Our distinguished Advisory Board represents a wide range of subject areas, from international human rights to international arbitration, international banking and finance to foreign affairs, and comparative law to transnational legal practice. The members also come from a variety of backgrounds: having served in major law firms, multinational corporations, legal education in the U.S. and elsewhere, in the foreign service, as a foreign correspondent and in the judiciary, both domestic and international.
JUDGE MARY MCGOWAN DAVIS
Judge McGowan Davis served as a Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York and as a federal prosecutor. She has extensive experience in the fields of international human rights law and transitional justice. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Association for the International Commission of Jurists and the International Judicial Academy, and serves on the Managerial Board of the International Association of Women Judges. Most recently, Judge McGowan Davis chaired the UN Commission of Inquiry charged with investigating human rights and humanitarian law violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory in the context of military operations conducted since June 2014. The Commission’s report was issued in June of 2015.
HONORABLE WHITNEY DEBEVOISE
Whitney Debevoise is a Senior Partner in the International Practice Group, Arnold & Porter, LLP, with particular involvement in international financial transactions, public policy, international arbitration, multijurisdictional litigation, banking and international trade. Mr. Debevoise rejoined the firm in 2010, have served as the U.S. Executive Director of the World Bank from 2007-2010. He has extensive experience in major international financial transactions and the capital markets. He has handled significant International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) arbitrations and has served as an arbitrator in commercial investor-state cases. In addition, Mr. Debevoise works at the forefront of trade liberalization, advising with respect to World Trade Organization (WTO) accession and panel proceedings.
HONORABLE PETER LEUPRECHT
Peter Leuprecht has had an extensive career in the human rights field, both in his role as Director of Human Rights for the Council of Europe and Deputy Secretary of the Council of Europe and as an academic. He has taught in Europe at the Universities of Innsbruck, Strasbourg and Nancy (France) and at the European Academy of Law in Florence, Italy. He was on the law faculties of McGill University and the Université du Quebec à Montréal (UQAM) in Canada. Mr. Leuprecht also served as the Dean of the Faculty of Law of McGill University, the Director of the Montreal Institute of International Studies and Professor of public international law at the Département des sciences juridiques de l’UQAM and, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for human rights in Cambodia. He is the author of numerous publications in the field of international law and human rights, including his recently published book: Reason, Justice and Dignity A Journey to Some Unexplored Sources of Human Rights.
GEORGE MCKANN, ESQ.
George McKann is of counsel in the Corporate and Securities Practice Group , Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP who concentrates his practice in the counseling of corporations, directors and special committees in corporate governance matters and general disclosure obligations. He is past Chair of the firm’s International Practice Group and past president of The World Law Group, an international network of independent firms located in major commercial cities around the world.
BRUCE PROCTOR, ESQ., VLS ‘82
Bruce Proctor is currently a consultant on business strategy and development. He served for 26 years as in-house counsel and advisor to corporate executive management in Fortune 500 and Global 500 corporations. Most recently, he was Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Global IP at Diageo NA.
LUCY REED, ESQ.
Lucy Reed is the Director of the Singapore Centre for International Law and a Professor of Law at the National University of Singapore. She also serves on the Governing Body of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), and the Governing Council of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA). She was formerly the President of the American Society of International Law and the Chair of the Institute for Transactional Arbitration. Ms. Reed’s international experience is extensive. She most recently served as the global head of the international arbitration group Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. She sat on the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission and directed the Claims Resolution Tribunal for Dormant Accounts in Switzerland. She was also the first general counsel for the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization and, while with the U.S. State Department, the U.S. agent to the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal.
PATRICK N.Z. RONA, ESQ., VLS ‘92
Patrick N.Z. Rona is special counsel to Duane Morris LLP and is an expert in international corporate finance and insolvency. He works on cross-border restructurings, mergers and acquisitions, as well as debt and equity offerings (public and private). Mr. Rona began his legal career in emerging markets working for Baker & McKenzie in Budapest and was subsequently the president and CEO of a publicly listed emerging market company. Mr. Rona is multilingual and has worked in many jurisdictions, including the U.S., England, the Netherlands, Brazil, Hungary, Romania and Italy. He is a delegate to the UN Commission on International Trade Law, Working Group V, which works on the interpretation and application of the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency.
JUDGE STEPHEN SCHWEBEL
Stephen Schwebel is a distinguished jurist and expert on international law. He taught for many years at the School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University and was a Judge on the International Court of Justice from 1981-2000 and the Court President from 1997-2000. He has also had an extensive career as an international arbitrator in various arbitral settings, and has served as the President of the Administrative Tribunal of the International Monetary Fund since 1994.
PROFESSOR LINDA SMIDDY, VLS ‘79
Linda Smiddy is Professor Emerita at Vermont Law School, where she has been a faculty member since 1988. Prior to embarking on her career as an academic, Professor Smiddy was in private practice for several years with the firms of Cravath, Swaine and Moore in New York and Cummings and Lockwood in Stamford, Connecticut. She was also a partner in the firm of Smiddy and Smiddy in Woodstock, Vermont. She is the Founding Director of the International and Comparative Law Program and served as Director from 2000-2008. Professor Smiddy is fluent in French and has taught at several European universities, including the University of Paris, 13, where she was the first woman to receive the honorary degree Doctorat Honoris Causa from that institution. She is an expert in comparative corporate and contract law.
PROFESSOR FERNANDO SOTELINO
Fernando Sotelino is Adjunct Professor of International Banking and Business Strategy at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He is also a director of the strategic advisory boards of Brasilpar Ltd. (Brazil) and Banco Finantia (Portugal). Professor Sotelino was the former CEO of Unibanco (then Brazil’s third largest private sector bank) and was before that in charge of the bank’s international and investment banking divisions. He also served as the chairman of the board of Unibanco’s international banking and brokerage subsidiaries in the U.K., the U.S., and Latin America: Managing Director, Private Equity and M&A with Citibank in Brazil and; Project Finance Head, Crocker Bank in San Francisco, CA. He frequently lectures at business schools and elsewhere on topics of international banking and emerging markets finance.
Christopher Wren is currently an author and a commentator for Vermont Public Radio. He retired from The New York Times after nearly 29 years as a reporter, foreign correspondent and editor. He headed Times news bureaus in Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, Ottawa and Johannesburg, covered the UN and reported from the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Middle East, China and Southeast Asia, Africa, South America and Canada. Mr. Wren has written five books and co-authored three others. His book, “The End of the Line: The Failure of Communism in the Soviet Union and China”, was selected as a notable book by the New York Times. “The Cat Who Covered the World” became a national bestseller and his latest book, “Walking to Vermont,” sold out after publication.
HONORABLE KENNETH YALOWITZ
Ambassador (ret.) Kenneth Yalowitz served as a U.S. Foreign Service Officer for 36 years and was twice an ambassador: to Belarus form 1994-1997 and Georgia from 1998-2001. He also served in Moscow, The Hague and the U.S. Mission to NATO in Brussels. He was chosen for the Ambassador Robert Frasure award for peacemaking and conflict prevention in 2000 for his work preventing spillover of the Chechen war into Georgia. Ambassador Yalowitz directed the Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth College from 2003-2011. He has been adjunct professor at Georgetown University, Stanford University in Washington and Washington and Lee University, and diplomat-in-residence at American and George Mason Universities. He is currently a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center.