related to peace and security, as well as the codification of international law.
At NYU, he is pursuing an LLM in International Legal Studies with the support of the Belgian American Educational Foundation as well as the Fulbright Commission. Through the International Organizations Clinic Cédric has worked with the World Health Organization in projects relating to health and intellectual property law.
Cédric has a strong desire to contribute to the global community, and has distinguished himself by his strong fighting spirit and his willingness to take up new challenges. These outstanding features allowed him to successfully accomplish his studies despite his hearing disability.
Cheng Jean Liang, International Finance Corporation (IFC)
Jean obtained her Bachelor of Laws from the University of Melbourne, Australia in 2000. Following graduation, she was admitted to practice as an Advocate and Solicitor in Malaysia. Prior to coming to NYU, Jean practiced as a corporate transactional lawyer for almost 12 years in Skrine, one of the top law firms in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Her vast experience as a transactional lawyer include negotiating corporate deals, drafting transactional documents, leading legal due diligence teams in connection with M&A transactions and corporate exercises and preparing submissions for regulatory approvals. In 2011, she became a partner in Skrine specializing in cross border transactions, mergers and acquisitions, corporate and securities law and foreign direct investments. Jean has advised clients from a broad spectrum of sectors, including financial and insurance services, oil palm plantation, mining, property development, trading, retail and manufacturing.
Jean is currently pursuing an LLM in International Legal Studies at NYU, with a focus on global governance, development financing and international development. At NYU, Jean recently worked on a project with the United Nations Development Programme through the NYU International Organizations Clinic.
With the benefit of her corporate practice experience, Jean hopes to transition to an international organization to meaningfully participate in the work addressing socio-economic development and human rights issues.
Ikemefuna Stephen Nwoye –World Bank
Ikemefuna Stephen Nwoye obtained his law degree (LLB Hons.) (magna cum laude) from Enugu State University, Nigeria, where he graduated top of his class. Among several awards, he was conferred with the Best Graduating Student Award. He proceeded to the Nigerian Law School, Lagos, where he obtained his Nigerian Bar qualifying degree (BL) (magna cum laude) and also received the Deputy Director-General’s Meritorious Service Award for exemplary leadership role in the Student Representives Council. He was subsequently called to the Nigerian Bar as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court in February, 2012.
Prior to commencement of the LLM program at New York University (NYU) School of Law, Stephen worked as an Associate in one of Nigeria’s leading commercial law firms, Aluko & Oyebode. There he was involved in representing clients in high profile arbitration and litigation cases, as well as advising corporate and government clients with respect to drafting and enforcing corporate compliance policies and codes of conduct, internal investigation, anti-corruption law and regulations.
At NYU, Stephen is pursuing his LLM degree as a Dean Graduate Scholar in International Business Regulation, Litigation and Arbitration. He is a Graduate Editor of the NYU Journal of Law and Business, and also involved in rendering pro bono legal services to farmers, small and medium scale agro-business enterprises in Africa and Asia under the Sidley Austin Africa-Asia Agricultural Program. Further, he serves as a Research Assistant to Vice Dean Professor Kevin Davis and Professor Shalev Roisman, conducting research in the area of Law and Development, International Economic Law and Tribunals, Regulation of Corrupt Practices and Dispute Resolution in International Business Transactions.
Stephen is passionate about helping developing countries achieve economic growth and development through the promotion of investment and trade and strengthening of public institutions. He hopes to build a career in international law practice.
Michael Riegner, World Bank
Michael Riegner studied law at Passau University in Germany and in Geneva, specializing in international and comparative law. He interned at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the German Foreign Office and international law firms in Frankfurt, London and Seattle, and clerked at a District Court and with a Public Prosecutor in Germany. He worked for two years as external consultant for the German development agency GIZ in a legal reform project in Kosovo, contributing to capacity building at the newly established Constitutional Court of Kosovo.
Since 2011 Michael has worked as a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg and has been a research fellow in the “Schumpeter-Research-Group on Law and Governance of Development Cooperation” at Justus Liebig University Giessen. His research interests center on the law of development cooperation, comparative constitutional law, and the Global South. His PhD project inquires into “governance by information” by international aid institutions, namely the World Bank and the UN. He is review editor at “Law and Politics in Africa, Asia and Latin America,” the only German law journal exclusively dedicated to the Global South. Michael has taught comparative constitutional law, human rights law, international law as well as law and development at Universities in Giessen, Pristina (Kosovo) and Gujarat (India).
At NYU, Michael pursued a traditional LLM and focused on US constitutional law, the law of global governance, trade law, gender rights, as well as social and political theory. As an IFD fellow, he hopes to connect his prior research on the World Bank with actual legal practice at a major international development institution.
Malvika Seth, IDLO
Malvika Seth graduated from Gujarat National Law University, India, in 2011 with BA LLB (Honors). Her enthusiasm for human rights work was displayed from her initial years in law school. She interned with various human rights organizations including People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), India, where she assisted in filling habeas corpus petitions against the illegal detention of marginalized immigrants following serial bomb blast attacks in her home city.
