State Department legal counsel to speak on national security

January 17, 2012

Harold Hongju Koh, chief legal counsel for the U.S. Department of State and professor of international law at Yale Law School, will visit Penn State Law to discuss national security on Thursday, Jan. 26. Koh’s presentation, titled “A Smart Power Approach to International Law and National Security,” will focus on threats, responses and accountability mechanisms that will define the future national security configuration.

Koh is a leading expert on public and private international law, national security and human rights. The U.S. Senate confirmed Koh as legal adviser to the U.S. Department of State in June 2009. He also has served as U.S. assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor and previously had served on the secretary of state’s advisory committee on public international law. Koh has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court and has testified before the U.S. Congress more than 20 times. He has been awarded numerous honorary doctorates, law school medals and awards for his human rights work.

Koh has authored or co-authored eight books, including The National Security Constitution, which was named the American Political Science Association’s best book on the American Presidency in 1991. He also has published more than 150 articles on international human rights, national security and foreign affairs.

This event is jointly sponsored by The Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues at Dickinson College, The Penn State Journal of Law and International Affairs, and the Penn State School of International Affairs.

Koh's presentation will begin at 5 p.m. in the Apfelbaum Auditorium of Lewis Katz Hall at 333 W. South St. in Carlisle and be simulcast to Lewis Katz Building, University Park, Pa. The public is welcome. Media inquiries can be made to Crystal Stryker at or 717-240-5211.

  • Harold Hongju Koh

    IMAGE: photo provided

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated July 22, 2015