Dr. Charles E. Ehrlich first became aware of William and Mary’s international connections while working on a doctorate in 20th Century Spanish political history at the University of Oxford, focusing on aspects of political, constitutional, democratic, and economic development and transition. William and Mary’s excellent summer law program in Madrid had such a strong reputation among his academic colleagues, that when he decided to return to the United States to study international law, Charles naturally considered William and Mary.
After working with US-based NGOs during and immediately after law school, Charles subsequently returned to Europe. At the Claims Resolution Tribunal in Zurich, Switzerland, he adjudicated claims to Swiss bank accounts from the Nazi era. He later served as head of legal operations for the United Nations Housing and Property Directorate in Pristina, Kosovo, responsible for property restitution, administration of humanitarian housing, and policy development, and as chief counsel to Kosovo’s Temporary Media Commissioner, establishing Kosovo’s permanent broadcast regulatory agency as well as creating the legal framework for freedom of the media and freedom of expression in Kosovo.
Charles subsequently spent several years as legal counsel for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), first in Pristina and then in Vienna and Tbilisi. As Senior Legal Advisor in the Office of the Head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, his assignments to support democratic development included advising Kosovo’s Constitutional Commission in drafting the chapters of Kosovo’s constitution covering decentralization, economic and fiscal policy, and independent public institutions. In Vienna, he served in the Office of the OSCE Secretary General, and in Tbilisi as the chief legal counsel for the OSCE’s Mission to Georgia, where his tasks included handling the legal repercussions of Russia’s 2008 invasion.
From 2009-2014, Charles worked primarily as an independent consultant. His primary assignments included advising the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation on institutional, legal, and administrative reforms in the justice sector; leading a comprehensive property reform project in Albania, designed to strengthen property rights to promote economic development and the rule of law; and serving as the European Union's high-level policy advisor to the Republic of Armenia on justice reforms. In this period he carried out additional work in Albania, Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Serbia, Spain, and Ukraine.
In 2014, Charles joined Salzburg Global Seminar, an Austrian-American institution that hosts international strategic programs for current and future leaders to solve issues of global concern and to tackle systems challenges critical for the next generation. As program director, he is primarily responsible for designing, developing, and implementing programs on global justice, democracy, economics, rule of law, and international diplomacy.
In addition to his William and Mary JD, he holds a Doctorate in Modern History from the University of Oxford, a Master’s in European Studies specializing in European government and economics from the London School of Economics, and a Bachelor’s in History and the Classics from Harvard University.
“I had already completed my doctorate before starting law school, so I wanted an environment that was collegial and maintained high academic standards, where the faculty could guide me in the study of law but where I would be able to carry out more research and writing than in a standard JD program. William and Mary gave me the legal skills I needed to adapt my academic background to a career in international law.
The small size of the law school and the open, approachable faculty provided a friendly atmosphere with great faculty contact and mentoring, both formally and informally. The library never failed to find even the most obscure foreign books within days so that I could carry out my research. The administration’s flexibility and support made it possible for me to get everything I hoped for out of my law school studies.”