Health Law Initiative

The GW Health Law Initiative seeks to leverage GW's world class faculty, prime location in the nation's capital, and dynamic student body to equip the next generation of lawyers to become impactful leaders in the health law space. The Initiative does so through the GW Law Kahan Health / FDA Law Fellowship under the supervision of Professor. Sonia Suter, the support of Jonathan Kahan, and collaboration with the university and community at large. 

The Initiative works towards its mission by: 

  1. Inspiring greater interest in health law among GW Law students 
  2. Building a pipeline of practice-ready health care lawyers to fuel the burgeoning field 
  3. Fostering dialogue between students, faculty, and practitioners on contemporary and emerging issues in health law
Sonia Suter

Sonia M. Suter

Founding Director, Health Law Initiative

About Professor Suter

Professor Sonia Suter is the Founding Director of the Health Law Initiative. In that capacity, she manages the Kahan Health/FDA Law Fellows and advises and supports students interested in health law. In addition, she leads the planning of the Distinguished Lecture series and symposia; establishes affiliate faculty relationships to support cross-disciplinary collaboration with the Schools of Public Health, Nursing, Medicine, and other parts of the GWU community; and works with both internal and external stakeholders to foster growth in health law at GW.

Jonathan Kahan

Jonathan S. Kahan

Partner at Hogan Lovells

About Professor Kahan

Jonathan Kahan is a partner at Hogan Lovells and former director of the firm’s Medical Device and Technology Practice. He presently serves as a member of the George Washington University President’s Leadership Advisory Council and he is also the general counsel of the Association of Medical Diagnostics Manufacturers. In 2020, Mr. Kahan funded the creation of GW’s Health Law Initiative directed by Sonia Suter, the Kahan Family Research Professor of Law. Mr. Kahan hopes the Health Law Initiative will inspire greater interest in health law among GW Law students and ultimately build a pipeline of practice-ready health care lawyers to fuel the burgeoning field.


Evelyn Pereira

Evelyn Pereira, 4LE

Evelyn is a NJ native and graduated from the College of New Jersey (TCNJ) in 2014, double majoring in Biology and Women’s and Gender Studies. In 2016, she earned her MPH from GW’s Milken Institute School of Public Health. Evelyn has served as a Biologist at the U.S. FDA since 2016, where she coordinates with regulatory and public health agencies to investigate foodborne illness outbreaks. At GW Law, she is a member of the Dean’s Student Advisory Board and serves as a Research Assistant.


Phoebe Fisher

Phoebe Fisher, 3L

Phoebe is a 3L from Rockland County, New York. She received her undergraduate degree in History from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. At GW Law, Phoebe has been on the board of the Equal Justice Foundation, Lambda Law, and the Student Health Law Association. They are also a Notes Editor on the Federal Circuit Bar Journal and a member of the Moot Court Board. Phoebe spent their 1L summer interning at HHS Office of Elder Justice and Adult Protective Services. During her 2L year, she interned at Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities and Whitman-Walker Health. She most recently worked at AARP Foundation Litigation.


Kelsey Ann Kerr

Kelsey Ann Kerr, 3L

Kelsey is originally from Pittsburgh, PA. She attended Denison University for her undergraduate degree, where she studied English – creative writing and studio art. Kelsey went on to obtain her MFA in poetry from the University of Maryland, and taught creative writing and writing composition there and at American University for 7 years, including a feminist-themed writing course centered around intersectionality. Kelsey has worked as Professor Suter's research assistant, interned at HHS’s Office of Elder Justice and Adult Protective Services, worked as a student attorney at the Health Rights Law Clinic, externed in Acquisitions Law at TSA, and interned at FDA's Office of Legislation. She is currently externing at the National Women's Law Center on the Reproductive Rights and Health team. Kelsey is the Reproductive Health Coordinator of GW Law’s chapter of If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice, the Executive Articles Editor of the AIPLA Q.J., and she continues to write poetry.


Thomas Romanchek

Thomas Romanchek, 3L

Tom is a 3L from Lake Forest, Illinois. He graduated in 2021 from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, with a dual degree in Bioengineering and Psychology and a minor in Political Science. This past summer, Tom was a summer associate at Desmarais, where he will return to work as an associate after law school. Tom has also served as a judicial intern both in the Court of Federal Claims and its Office of Special Masters during his time in law school. Tom is currently an associate of the George Washington Law Review and a member of the Moot Court program.  


Tarra Olfat

Tarra Olfat, 2L

Tarra Olfat is a 2L Kahan Fellow from Great Falls, Virginia. Tarra graduated from William & Mary with a double major in Government and Public Health. At GW Law, Tarra is the Vice President of the Student Health Law Association and Director of Communications of the Law Association of Women. She is also a member of the George Washington Law Review. This past summer she worked at the Office of Special Master on vaccine injury litigation. Currently, she is externing with the Risk Management Department of Children’s National Hospital.


Joefred Uwaelue

Joefred Uwaelue, 2L

Joefred is a 2L from Dallas, Texas. He graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 2022 with a degree in African and African American Diaspora Studies, and a Minor in Business Administration. Joefred served as a committee member of the Patricia Harris Awards with the Black Law Students Association. He is also a member of the Public Contracts Law Journal, and the Moot Court Program. During his 1L summer, Joefred interned with Enhesa, an Environmental, Health, and Safety Regulatory Research Firm.