2012-2013 Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows Arrive at American University Washington College of Law

Twelve legal scholars and professionals from around the world arrived in Washington, D.C. in August to participate in the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program coordinated by the International Legal Studies Program at American University Washington College of Law.

The program, sponsored by the State Department, provides these international fellows with non-degree academic study and professional experiences in the United States. Participants are selected based on their potential for leadership and commitment to public service.

“We are so excited to welcome another group of Humphrey Fellows—esteemed legal professionals—from around the world,” said Melanija Radnovic, international programs coordinator at the law school. “Throughout the year, the Humphrey Fellows tremendously contribute to the community, both academically and professionally, in various ways. There is a busy time ahead for the fellows, but they are all looking forward to starting this exciting year.”

Pictured L to R: Back Row - Liping Chen, Simone Lemos-Fernandes, Ahmed El-Sayed, Alejandro Pastori, Jean Pierre Aristote Nziragutinya, Burak Turan Benli, Daniel Enos (program staff assistant); Front Row - El Hadji Dialigué Ba, Marcelo de França Moreira, Ahmad Ishaque Jehangir, Eléonore Patinde M. L. Belemlilga, Tashi Gyalpo, Ali Abbas Khayoon, Melanija Radnovic (international programs coordinator);


American University Washington College of Law is one of nearly 20 major U.S. universities hosting the Humphrey Fellows Program.

During the 11 months of the program, the fellows enhance their professional legal expertise, take academic classes, will interact with international organizations, local non-governmental organizations, and law firms.  They also immerse themselves in local culture, meet local residents, and collaborate with the surrounding communities.  

“I want to be one of the first to specialize and teach in that area of the law.”

Participant Dr. El Hadji Dialigué Ba works as a tax inspector within the Department of Legislation of Senegal’s Internal Revenue Service.  He looks forward to using the knowledge he gains from American University Washington College of Law as a Humphrey Fellow to improve tax legislation in Senegal.  

“The tax laws are different between Senegal and the United States, but they are based on the same principles,” he said. “At the law school I will focus on international tax law.  I will also study transfer pricing, because the U.S. is the leader in that field, and it is a very big issue for Senegal.”

Ba is also hoping to study international taxation law for use in the classroom.

“I’ve never taught international tax law, and I want to be one of the first to specialize and teach in that area of the law in Senegal,” he said. 

Furthering a Profession and Mission

Dr. Simone dos Santos Lemos-Fernandes considers her role as a federal judge in Brazil to be both her profession and personal mission.

Lemos-Fernandes has been a judge for 16 years, and although she does not presently deal with criminal cases, she intends to serve in that area of law someday.

According to Lemos-Fernandes, Brazil has seen a rise in crimes committed over the internet, particularly against children.  She says it has become increasingly difficult to gather evidence in such cases because of cloud computing.  Often these crimes involve more than one state or someone abroad, so such cases are brought before Brazil’s federal judges.    

As a Humphrey Fellow, Lemos-Fernandes hopes to broaden her understanding of American and international law, which will aid in the conducting of the cases under her jurisdiction and will allow her to help in solving crimes in which international cooperation is essential.

"This is the right time for me to be here.”

Liping Chen is the division director of management for the Development Division of Information Center of Mineral and Land Resources in China.   

For the past two years as a mineral policy researcher, she has introduced the Chinese government to the mineral policies of other countries.  This knowledge aids the government in decision-making when it comes to working with mining companies who may not be familiar with comparative policies.

“This is the right time for me to be here,” said Chen of the fellowship. “I know American University Washington College of Law is very experienced in international law, so I’m here to study international comparative research, especially in mineral resources litigation or law.  The United States has one of the most complicated mineral resources systems."

Chen also hopes for the opportunity to work with an outside organization so that she may develop a best practices publication for her field. 

Full list of 2012-2013 Humphrey Fellows

  • Ali Abbas Khayoon, Iraq
  • El Hadji Dialigué BA, Senegal
  • Eléonore Patinde M. L. Belemlilga, Burkina Faso
  • Burak Turan Benli, Turkey
  • Liping Chen, China
  • Ahmed Mohamed El-Sayed, Egypt
  • Tashi Gyalpo, Bhutan
  • Ahmad Ishaque Jehangir, Pakistan
  • Simone dos Santos Lemos-Fernandes, Brazil
  • Marcelo de França Moreira, Brazil
  • Jean Pierre Aristote Nziragutinya, Rwanda
  • Alejandro Pastori, Uruguay

Learn more about the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program.