Our Team

Padideh Ala'i

Padideh Ala'i

Director, International and Comparative Legal Studies
Faculty Director, International Legal Studies Program (ILSP)
Director, Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program
Director, Trade, Investment and Development Program

Padideh Ala’i is a Professor of Law at American University Washington College of Law (WCL). She specializes in international economic law, law of the World Trade Organization (WTO), and comparative legal traditions. She teaches international trade law and comparative law. Professor Alai’s scholarship has concentrated on the history of free trade, transparency obligations of the WTO and their implications on internal domestic transparency, universalizing the administrative state through the multilateral trading system, as well as good governance and evolution of international anti-corruption norms.

In August 2017, Professor Ala’i was appointed Director of International and Comparative Legal Studies and Faculty Director of the International Legal Studies Program (ILSP). In her new role, she promotes, represents, and coordinates the law school’s renowned international programs that have been consistently ranked among some of the most prestigious programs in the United States. Professor Ala’i is also the Director of the Humbert Humphrey Fellowship Program at WCL, a Fulbright program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. The Program brings accomplished mid-career professionals from developing countries to the U.S for 10 months of non-degree study and professional development in the general field of law and human rights. In addition, since 2014, she has led the interdisciplinary Trade, Investment and Development Program (TID) that provides resources to students interested in linkage between trade and other disciplines such as intellectual property, environment, investment, labor and human rights.

Professor Ala’i received her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1988.

Melanija Radnovic

Melanija Radnovic

Director, WCL Abroad and International Programs

Melanija Radnovic is the Director of WCL Abroad and International Programs, International Visiting Scholars Program and English for Lawyers Program. Melanija is an adjunct professor and teaches ILSP Externship Class for LLM Students. She previously also taught Visiting Scholars Seminar. For a decade now,  she has represented WCL community in number of domestic and international conferences focused on international education, study abroad, career and professional development, student wellness, cross cultural communication and diversity, and collaborated with the US Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs on initiatives aimed to improve educational programs offered to international mid-career professionals  and professionals with disabilities. Melanija has worked as a municipal court associate judge; as independent attorney practiced in the areas of business, labor, family and property law; and cooperated with the CIEL and several other NGOs in the DC area on a number of legal research projects related to international environmental law issues, and issues of foreign investment and trade in developing countries. Melanija has a JD from University of Novi Sad Law School and an LL.M. from American University Washington College of Law with two specializations in International Business and Environmental Law.

Rachel Gordon

Rachel Gordon

Assistant Director, WCL Abroad

Rachel manages WCL international initiatives for JD students, primarily focusing on international dual degree, semester exchange, and summer abroad programs. She serves as the on-site coordinator in Brussels, Luxembourg, and Strasbourg for the European Law course in WCL’s multi-city European summer program. In addition, she evaluates new and existing partnerships, handling all domestic and international Memoranda of Agreement between WCL and partner institutions. Rachel has developed the Global Legal Skills Initiative to help JD students navigate law school with the goal of practicing law in a global and/or international setting.

In her role as a member of the Office of Global Opportunities (renamed WCL Abroad in 2017) since 2012, Rachel previously managed the International Visiting Scholars and Washington Seminar Programs for international visitors. Along with her administrative duties, Rachel teaches legal research and writing to non-common law trained LL.M. students. She serves on the Board of Governors of the Washington Foreign Law Society where she was the Co-Chair of Programs during the 2016-17 term. In 2017, Rachel was selected as one of fifteen American higher education professionals to participate in the Fulbright International Education Administrators Seminar in Germany. Rachel has a JD from American University Washington College of Law and a BS from Cornell University. She is currently enrolled in American University’s graduate TESOL certificate program and is a member of the State Bar of Maryland.

Tra Pham

Tra Pham

Assistant Director, ILSP and International Academic Programs

Tra Pham is Assistant Director of ILSP and International Academic Programs. In this role, she works closely with the Office of Graduate Studies in matters related to ILSP admission and scholarships, and with the international law faculty in curricular matters. In addition, she is responsible for administering WCL’s Trade, Investment and Development program (TID). TID focuses on promoting study and career development in the area of international trade and investment through curricular improvement, organizing high-profile conferences and workshops for students to learn and network, and connecting students with internships, externships, and job opportunities.

Before joining ILSP, Tra Pham worked as a lawyer in intellectual property rights, and as a researcher in international investment law and arbitration. She holds a Bachelor of Law degree from Hanoi Law University, Vietnam, an LL.M. degree from American University Washington College of Law, and a Ph.D. degree from KU Leuven, Belgium. She is admitted to practice law in the State of New York.

Bjorn Arp

bjorn arp

Assistant Director, International Program Curriculum Development
(202) 274-4346, arp@wcl.american.edu

Dr. Björn Arp is Assistant Director for International Program Curriculum Development. In this role, he helps developing new academic programs in various fields of international law. He also supports the Anti-Corruption Law Program, the Program in International Communications Regulation and Policy, and the Spanish for Lawyers Program.

Dr. Arp is also a Fellow and Adjunct Faculty at AUWCL's Center for International Commercial Arbitration. He is a renowned expert in international law, with particular expertise in Latin America. He is part of the List of Experts of the Independent Consultation and Investigation Mechanism of the Inter-American Development Bank, and of the FINRA (Financial Institutions National Regulatory Agency) list of arbitrators in the United States. Dr. Arp is an attorney admitted in the State of New York, and he is also admitted before the United States Court for International Trade.

Björn Arp has a Law Degree from the University of Alicante in Spain, a Doctorate in International Law from the University of Alcalá in Madrid, and a LL.M. in International Legal Studies from AUWCL. He is a member of the American Society of International Law and the Inter-American Federation of Lawyers.

Paola Bedos

Paola Bedós

International Programs Coordinator
(202) 274-4317, bedos@wcl.american.edu

Paola Bedós is an International Programs Coordinator at American University Washington College of Law. In this capacity, she provides support to multiple WCL programs: International Visiting Scholars Program, the US –Brazil Program, Anti- Corruption Law, Hospitality and Tourism Law and the Program on International Communication, Regulation & Policy. She serves as the J-1 Visa Coordinator for all WCL programs that bring people to the law school on J-visas and coordinate short-term visits of foreign officials and students. Since she joined the WCL community in 2015, Paola has helped organize a number of successful events, while working part time with the Office of Grants and Programs, Humphrey Fellowship Programs, Trail Advocacy and the US – Brazil Program. Paola graduated from the University of Maryland School of Communication with honors. She was born in Lima, Perú, and is fluent in Spanish.

nicole powers

Nicole Powers

International and Comparative Legal Studies Coordinator
(202) 274-4112, npowers@wcl.american.edu

Nicole Powers is the International and Comparative Legal Studies Coordinator at American University Washington College of Law. She serves as a general resource for all LL.M. Program students, provides support to the daily functions of the International Suite, and coordinates both the English for Lawyers Summer Program and the Spanish for Lawyers Program. Nicole received her BA in French and Creative Writing from Susquehanna University and will graduate with her MA in International Training and Education from American University in December 2018.