Upon completion of her degree, Malvika worked as Law Clerk-cum-Research Assistant in the Supreme Court of India. She researched on constitutional and criminal provisions relating to the question of fair trial raised in the appeal filed by the lone surviving terrorist of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
In 2012, Malvika was admitted to the Bar Council of Rajasthan, India. She rejoined PUCL as a pro bono advocate. She led an access-to-justice study on the implementation of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. She also participated in community counselling in rural areas regarding sensitive issues like honor killing and rape. Moreover, she worked with the Advisor to the Supreme Court Commissioner on implementation orders in the landmark Indian Supreme Court case establishing the fundamental Right to Food. As a consultant with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), she also assisted in developing part of the State Girl Child Policy addressing the declining child sex ratio of her home state, Rajasthan.
Malvika is pursuing an International Legal Studies LLM at NYU, with a focus on human rights law, economic development and women’s rights. She is a full-term volunteer with the New York-based women’s rights organization MADRE and is currently researching the condition of women in post-conflict Syria. She will also be conducting research under the guidance of Professor Mary Holland on the human rights violations arising out of the 2014 Ukraine crisis. Malvika aspires to work with international organizations assisting developing countries in building effective development policies.
Nawi Ukabiala, World Bank
Nawi obtained his JD from Drake University Law School in 2011 with a Special Certificate in Constitutional Law and Civil Rights. He graduated in the top 3% of his class, Summa Cum Laude and Order of the Coif. As a law student Nawi served on the Drake Law Review and as a research assistant to the Associate Dean. He also received numerous scholarships and academic achievement awards. Nawi also holds degrees in International Affairs and Economics from George Washington University.
Prior to enrolling at NYU Nawi served as a judicial law clerk and as a research attorney for the Iowa Supreme Court where he was the primary staff person supporting the further review process, which is analogous to the certiorari process on the federal level.
Nawi Ukabiala is an LLM in International Legal Studies from NYU School of Law and is a scholar in the Transitional Justice Leadership Program. During his LLM studies Nawi has interned with the Jacob Blaustein Institute for Human Rights and for Judge Richard Goldberg on the Court of International Trade. At NYU he has also undertaken research projects concerning international relations regime theory, U.N. global counterterrorism policy, and approaches to prosecuting mass atrocity. His article discussing Wikileaks, national security, and freedom of speech was recently published in the Federal Courts Law Review. Additionally, Nawi has another article discussing mutual supportiveness between the right to public health and the global IP regime which is forthcoming in the Human Rights and Globalization Law Review. He was also a presenter at the 2014 NYU International Law and Human Rights Scholarship Conference.
Christiaan van Veen, World Bank
Christiaan van Veen holds a Master of Laws in International and European Law from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, where he graduated cum laude in the top 2% of his class in 2007. He also holds a Bachelor of Laws from Utrecht University. Following law school, Christiaan worked for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and as a trainee for the Legal Service of the European Commission. At both organizations, Christiaan worked on litigation before the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Before coming to NYU, Christiaan worked for almost 5 years for Brinkhof in Amsterdam, a top-tier law firm with a strong focus on innovation and technology. Christiaan specialized in antitrust and telecommunications law and represented clients before the European Commission, domestic administrative bodies and European and domestic courts. In 2010, Christiaan won the Moot Court Competition of the Amsterdam Bar Association. He was also ranked in Chambers Europe 2013 as ‘Associate to Watch’ in the category Competition/European Law.
Christiaan is pursuing his LLM at NYU in International Legal Studies. At NYU, Christiaan is taking a broad range of courses in public international law with a special focus on international organizations and human rights. Christiaan was a Student Associate with the World Health Organization through the NYU International Organizations Clinic. He is currently a Research Assistant to Professor Philip Alston and is focusing on the relationship between international human rights law and international humanitarian law, with particular reference to targeted killings.
Ernesto Vargas, UNIDROIT
Ernesto Vargas obtained his Law degree at University of Chile (2009), graduating in the top 8% of the class. He also holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy of the Economics School of the same university, which he completed as the best student of the class (2012).
Between 2007 and 2009, Ernesto worked at Philippi, Irarrázaval, Pulido & Brunner, providing advice on contractual and corporative issues, litigating international commercial disputes and assisting the Coordinator of the Chilean Bar Association Commission for the Drafting of New Rules on the Client-Attorney Privilege. In 2010, Ernesto was invited to enter as an associate to the recently re-founded law firm Anriquez Novoa Abogados. In this role, Ernesto has continued to provide contractual and corporate advice, predominantly in connection to mining, energy and commerce, and represented clients in litigation and arbitration.
As a student, and then throughout his private legal sector experience, Ernesto has continued to work with the Private Law Department of University of Chile, assisting in regular lectures and research projects. In 2013, after a competitive public examination, Ernesto formally joined the Department as a part-time faculty member.
Ernesto is currently pursuing a Traditional LLM with a focus on the international, comparative and economic aspects of Private Law. He is fluent in English, Spanish and German, and is co-founder and editor of the Chilean public interest blog ‘Revista Puente Pio Nono’.
Ana Vucetic, EBRD
Ana Vucetic obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Jurisprudence from the University of Oxford in 2011. As a student of St. Anne’s College in Oxford, she served as Co-President of the Geldart Law Society and International Representative to the Junior Common Room during her undergraduate degree. Upon graduating, she pursued a Master’s degree in Conflict, Security and Development in the War Studies Department of King’s College London, where her thesis focused on the role of transitional justice mechanisms in conflict and development.
