Fellow’s Biographies

Open Society Presidential (OSP) Fellowship in Law

2017 Fellow

The fifth Open Society Presidential Fellowship in Law was awarded to Joshua Pemberton. A native of New Zealand, he has worked most recently for Justice Base in Myanmar, where he led a project investigating access to court proceedings in Yangon. He previously served as clerk to Justice William Young at the New Zealand Supreme Court. Before that, he was a research assistant at Motu Economic and Public Policy Research in Wellington and a political engagement coordinator at Generation Zero in Dunedin. In 2010 he was a volunteer at the Sao Sary Foundation in Cambodia, where he taught English and wrote media stories on human trafficking in the region. He has published journal articles and reports in several outlets, including the New Zealand Law Journal.

Joshua  holds a LLM degree from Harvard Law School. At Harvard, he volunteered at the International Human Rights clinic and the Immigration Response Initiative, and he served as an article editor on the Harvard Human Rights Journal. He has bachelor of laws and bachelor of arts degrees from the University of Otago in New Zealand.

2016 Fellow

The fourth Open Society Presidential Fellowship in Law was awarded to (Ms.) Yuan Yuan of The University of Chicago Law School. During law school, Yuan was involved in the International Human Rights Clinic and the Young Center for immigrant Children’s Rights. As a student attorney at the International Human Rights Clinic, she co-authored the international law section of a human rights report on the U.S. deportation of Haitian nationals, drafted a brief submitted to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on the issue of unaccompanied minors at the U.S.-Mexico border, and managed an ongoing project promoting a rights-based approach to tuberculosis in China. In the Young Center, Yuan worked as a child advocate to identify and recommend the best interests of unaccompanied minors detained in Chicago, and she executed research on the European Union’s practice of receiving and accommodating unaccompanied minors. Yuan spent both of her summers during law school abroad as an International Human Rights Fellow, working in Israel (College of Law and Business, Migrants’ Rights Clinic), Tunisia (International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance), and Hungary (Hungarian Helsinki Committee). Prior to law school, Yuan received her B.A. in history and mathematics-economics from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, summa cum laude. She is a Humanity in Action Fellow (Poland Program, 2011) and spent a month in Poland and Germany exploring postwar development of human and minority rights across the Atlantic. She spent two summers in Cambodia (one summer working as a leadership resident at the Harpswell Foundation and the other working with a local NGO on micro finance and empowerment) and a semester abroad in Brussels, Belgium. Before starting law school, she worked as a research assistant on a project examining local Tibetan people’s understanding and knowledge of Shangri-la and the practice of Tibetan Buddhism in China. 

2015 Fellows

The co-third Open Society Presidential Fellowship in Law was awarded to Elizabeth Foydel. Lizzy graduated from Stanford Law School in 2015. During law school, she was involved in a number of student projects and organizations, including the Stanford Journal of International Law, the law school’s International Human Rights Pro Bono Project, and its Rule of Law Program. Through the Rwanda Legal Development Project, she contributed to a research project and then a policy paper on comparative statutory interpretation for use by the Rwanda Law Reform Commission. In 2014, Lizzy was one of Stanford Law’s Ford Foundation Summer Fellows. Lizzy also was a legal intern at Columbia’s Human Rights Institute, where she worked on human rights in the domestic context, and at Human Rights Watch’s International Justice Program, where her work focused on state official immunity and victim participation in international tribunals. She received a B.A. in political science and French from Columbia University in 2012. 

The co-third Open Society Presidential Fellowship in Law was awarded to Akhila Kolisetty. Akhila graduated from Harvard Law School in 2015. At Harvard, she has conducted research on Muslim personal law in India through the Digital Islamic Law Lab program. She was involved with the Harvard International Human Rights Clinic and also served as a Technical Editor and Online Editor for the Harvard Human Rights Journal. Akhila has held legal internships at the Women’s Rights Division of Human Rights; the Family and Matrimonial Law Unit of the New York Legal Assistance Group; the SMS Sehgal Foundation in Gurgaon, India; and Timap for Justice in Sierra Leone as a Chayes Fellow. Prior to law school, Akhila worked with the Washington Lawyers’ Committee, the ACLU, and with Justice for All, an non-profit providing legal aid and literacy in Afghanistan. Akhila received a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Northwestern University.

2014 Fellow

The second Open Society Presidential Fellowship in Law was awarded to Sherie Buell. Sherie graduated from Columbia Law School in 2014. At Columbia, she was a Public Interest Fellow and a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. During her time in law school, Sherie participated in the Columbia Human Rights Clinic and worked at the United Nations Development Programme, The Carter Center, Human Rights Watch, and the Center for Reproductive Rights. She also served as a research assistant to Professor Michael Doyle and a staff member of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review, in which her Note was published. Prior to law school, Sherie received both her B.A. and M.A. degrees from Stanford University, and worked for BRAC USA in New York and FORGE in Meheba Refugee Settlement in Zambia.

2013 Fellows

The co-first Open Society Presidential Fellowship was awarded to Matthew Craig. Matthew graduated magna cum laude from New York University School of Law in 2013 and was awarded Order of the Coif. At NYU, he was a Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar and an Institute for International Law and Justice Scholar. Matthew participated in the NYU Immigrant Rights Clinic and worked at the ACLU, EarthRights International, and the law offices of Paul Hoffman, focusing on Alien Tort Statute litigation. He also served as a research assistant to Prof. Kenji Yoshino and a notes editor for the Journal of International Law and Politics. Matthew has published in the Cardozo Law Review (forthcoming 2014), the Journal of Conflict Resolution, the NYU Journal of International Law and Politics, and Cuba in Transition. Following his OSP Fellowship, Matthew will clerk for the Hon. Allyne Ross of the Eastern District of New York.

The co-first Open Society Presidential Fellowship was awarded to Ma. Krizna Gomez. Krizna graduated with an LL.M from Harvard Law School in 2013, with a concentration on International Human Rights Law. She received both her J.D. and B.A. degrees from Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines in 2005 and 2009, respectively. At Harvard, she was part of the Harvard Ghana Project, as well as the the Harvard International Human Rights Clinic. Prior to taking her LL.M., Krizna managed a program on extralegal killings and enforced disappearances with the Ateneo Human Rights Center. She also pioneered the nationwide expansion of the Legal Network for Truthful Elections- the first and only election citizens’ arm in the Philippines composed of lawyers and paralegals. She lectured on gender studies at the Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia and international criminal law in Ateneo Law School. Krizna also served as president of the Asia-Europe Foundation University Alumni Network and helped organize the Asian Consortium for Human Rights-Based Access to Justice. Before taking up the OSP Fellowship, Krizna was conducting research on the effect of donors on the security and protection of human rights NGOs in Uganda and Kenya.