Noor Hamadeh, JD '17, was recently awarded an Arthur C. Helton Fellowship. The fellowship is presented by the American Society of International Law (ASIL) to a young professional to pursue fieldwork or research on issues of international law, human rights, and humanitarian affairs and other related areas.
During her time at GW Law, Ms. Hamadeh focused her studies on international human rights law and refugee law. She previously worked at the Public International Law & Policy Group (PILPG), the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. She was also a student attorney at GW's International Human Rights Clinic, where she worked on the Cyber-Violence Project. "To me, this fellowship is an exciting opportunity to jump into the international legal arena right out of law school," Ms. Hamadeh said.
Ms. Hamadeh will be a law fellow with PILPG, where she will be advising the Syrian opposition on peace negotiations, as well as compiling information on best practices for constitution drafting for Syria and other related issues. "I am most looking forward to working directly with the opposition in Istanbul and learning how different negotiation strategies can help them with their overall goals," she said.
At GW Law, Ms. Hamadeh also participated in the GW Law-University of Oxford International Human Rights Law Summer Program. "Through her studies in that program and other coursework at GW Law, along with her language skills, she is well-prepared to work on Syria issues with the Public International Law & Policy Group," said Susan L. Karamanian, Associate Dean for International and Comparative Legal Studies. "Noor will continue the mission of Arthur Helton, a UN official who tragically died in Iraq while promoting human rights."
Professor Ralph G. Steinhardt, co-director of the GW-Oxford program, described his former student as talented and dedicated – "one who understands that human rights law is not some utopian dream but is an area of practice with potentially transformative effects on people's lives. I am also privileged to have known Arthur Helton well, and they would have been ideal colleagues," he said. "Like Arthur, Noor is upbeat, engaged, deeply humane, and with a professional way that is meticulous and modest at the same time. It's a rare combination, and I could not be happier that Noor will carry on his visionary work."
For now, Ms. Hamadeh is set to work at PILPG this upcoming fall. She hopes to pursue a career in public international law and international human rights law. "As a Syrian-American, I am particularly interested in issues relating to Syria and the Syrian conflict," Ms. Hamadeh said.