Prior to coming to NYU, Ana worked for the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement, preparing a legal guide to the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa.
Ana is pursuing a Traditional LLM at NYU, with a focus on finance and international development. During her time at NYU she has worked on a pro bono basis for the Sidley Austin Agricultural Enterprise Program where she researched and analyzed international trade, regulatory, market, and financing issues facing a Tanzanian agricultural startup company aiming to export organic and fair trade products to the US and EU.
Apostolos Zampounidis, OECD
Apostolos is a young legal scholar aspiring to pursue a career in international development law. He graduated from the University of Athens, School of Law in 2012 ranked in the top 2% of his class. During his undergraduate studies Apostolos enhanced his academic record with a diverse range of courses and extracurricular activities. He completed his first internship in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania where he organized and carried out workshops in schools on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights. During his internship at the Permanent Mission of Greece to the UN in Geneva Apostolos participated in the Human Rights Council, serving as a legal adviser of the Greek delegation on issues relating to the right to development and the reduction of extreme poverty in developing countries. Upon graduation, he led the establishment of the International Law Students Association (ILSA) Chapter in Athens and served as its President and Jessup Coordinator for two consecutive years. Apostolos pursued his first LLM in Public International Law in Athens, completing his thesis on international law and sustainable natural resources management for development.
Apostolos is currently pursuing an LLM at NYU School of Law in International Legal Studies as a Fulbright scholar. During the first semester of his studies he worked on a pro bono basis for the Sidley Austin Agricultural Enterprise Program developing best practices for securing land rights in Africa. As part of the International Environmental Law Clinic project in the Spring Semester, Apostolos is currently working with the Coalition for Rainforest Nations doing research on the institutional framework for funding sustainable management of rainforests in developing countries (UN-REDD Programme).
The 2012-2013 fellows are:
Priyanka Ahluwalia, International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Priyanka obtained her Law degree in India, graduating in the top 5 % of the class. She also holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration, which she completed in the top 2% of the class with a Meritorious Student Scholarship.
She has extensive experience in Corporate Banking, Investments and Financial Regulations. She has advised on Asset Financing and Project Finance transactions, and deals in the Debt Capital Markets. She has also advised international and domestic clients on Debt Restructuring and Investment Funds. She was as an Associate Vice President, Investment Banking with HSBC Bank, before moving on to head a branch for ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector bank.
Priyanka has spearheaded initiatives in policy formation and implementation of processes to address issues of Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Business Continuity Plan during emergencies. During her banking career she has been actively involved with the economic development of women in rural India helping develop micro-financing opportunities for them. She is an avid traveller, swimming enthusiast, and a passionate cook. Her other interests include music and art.
She graduates from the NYU@NUS program, with dual LLM in Global Business Laws and Corporate & Financial Services; having received the Dean’s Merit Award. She aspires to continue working in the cross disciplinary field of International Law and Finance, eventually taking to legal teaching.
Lorenzo Arditi, International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Lorenzo Arditi graduated from the School of Oriental and African Studies, School of Law (University of London) in 2009. He also holds a Laurea in Lettere from the Università di Firenze, Italy, and an Investment Administration Qualification from the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment, London (UK).
Prior to coming to NYU, he worked as a research assistant for the UK’s Ministry of Justice, at the Law Commission of England and Wales, within the Commercial and Common Law’s Team. He is currently pursuing a Traditional LLM with a focus on commercial and international law. He is also working as a research assistant for Professor Varano on comparative law issues.He enjoys travelling and practicing sports. He is fluent in English, Italian and Spanish.
Swee Leng Elizabeth Harris—International Development Law Organization (IDLO)
Swee Leng completed her Bachelor of Laws (with Honors) and Bachelor of Arts (with Honors) at the University of Melbourne in 2006. In 2007, Swee Leng travelled around the world, including six months spent living and travelling in the People’s Republic of China to study and practise Mandarin.
In 2008, Swee Leng commenced working as a graduate at Allens, a top-tier Australian commercial law firm, where she worked as a solicitor for four years until coming to NYU. Swee Leng specialized in environmental and land use law at Allens, but also practised in commercial litigation and mergers and acquisitions. In addition, Swee Leng undertook extensive pro bono work advising on human rights issues relating to business and indigenous rights, and volunteered at the Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic.
Swee Leng is pursuing her LLM at NYU in International Legal Studies, and is a research assistant for Professor Benedict Kingsbury and Professor Richard Stewart examining nongovernmental organizations and global administrative law. She speaks conversational Mandarin and continues to study Mandarin while at NYU. Swee Leng enjoys reading, has practised yoga for 10 years, and has an Associate of Music (Australia) Diploma in viola.
In June 2013, Swee Leng will present a paper on interactions between the International Finance Corporation, the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman, non-governmental organizations and Equator Principle Financial Institutions at the Ninth Global Administrative Law Seminar held in Viterbo, Italy, at the Political Science Faculty of La Tuscia University.
Maninder Malli, World Bank
Maninder Malli holds a BA from the University of British Columbia and a JD from Queen’s University where he received the J.S.D Tory Faculty Writing Award. Following law school, Maninder worked for two of Canada’s leading international business law firms in Toronto and Vancouver where his practice consisted primarily of transactional and advisory work on corporate and capital markets matters, with a recent focus on the global mining industry. During his time in private practice, he also completed a secondment to the legal department of one of Canada’s largest banks.
