Padideh Ala'i

Professor of Law

Office: Room 330
Phone: 202-274-4227
E-mail: vCard


Padideh Ala’i is a Professor of Law at American University, Washington College of Law (WCL) in Washington D.C. where she specializes in areas of international trade law and development and comparative legal traditions. Specifically, she teaches the law of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and writes in the areas of history and free trade, international efforts to combat corruption as well as issues relating to trade and good governance. In 2005 and 2009 Professor Alai was the Acting Director of the International Legal Studies Program. She received her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1988 and was in private legal practice with the law firms of Jones Day and Reichler, Milton and Medel prior to joining the Faculty of the WCL in 1997. In private practice Professor Ala’i represented developing country governments, including Guyana, Nicaragua, Uganda, China and the Philippines in their negotiations with foreign investors, US Government and its federal agencies, as well as multilateral institutions such as the World Bank. She also represented multinational corporations in international business transaction and advised them on pending U.S. banking legislation. From 1992-1996, Professor Ala’i was part of the legal team representing the Government of Philippines in international litigation and arbitration against Westinghouse Corp. charging corruption and bribery by Westinghouse of former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos and defective construction of the Bataan nuclear power plant.

In 2003-2005 Professor Ala’i was the Co-Chair of the International Economic Law Group (IELG) of the American Society of International Law (ASIL). In that capacity, she organized a conference on the relationship of freedom of trade and peace. Professor Ala’i subsequently co-edited the book that was based on that conference as part of the ASIL Studies in Transnational Legal Policy entitled: Trade as Guarantor of Peace, Liberty and Security? Critical, Historical and Empirical Perspectives, Padideh Alai, Tomer Broude and Colin Picker eds., 37 Studies in Transnational Legal Policy (ASIL-2006). Her other publications include: “The Legacy of Geographical Morality and Colonialism: A Historical Assessment Current Crusade Against Corruption”, 33 Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 4 (October 2000); “Free Trade or Sustainable Development: An Analysis of the WTO Appellate Body’s Shift to a more Balanced approach to Trade Liberalization”, 14 AU International Law Review 4 (1999); “Judicial Lobbying at the WTO: The Debate over the use of amicus curiae briefs and the U.S. Experience”, 24 Fordham Journal of International Law (Nov-Dec. 2000);“A Human Rights Critique of the WTO: Some Preliminary Observations”, 33 George Washington University International Law Review 3 & 4 (2001); and “Transparency and the Multilateral Trading System, in i>Trends in World Trade: Essays in Honor of Sylvia Ostry, edited by Alan Alexandroff (Carolina Academic Press 2007).



Areas of Specialization

  • Disability Law
  • Comparative Law
  • International Business Law
  • International Commercial Arbitation
  • Space Law

Degrees & Universities

  • J.D., Harvard Law School 1988
  • B.A., University of Oregon, Robert D. Clark Honors College 1985

  • Selected Publications

    • + More Publications...

    • Books

    • Padideh Ala'i, Brennan, Chao, Humes, Medel, Milton, & Rong, Introduction to the U.S. Legal System (Translated to Chinese) (Research Ctr. of the St. Council of the P.R.C. 1996).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Financial Institutions Reform Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989: A Legal Summary and Analysis (Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue 1989).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Transparency and the Post Cold-War Trading System, in Trends in the World Trade: Essays in Honor of Sylvania Ostry (Alexandroff & Bahla, eds., New Carolina Press 2006).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Developing Legal Benchmarks for Monitoring Implementations of Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreements, in Report to Institution Reform and Informal Sector (IRIS) at University of Maryland (Inst. Reform & Informal Sector June 2004).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Controlling Corruption in International Business: The International Legal Framework, in Knowledge for Sustainable Development: An Insight into the Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (UNDP/UNESCO Publication Fall 2002).
    • Other Publications

    • Padideh Ala'i, A Human Rights Critique of the WTO: Some Preliminary Observations, 33 Geo. Wash. Intl. L. Rev. 537 (2001).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Judicial Lobbying at the WTO: The Debate over the Use of Amicus Curiae Briefs and the U.S. Experience, 24 Fordham Intl. L.J. 1 (Nov./Dec. 2000).
    • Padideh Ala'i, The Legacy of Geographical Morality and Colonialism: A Historical Assesment f the Current Crusade Against Corruption, 33 Vand. J. Transnatl. L. 4 (Oct. 2000).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Free Trade or Sustainable Development? An Analysis of the WTO Appellate Body's Shift to a More Balanced Approach to Trade Liberalization, 14 Am. U. Intl. L. Rev. 1129 (1999).
    • Padideh Ala'i Report on the Current Legal Political Structures of West Bank and Gaza ( Dec. 1994) (Unpublished Manuscripts, Submitted to IRIS & USAID).
    • Padideh Ala'i The Paradoxical Nature of the ( 1988) (Unpublished manuscript).
  • + Selected Presentations

