Who We Are

Director:                          Christie S. Warren 

Christie S. Warren 

Professor Warren in Kabul

Prof. Warren improving rule of law
Kabul, Afghanistan

Christie S. Warren is Professor of the Practice of International and Comparative Law and Director of the Comparative Legal Studies and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding Program.  Her areas of specialization include Comparative Law, Comparative Constitutional Systems, Post-Conflict Justice, International Human Rights Law, Civil Code Systems and Islamic Law. Her publications are in the area of Islamic Law and International Legal Development.  

Professor Warren has designed, implemented, monitored and assessed constitutional, judicial and legal development and training projects in more than 40 countries throughout Africa, Central and East Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Russia and the Newly Independent States, the Balkans and East Timor. She served as the 1998 – 1999 Supreme Court Fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States and the 2010 Senior Expert in Constitutional Issues for the Mediation Support Unit of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs. She has advised on constitutional issues and processes in Kosovo, Somalia, Haiti, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova and Sudan and participated in the Darfur Peace Talks. She is a graduate of the Harvard Mediation Program.

Professor Warren serves as the Curriculum Advisor for the Constitution Building Processes Programme at the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance in Stockholm. In April 2012 she was appointed by the Chief Justice of the United States to serve a three year term as Supreme Court Fellows Commissioner.

See Prof. Warren discuss the importance of field work and international internships in the teaching of comparative legal studies and post-conflict peacebuilding

Deputy Director:            Mary E. Rude

Mary with Ukrainian students

Mary in Melitopol, Ukraine

Mary with her students serving in the Peace Corps in Ukraine

Mary E. Rude is a graduate of Harvard College, the European University at St. Petersburg in Russia, and William & Mary School of Law.  She served in the Peace Corps (Ukraine, 2005-2007), working as a teacher in a small community college, and has spent substantial time living and working in various regions of the former Communist Bloc, including Poland, Russia, and Azerbaijan.  She specializes in Slavic history and law, but has also worked with human right projects in Asia and Africa, including a post-graduate fellowship with the Center for Transitional Justice in Cape Town, South Africa.

Mary provides research and web support for the Center, as well as assistance for law students seeking summer internships abroad.  Mary is also deeply committed to caring for our nation's veterans, especially those who are homeless, and she currently works as an attorney for the Board of Veterans' Appeals in Washington, DC.

Special Advisor:                          Atif Choudhury

Atif Choudhury

Atif Choudhury was born in Sylhet, Bangladesh and grew up in Columbia, South Carolina.  He earned BAs in Political Science and Public Health at Vanderbilt University and served as a teacher with City Year Washington, DC (an education-oriented AmeriCorps program) for a year before attending W&M Law School.  As a 1L, he interned for East West Management Institute’s Open Development Cambodia program in Phnom Penh.  As a 2L and 3L he served as a student legal researcher for directed research partnerships between the Center for Comparative Legal Studies and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding, the Center for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation in Cape Town, and the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance at the Hague.  Atif helped found Comparative Legal Studies Scholars (CLSS), the student division of the Center for Comparative Legal Studies and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding.  

Atif is currently serving as a 2015 Postgraduate Fellow with TetraTech DPK's Ba Distrito program in East Timor, where he is providing legal support and technical assistance for a range of rule of law initiatives including increasing the capacity of district-level governance institutions.