President Barack Obama has announced his intent to nominate Harold Hongju Koh, Honorary Fellow of Magdalen, to be the Legal Adviser of the United States Department of State. As Legal Adviser, Harold Koh will serve as principal counsellor on all legal matters to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The Office of the Legal Adviser furnishes advice on all legal issues, domestic and international, arising in the course of the Department’s work. This includes assisting Department principals and policy officers in formulating and implementing the foreign policies of the United States, and promoting the development of international law and its institutions as a fundamental element of those policies. The Legal Adviser is appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and heads an office at present comprising nearly 200 government attorney-advisers, who have special responsibilities regarding the handling of international legal issues arising in the conduct of U.S. foreign relations, as well as for promoting respect for and the development of international law and institutions as a fundamental element of U.S. foreign policy.
Harold Koh will resign as Dean of Yale Law School and will take a public service leave from his professorship.
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