Harold Hongju Koh, 54, brother of Dr. Harold Koh, the Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Health-Designate, becomes the second Koh to receive a nomination.
On March 23, President Obama nominated him as Legal Adviser to the State Department. Koh is Dean of the Yale Law School, where he teaches human rights, civil procedure, and international law. He is one of the country’s foremost experts on public and private international law, national security law, and human rights.
From 1998 to 2001, he served as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. He previously served on the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on Public International Law.
A Marshall Scholar, he has received 11 honorary degrees and more than 30 awards for his human rights work, including awards from Columbia Law School and the American Bar Association for his lifetime achievements in International law.
Koh has been named one of America’s “Leading Public Sector Lawyers Under The Age of 45” by American Lawyer magazine and one of the “100 Most Influential Asian-Americans of the 1990s” by A Magazine.
A Korean American native of Boston, he holds a B.A. degree from Harvard College, and B.A. and M.A. degrees from Oxford University. He earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he was developments editor of the Harvard Law Review, and he served as a law clerk for Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Malcolm Richard Wilkey of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. ♦