Catherine Amirfar, Co-Chair of the International Public Law Group and member of the Management Committee at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, has been elected President-Elect of the American Society of International Law (ASIL). Since its founding in 1906, ASIL’s mission is to foster the study of international law and to promote the establishment and maintenance of international relations on the basis of law and justice. The Society’s nearly 4,000 members from more than 100 countries comprise attorneys, academics, corporate counsel, judges, representatives of governments and nongovernmental organizations, international civil servants, students and others interested in international law. Ms. Amirfar will take office as President in 2020.
Ms. Amirfar’s practice focuses on public international law, international commercial and treaty arbitration and international and complex commercial litigation. She regularly appears in U.S. Courts and before international courts and arbitration tribunals. Ms. Amirfar is ranked among the top international legal practitioners in the world by Chambers Global (2019) for both public international law and international arbitration. She advocates before the International Court of Justice, appearing in 2008 in the Avena case (Mexico v United States of America), and most recently on behalf of the State of Qatar in its successful bid to obtain provisional measures related to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (Qatar v. United Arab Emirates). Prior to rejoining Debevoise in 2016, Ms. Amirfar spent two years as the Counselor on International Law to the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State and received the State Department’s Superior Honor Award in recognition of her contributions to the department.
Commenting on her election, Ms. Amirfar said, “It is an honor to have been elected President-Elect of ASIL. Since its beginnings over a century ago, ASIL has had an enormous impact on the world of international law. I have seen how much it can accomplish by bringing together the experience and expertise of the global legal profession to address the most pressing challenges confronting the global order and adherence to the rule of law today. I’m grateful to my colleagues for having entrusted me with this position.”
Ms. Amirfar has served as an ASIL Vice President and currently co-hosts a podcast for ASIL called “International News Behind the Headlines.” She is a member of the American Law Institute, the Council on Foreign Relations, the State Department’s Advisory Council on International Law, and the Court of Arbitration of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre. She also was recently appointed to the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (“ICCA”) Governing Board. Debevoise partner Donald Francis Donovan previously served as President of ASIL, from 2012 to 2014.
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