At NYU School of Law, Maninder is undertaking an LLM in International Legal Studies with a focus on global governance, international development and foreign investment. Maninder was recently a Student Associate with the World Bank through the NYU International Organizations Clinic. He is currently a Research Assistant at NYU to Professor José E. Alvarez and is researching topics related to international organizations and treaty law.
Maria Antonieta Merino, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Maria Antonieta Merino received her Law degree from the Universidad de Lima in 2004 and was ranked in the top 6% of her class, graduating eighth among a cohort of 125 students. She was admitted to the Peruvian bar in 2005. She also completed postgraduate studies at Universidad del Pacifico majoring in regulation of public services and infrastructure in 2007.
She worked in the public sector as an official of the National Institute for the Defense of Competition and Protection of Intellectual Property (INDECOPI). She assisted in proceedings relating to the defense of competition (antitrust and unfair competition), consumer protection petitions and antidumping and countervailing measures, and elaborated policy guidelines proposals. She helped in the design and elaboration of the Peruvian Antitrust Law and the Antidumping and Subsidies regulation.
She participated in the negotiations of several Free Trade Agreements providing advice to the Peruvian Ministry of Commerce of Peru (MINCETUR). She also interned with the Suisse Competition Commission through the Competition and Consumer Protection in Latin America Program (COMPAL) of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). She was teaching assistant for competition and regulation of public services courses and professor of consumer’s protection course. She is coauthor of the book “Intellectual Property and Commerce in Peru: impact and agenda”, published by Universidad ESAN, and the paper “Peru: A sophisticated but underused judicial review system”, which will be part of the book “Domestic Judicial Review of Trade Remedies Experiences of the Most Active WTO Members”, published by Cambridge University Press.
She is currently pursuing her LLM as an Arthur T. Vanderbilt Scholar. She is also one of the founders and members of the Competition, Public Policy and Development Society (CPD).
Rivana Mezaya, United Nations
Rivana Mezaya ("Meza") is a passionate young legal scholar who graduated cum laude from the University of Indonesia in 2009 with a major in public international law. A very active and committed student, she was involved in the Asian Law Student's Association as well as moot court competitions while maintaining the highest GPA in her class and her position in the Dean's List for three consecutive years. She represented her country in the 2007 International Maritime Law Arbitration Moot Competition in Melbourne, Australia in which her team was named the first civil-law country to ever win the competition. Continuing her passion in international law, she participated in the 2008 Jessup International Moot Court Competition in Washington DC, USA, where she was ranked 3rd in the Top 100 World's Best Oralists, and her team was also ranked 3rd in the Top 50 Teams.
After graduating as her class’ valedictorian, she worked at an international NGO, the Asia Foundation, in a parliamentary project for the law unit. She went on to work in one of the biggest firms in Indonesia, ABNR Counselors at Law, where she gained most of her practical experience dealing with international and domestic business transactions. Out of love for her country, and as a believer in linking promises to policy through law, Meza then opted to work as an Associate Director at the Indonesian President's Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight (UKP4), a special, small unit led by a senior minister established by the President to conduct monitoring and de-bottlenecking of national priority programs. Her role included serving as a legal adviser and policy analyst in programs relating to investment, legal reform, and anti-corruption strategies. One of her special assignments was assisting the government team in an international asset recovery effort involving 14 jurisdictions in connection with a major Indonesian corruption and money laundering case.
Meza is currently pursuing an LLM at NYU School of Law in International Legal Studies; she is a Hauser Global Scholar and a Fulbright fellow. At NYU, she serves as a Graduate Editor of the Journal of International Law and Politics.
Rodolfo G. Miranda, International Finance Corporation (IFC)
Rodolfo, Peruvian, holds a Law Degree (suma cum laude) from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru, where he was ranked in the top fifth tier of the class. He has worked in construction companies, a toll road concessionaire (Intersur Concesiones S.A.) and two important law firms in Peru (Rodrigo, Elias & Medrano Abogados and Navarro Sologuren, Paredes & Gray Abogados). He specializes in infrastructure in Public Private Partnerships, Construction Law, International Arbitration and Project Finance. In May 2013 he will graduate as an LLM in the International Business Regulation Litigation and Arbitration program at NYU. He has published articles in his areas of specialization. Besides law, he has interest in politics and development.
Francisco Javier Muñoz, International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT)
Francisco Javier Muñoz was born and raised in General Roca, Río Negro, Argentina. He received his Law Degree from Universidad Católica Argentina (UCA) in February 2010. He graduated summa cum laude, being 1st out of a graduation class of 285 students. He received the Gold Medal Award, the Award for Academic Excellence from El Derecho Editorial and the Buenos Aires Private Bar Association, and the Corporación de Abogados Católicos and Ojea Quintana awards. In 2006 and 2009, he was given two merit-based scholarships from UCA.