    • Padideh Ala'i, Organizer, Moderator, Panelist & Discussant, Exploring the Intersections of Religion and Governance: Past, Present and Future (Sixth Annual Baha’i Conference on Law, American University Washington College of Law, Wash., D.C., Oct. 10-11, 2008).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Debra Steger, Peter Van den Bossche & William Davey, Organizer & Moderator, Global Governance and the WTO: A Conversation about the Past, Present and Future of the Dispute Settlement Mechanism of the WTO (American University Washington College of Law, Wash., D.C., Nov. 2008).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Speech, Trade Liberalization and the Problematic of Corruption in Pursuing Development through Trade (Inaugural Meeting of the Society of International Economic Law (SIEL), Geneva, Switz., July 15-17, 2008).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Speech, WTO as a Supra-National Regulatory Body (Fourth Annual Global Administrative Law Conference (GAL IV), Viterbo, Italy, June 13, 2008).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Speech, Current Trends and Developments in International Trade Law (ABA Young Lawyers Division, Apr. 2008).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Speech, Second Annual International Trade & Investment Law Society Award Dinner (American University Washington College of Law, Wash., D.C., Mar. 10, 2008).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Speech, Regional Trading Alliances: The US Prespective (Second Annual Meeting of the Emerging Dynamic Global Economies Network, Vancouver, Can., Oct. 15, 2007).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Panelist, WTO Reform (Second Annual Meeting of the Emerging Dynamic Global Economies Network, Vancouver, Can., Oct. 15, 2007).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Speech, Interrelationships: International Economic Law and Developing Countries (Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law, International Economic Law Group (IELG), Oct. 4-6, 2006).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Panelist, NAFTA and Reginal Integration Specialization (Washington College of Law Founders Celebration Event, American University Washington College of Law, Wash., D.C., Mar. 2005).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Panelist, Trade as Guarantor of Peace, Liberty and Security? (American Society of International Law-International Economic Law Group, American University Washington College of Law Conference, Wash., D.C., Feb. 26-28, 2005).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Panelist, Moderated Discussion on Dual JD Programs (Meeting of the WCL-Global Consortium Conference, American University Washington College of Law, Wash., D.C., Oct. 2004).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Speech, Islamic Commercial Law & Finance (ABA Middle Eastern Law Division, at Fulbright & Jaworski, July 2004).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Speech, Constitutional Reform in Iran (ABA Middle Eastern Division, at Fulbright & Jaworski, June 2004).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Lecture, Introduction of Sharia'h Law (ABA Middle Eastern Law Division, at Fulbright & Jaworski, May 2004).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Speech, New World Legal Orders Conference (University of Toronto & Osgoode School of Law, Toronto, Can., Apr. 2004).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Speech, WTO Accession of Jordan and Russia (International Legal Studies Program, American University Washington College of Law, Wash., D.C., 2004).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Panelist, Legal and Economic Integration and Globalization of the Middle East (ABA International Law and Section Annual Meeting, May 7-10, 2003).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Panelist, International Law Standards for Domestic Governance (ASIL Annual Meeting, Apr. 4, 2003).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Lecture, Legal Aspects of International Trade Series: Anti-Dumping, Subsidies and Courntervailing Measures (A A Distance Learning Course Sponsored by the World Bank Institute and the WTO, Feb. 26, 2002).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Panelist, An Environmentally Friendly WTO? (Environmental Law Society, American University Washington College of Law, Wash., D.C., Oct. 2001).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Panelist, Diversity and International Law (Canadian Council of International Law Annual Conference, Ottawa, Can., Oct. 18-21, 2001).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Panelist, Role of Civil Society at the WTO, World Bank and the IMF (Annual Meeting of the American Branch of the International Law Association, N.Y.C., N.Y., Oct. 2001).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Panelist, Increasing Disparity between the Rich and Poor: International Law and the Perils of Globilization (Sixth European Bahai Conference on International Law and Order at the Hague, Hague, Neth., Oct. 1, 2001).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Lecture, Selected Issues in U.S. and International Trade (University of Haifa, Faculty of Law, Haifa, Isr., May - June 2001).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Panelist, What are the Responsibilites of Business in a Global Economy? (International Legal Studies Program Reunion, American University Washington College of Law, Wash., D.C., Mar. 2001).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Panelist, Post Colonial Legal Projects: Use of Theory in Legal Reform (WCL Founders Event, American University Washington College of Law, Wash., D.C., Apr. 27, 2001).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Speech, Global Trade Issues In the New Millennium (George Washington University Law Center, Wash., D.C., Sept. 22, 2000).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Lecture, International Trade/WTO-GATT (International Business Law Program, Universidad Javriana, Bogota, Colum., Sept. 2000).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Lecture, Managing Legal and Political Risks in International Business Transactions: International Trade Week (American University Washington College of Law, Wash., D.C., June 21-25, 1999).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Lecture, Extraterritorial Reach of U.S. Laws (Foreign Law Seminar, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP, Oct. 1998).
    • USIA on Corruption in the Judiciary (World Vision Television July 1998) ().
    • Padideh Ala'i, Lecture, Managing Legal and Political Risk in International Business Transactions (International Trade Week, American University Washington College of Law, Wash., D.C., June - July 1998).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Lecture, International Trade/WTO-GATT (International Business Law Program, Universidad Javriana, Bogota, Colum., May 1998).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Panelist, Combating Corruption: Recent Multilateral Initiatives (American University Washington College of Law, Wash., D.C., Apr. 6, 1996).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Lecture, Financial Regulations in the United States (Conference Sponsored by Reichler, Milton & Medel for Chinese Government Officials, Wash., D.C., Winter 1993).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Lecture, Role of Legal System in a Market Economy (Beijing, P.R.C., July 1993).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Speech, International Commercial Transactions, Seminar on International Commercial Transactions (Havard Law School, Cambridge, Mass., Spring 1993).
    • Padideh Ala'i, Lecture, Enforceability of Arbitral Awards (International Law Institute, Wash., D.C., 1991).