Upon graduation, Francisco was admitted to the Buenos Aires Bar Association and joined Bruchou, Fernández Madero & Lombardi Law Firm, one of Argentina’s largest and most prestigious law firms. Since then, he has worked in the Complex Litigation and Arbitration Team focusing on international arbitration (ICC) and judicial processes before the Argentine Supreme Court and National Courts on Civil and Commercial matters. Francisco combined full-time practice with graduate studies by pursuing a Postgraduate degree in Advanced Bankruptcy Law at Universidad de Buenos Aires in 2010.
In August 2010, Francisco became a Teacher Assistant for Prof. Alicia Perugini’s course in Private International Law at UCA. Francisco has published in specialized legal journals, such as the Argentinean Banking Magazine and El Derecho Newspaper.
Francisco speaks Spanish, English and French. He is pursuing the Traditional LLM Program at NYU School of Law, with focus in International Litigation, Arbitration and Corporations Law.
Maya Sheli Port, World Bank
Maya obtained her Bachelor of Laws from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia in 2007, where she graduated 2nd place in her graduating cohort and received several faculty academic subject prizes. During her undergraduate studies, she represented UNSW Law School at the Jean Pictet International Humanitarian Law Competition in Serbia and was actively involved in university life, including the UNSW Law Students Society. Maya also obtained a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Politics & International Relations) from UNSW in 2007 and studied abroad at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. in Spring 2005.
Maya was admitted to practice as a solicitor in the Supreme Court of New South Wales and the High Court of Australia in July 2008. Prior to coming to NYU, Maya practised for almost 5 years as a lawyer in the Intellectual Property, Communications and Technology Group of Ashurst Australia in Sydney, a national top-tier full service commercial law firm. Maya specialised in intellectual property, media, technology and communications law and completed two secondments to the in-house legal team of Australia’s leading telecommunications, information and media services company. Maya has also been actively involved in professional and community pro bono, mentoring and charitable organisations.
Maya is undertaking a Traditional L.L.M. as a Dean’s Graduate Award Scholar, focusing on public international law and intellectual property law. She undertook the NYU International Organisations Clinic in Fall 2012.
Niruphama Ramakrishnan, World Bank
Niruphama graduated from NALSAR University of Law, India, in 2009. As a student, Niruphama successfully participated in moot court competitions and presented research papers at several conferences. She has also pursued internships with leading law firms, non-governmental organisations and senior counsel at the Supreme Court of India.
Following graduation from NALSAR, she worked at Amarchand & Mangaldas, Suresh A. Shroff & Co., a leading law firm in Mumbai, India, for three years. During this period, she worked on securities market transactions across sectors including real estate, multi brand retail, hospitality, and technology. She was admitted to the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa in April 2010.
She is undertaking a Traditional LLM at NYU School of Law, with a focus on international and business law. She was a student advocate at the International Organisations clinic at NYU. She is fluent in English, Hindi and Tamil.
Marie-Léa Rols - World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)
Marie-Léa graduated from Sciences-Po Paris (France) in 2011 with a Master's Degree in Global Business Law and Governance. As part of her studies, she spent several semesters abroad and studied in various institutions, such as Columbia Law School (US), the Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne (France) and the Fudan University (China). She was also involved in various student organizations and projects.
Upon the completion of her degree, Marie-Léa spent several months interning at various law firms. She spent 8 months in the Intellectual Property Litigation Department of the Paris office of Allen & Overy, where she worked on a wide array of issues covering trademark, copyright and patent infringement.
Marie-Léa is interested in the current challenges faced by intellectual property rights, whether they are caused by the growing internationalization of IP standards or the emergence of new fields of innovation/creation such as biotechnologies. She has written several research papers pertaining to those issues, focusing on the American, European and Chinese examples.
Marie-Léa is currently pursuing the NYU@NUS dual-degree LLM, with a specialization in Intellectual Property & Technology Law.
Maria V. Samaylova, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
Maria Samoylova graduated from M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University School of Law in 2007, where she was in the top 3% of her class of 320 students. She was the recipient of several awards, among them the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) scholarships for pursuing her graduate qualification thesis and Ph.D. thesis at the Law School of Regensburg University in Germany. In 2009, Maria was admitted to the Ph.D. program at the Institute of Legislation and Comparative Law under the Government of the Russian Federation. Maria’s research interests are in securities law. She will resume working on her dissertation after completing the LLM program at New York University School of Law.
In 2006, Maria interned in Baker & McKenzie’s Moscow office, after which she worked there as an associate until 2010. In 2010, she made a transition to the investment banking subdivision of UniCredit Bank in Moscow and worked there as a legal counsel of the Corporate Finance Department. In the course of her legal practice, she assisted domestic and international clients in the areas of corporate restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, finance, securities regulation, and investments.
Maria was admitted to the bar in Russia in 2007. In 2011, she was also certified as a financial market expert for broker and dealer activities and securities management in Russia.
Maria is currently pursuing a Traditional LLM at NYU School of Law, and is a candidate for the Advanced Professional Certificate in Law & Business (NYU Pollack Center for Law & Business). She is fluent in Russian, English and German.
Thomas Traschler, International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT)
Thomas Traschler received his first Law Degree from the University of Vienna and his second degree on Business Law from the Vienna University of Economics and Business. From both Universities, he graduated among the top students of his cohort and received several scholarships and honors, reflecting his extraordinary academic achievements including a remarkable short period of study.
During his time as a student, he worked as a teaching assistant for Business Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure at the Institute for Economic Criminal Law. After graduation, Thomas obtained a position at the University of Vienna as a Teaching and Research Associate for Economic Law, where he was responsible for conducting lectures in Commercial Law and doing all aspects of research on Corporate and Commercial Law. At the moment he is enrolled in the doctoral program of the University of Vienna where he specializes in European Corporate and Commercial Law.
Thomas Traschler pursues his LLM studies at NYU@NUS in Global Business Law with a coursework concentration in the area of International & Comparative Law. Upon completion, he plans to sit for the New York Bar Exam and subsequently gain practical experience in International Commercial Law. In the long term he aspires to continue his career in legal academia.
The 2011-2012 fellows are:
Cansu Kahya, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Cansu obtained her first degree in law from Galatasaray University, School of Law (Turkey) in 2008. During her law education, she represented Galatasaray University at ELSA Hifzi Veldet Velidedeoglu Moot Court and was elected to participate in Programme Galatasaray, Fribourg, consisting of seminars organized jointly by the Universities of Galatasaray and Fribourg to discuss aspects of Swiss and Turkish private law. During summers, she pursued various internships at leading law firms and at the legal department of a bank in Turkey.
After graduation, Cansu worked at Verdi & Yazici, a top-tier law firm in Istanbul, with domestic and international clients on corporate, contract, and banking law matters, as well as dispute resolution. While working, she provided pro bono service and represented disadvantaged, battered women at a women's shelter in family law-related disputes. She was admitted to the Istanbul Bar in 2009 and is qualified to represent clients as a trademark and patent attorney before the Turkish Patent Institute.
Cansu is interested in international business transactions and is pursuing an LLM in International Business Regulation, Litigation and Arbitration at NYU. Her LLM thesis is on joinder in arbitration proceedings. She is also part of NYU's Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court team this year.
Cansu is a native Turkish speaker and she is fluent in English and French. She enjoys traveling, Latin and tango dancing and tries to take advantage of living in a vibrant city like New York and studying in the multicultural environment of NYU.
Pablo Richards, International Development Law Organization
Pablo was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He graduated from Pontificia Universidad Catolica Argentina with honors in 2007 and was in the top 10% in a class of 265 students. During his undergraduate program, he studied in Universitta Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, Italy, within UCA’s academic exchange program.
Prior to coming to NYU, Pablo was admitted as a lawyer and spent 4 and a half years practicing at Estudio Beccar Varela and Tanoira Cassagne, two commercial law firm based in Buenos Aires.
He is undertaking a Traditional LLM at NYU, with a focus on corporate and financial law
Patricia Cristina Tan Ngochua, International Institute for Sustainable Development
Patricia Cristina Tan Ngochua obtained her Juris Doctor degree from the Ateneo de Manila University School of Law (“ALS”) in 2007 where she was ranked first in her graduating class. She was the recipient of several awards, notably the Gold Medal for Academic Excellence, the St. Thomas More Most Distinguished Award (the highest award conferred on an ALS graduate), and the Dean’s Award for Best Thesis (Gold Medal). She was admitted to the Philippine Bar in 2008.
While in law school, she was an editor of the Ateneo Law Journal. She was also a member of the Philippine Jessup team that placed in the octafinal round of the 2005 Phillip C. Jessup International Moot Court Competition held in Washington D.C.
After graduation, she joined Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & De los Angeles, one of the top Philippine law firms renowned for its expertise in general corporate matters as well as the more specialized fields of corporate law. As part of the firm’s various deal teams, she advised international and domestic clients on matters as diverse as energy and infrastructure projects, mining, telecommunications, aircraft financing, securities, capital markets, corporate restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, foreign investments, and tax.
She became a member of the ALS faculty in 2009 and taught Legal Research and Thesis Writing at ALS from 2009 to 2010.
She is currently pursuing an NYU LLM in Corporation Law as an Arthur T. Vanderbilt Scholar.
Tiantian Zhuang, International Monetary Fund
Tiantian obtained her LLB and LLM degrees, magna cum laude, from Peking University Law School, and also obtained a Bachelor of Economics degree from the China Center for Economic Research of Peking University.
While in school, Tiantian was an editor of the Peking University International and Comparative Law Review and received a number of merit-based scholarships and honors throughout her studies in Peking University. She was active in moot court activities and represented Peking University in PHILIP C. JESSUP International Law Moot Court Competition in 2007 and WILLEM C. VIS International Commercial Arbitration Moot in 2008.
After graduation in 2008, Tiantian joined Clifford Chance and practiced primarily in the areas of banking & finance, derivatives, and finance regulation. She worked on financing transactions such as pre-IPO financing and export credit financing and also advised international and domestic clients on their derivatives transactions. Before that, she interned with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd., Tax & Business Advisory Department and Junhe Law Offices, one of the leading local law firms in China.
Tiantian is currently pursuing her LLM degree at NYU as a Hauser Scholar.
Elizabeth T. Hassan, World Bank
Elizabeth Hassan obtained her first Law degree (LLB Hons.) from the University of Jos, Nigeria where she graduated top 2% out of a class of about 400 students. She was conferred the Women’s Merit Award as the Best Graduating Female Student and the University’s Merit Award as 2nd Best Graduating Student in Law.
While at the University, Elizabeth was elected the President of the Law Student’s Society of the Faculty (making her the 3rd lady-President in the history of the Faculty) and served as a Senator of the Student’s Union Government of the University. She was conferred an outstanding leadership award by the Jural Court of the Faculty and obtained a second award as the best performing faculty president.
She obtained her postgraduate law degree, B L, from the Nigerian Law School and was called to the Nigerian Bar as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court in 2010.
Before coming to NYU, Elizabeth interned at the National Human Rights Commission and worked briefly at Aelex Legal Practitioners and Arbitrator (one of the top law firms in the country) in the Intellectual Property Law Department.
Elizabeth is passionate about change and has participated in several international advocacy programs on civil and political rights of youths and coordinated youth campaigns for constitutional and electoral reforms. She enjoys moot court competitions and served as Lead Counsel for Defense during the annual moot court competitions while at the Nigerian Law School. She has also served as a Judge for the Inter-American Human Rights Moot Court Competition, DC 2011 and Jessup Moot Court North-Eastern Regional Rounds, New York 2012, which is in progress.
At NYU Law, she is in the International Legal Studies program, the Private Practice Chair of the International Law Society, and a member of the International Legal Studies Specialization Committee. She is also running a spring internship at the NYU Centre for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ).
Elizabeth enjoys travelling and humanitarian work and hopes to build a career in international law as an international development expert.
Smitha Krishna Prasad, World Intellectual Property Organization
Smitha graduated with a BA LLB degree from Symbiosis International University, Pune (India) in 2011. While at Symbiosis she was awarded a certificate for Outstanding Performance in Research and Publication, and authored and presented a paper at the International Law Summit, organized by the Government Law College, Mumbai. She obtained a Diploma in Intellectual Property Laws and a Diploma in Cyber Laws, both from the Asian School of Cyber Laws, Pune (India).
In 2010, she interned with Nishith Desai Associates, a leading law firm in India, working primarily with the Technology, Media and Intellectual Property Laws team. She also interned at a number of other organizations and law firms in India, including the Alternative Law Forum, and has researched and worked on issues relating to various aspects of intellectual property laws, technology laws, art law, and constitutional law.
During her time at Symbiosis, she participated in various extra-curricular activities and was a member of the organizing team for the law school’s annual cultural festival ‘Symbhav.’ She also participated in a number of Model United Nations Assemblies in various capacities.
At NYU, she is pursuing an LLM in International Legal Studies.
The 2010-2011 fellows are:
Mukerrem Onur Basar, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Mukerrem Onur Basar graduated from Istanbul University School of Law in 2004 and was in the top % 1 in a class of approximately 600 students.
He was the highest ranked student of the Istanbul University Social Science Institute's competitive Master of Law admission exams (he placed first out of 105 applicants). He obtained a Master of Law Degree in 2008 with full jury approval of a thesis entitled “The Reasonable Length of Civil Proceeding under the Judgments of European Human Rights Court,” published as a book in 2010.
Prior to attending NYU School of Law, he was a research assistant at Istanbul University School of Law. He completed a one year research program in 2006-2007 at Leipzig University School of Law in Germany. During his legal studies, he mainly concentrated on civil procedure, bankruptcy and conflict of laws. He has published several articles in these areas of law. In 2008, he was admitted to the five-year Ph.D. program at Istanbul University and ranked as second out of 53 applicants in admission. He is currently working on his dissertation.
Mukerrem Onur's LLM concentration is International Business Regulation, Litigation and Arbitration. He is fluent in Turkish, English and German.
Maria Cecilia Sicangco, International Development Law Organization
Maria Cecilia (Cecille) Sicangco obtained a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines (UP) in 2007 graduating cum laude and as salutatorian of her class. She was the recipient of the UP Class of 1971 Scholarship from 2004 to 2007. Upon graduation she was likewise given the UP Class of 1972 Academic Excellence Award and the Dean’s Medal for Academic Excellence. Prior to law school, Cecille obtained a Bachelor of Science double-majoring in Applied Economics and Accountancy, cum laude, from De La Salle University (DLSU). In recognition of her outstanding academic performance, she received the SyCip, Gorres, Velayo Award for Academic Excellence and the Joaquin Cunanan Gold Medal for Best Thesis from the College of Business and Economics of DLSU.
Upon graduation, Cecille joined SyCip Salazar Hernandez and Gatmaitan, the largest full-service law firm in the Philippines. She assisted domestic and international clients in the areas of arbitration, litigation, taxation, corporate restructuring, banking, finance, securities, investments, mergers and acquisitions, mining, and natural resources law. Subsequently, Cecille took the opportunity to clerk for Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. After the latter’s retirement in May 2010, she then clerked for the succeeding Chief Justice, Renato C. Corona.
Cecille was admitted to the Philippine Bar in 2008, and is also a member of the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants. At NYU, she is pursuing an LLM in International Legal Studies as a Hauser Scholar, Starr Foundation Global Scholar, and Thomas M. Franck Scholar.
Vyoma Jha, International Institute for Sustainable Development
Vyoma graduated with a BA LLB (Hons.) degree from National Law University, Jodhpur (India) in 2009 with a concentration in International Trade and Investment Law. While at National Law University, Vyoma was a member of the Centre for WTO Studies and the Moot Court Committee.
In 2006, Vyoma interned with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), India’s leading policy research organization in the fields of energy, environment and sustainable development on a project aimed at regulatory reforms in the water sector. She also interned at Economic Laws Practice, an Indian law firm, working closely with their International Trade Law team on matters relating to a WTO dispute, anti-dumping investigations and non-tariff trade barriers. In 2008, she authored a research paper for the Competition Commission of India titled ‘Sports and Competition Law in India’.
After graduating from law school, Vyoma did a clerkship at the Supreme Court of India with the Honorable Justice V.S. Sirpurkar. There she worked extensively on matters of constitutional law, environmental law, human rights, arbitration and judicial reforms. She was admitted to the Bar Council of Delhi in May 2010.
At NYU, Vyoma is pursuing an LLM in Environmental Law. She is also working as a Research Assistant to Professor Smita Narula at the International Human Rights Clinic. Presently, as part of the International Environmental Law Clinic, Vyoma is working on the linkages between trade and climate change.
Vyoma is fluent in English and Hindi, and speaks French at an intermediate level. She has varied interests from films to photography. Upon completion of her graduate studies she wants to pursue a career in law teaching.
Francis Chukwu, International Monetary Fund
Francis Chukwu studied law as a first degree at the Faculty of Law, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus (the oldest law faculty in Nigeria) from 2001 to 2006. He was awarded the Federal Government of Nigeria's Undergraduate Merit Scholarship in 2003. In 2006, he graduated from the University of Nigeria with First Class Honours and also emerged 1st in his class of about 360 students. His graduation was the 5th in the (then) 45 year history of the Law Faculty. He was subsequently awarded the Best Graduate of the Faculty of Law and Best Graduate in Environmental Law Awards at the University Convocation ceremony in March, 2007.
Francis proceeded to the Nigerian Law School (an institution for one year of professional training of law graduates from all accredited Nigerian Universities before they are admitted to the Nigerian Bar) for his professional qualification in October 2006. He was also awarded the Bankole Olumide Aluko Memorial Scholarship by the Law Firm of Aluko & Oyebode (one of Nigeria’s most prestigious law firms) for his studies at the Nigerian Law School. This Scholarship was instituted by the Firm in Honour of Mr. Bankole Olumide Aluko, a deceased founding partner, and is reserved for the best graduate of the University of Nigeria, University of Lagos, and Ahmadu Bello University, all in Nigeria.
Francis passed the Bar exams at the Nigerian Law School with First Class Honours and placed 2nd in the pool of over 5000 students from all over the country. He then became the 3rd Nigerian to achieve the feat of First Class Honours at both the University Law Faculty and at the Nigerian Law School. He was subsequently awarded the T. O. S. Benson Prize for the Best Overall Performance (2nd Prize) at the Call to the Nigerian Bar Ceremony held at Abuja, Nigeria, in November 2007.
He represented and won laurels for his University in several moot competitions in Nigeria, and was involved in several extra-curricular activities where he took different challenging roles in the Students Union at the University of Nigeria and the Nigerian Law School.
Francis joined the law firm of Aluko & Oyebode after his call to the Nigerian Bar, and has since garnered experience in diverse areas of law, particularly litigation, corporate and project finance and oil & gas. His LLM specialization at NYU is “International Business Regulation, Litigation & Arbitration”. Francis aspires to work for international organizations involved in development programs, particularly at developing countries, for a while before retiring to a life-time of law teaching and practice.
Matthew Moorhead, World Bank
Matthew holds a Bachelor of Laws (with Honors) and a Bachelor of Arts from the Australian National University, where he studied as a National Undergraduate Scholar. He received a number of prizes while at university and graduated in the top 1 per cent of his class. In 2007, Matthew took up an appointment as associate or judicial clerk to the Honorable Justice William Gummow at the High Court of Australia. During this period he published in the Federal Law Review and tutored in the College of Law of the Australian National University. Prior to coming to NYU, Matthew was admitted as a lawyer and spent 18 months practicing in Sydney as a solicitor at Freehills, a commercial law firm. He is undertaking a Traditional LLM at NYU, with a focus on constitutional and international law.
Diego Aranda, World Intellectual Property Organization
Diego Aranda Teixeira was born in Mexico City to a Brazilian doctor and a Mexican statistician. After first considering a career in medicine, Diego completed his first law degree in University College, London, spending an additional year studying Spanish law in Girona, Spain. Diego then worked as a research assistant at the Law Commission for England & Wales (a law reform body linked to the British Ministry of Justice) until he accepted a scholarship to pursue his LLM studies at NYU@NUS program in Singapore.
Diego's research interests are focused on intellectual property law and antitrust/competition law, both seen through the lens of economic analysis. He is currently doing research on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, current antitrust law issues in the tablet computer market and on the viability of options-based patent valuation methods. Future research projects include the law applicable to the dance world and an article reviewing existing literature on the economic analysis of intellectual property rights enforcement.
After completing his fellowship at WIPO, Diego intends to return to Singapore to work for a local law firm but plans to relocate to the United States in the longer term.
Aside from the law, Diego's interests include music and the arts. Diego plays percussion (mainly Indian tabla) among other instruments and is learning classical singing. He also paints.