Faculty Director

Jerome A. Cohen, a professor at NYU School of Law since 1990 and Faculty Director of its U.S.-Asia Law Institute, is a leading American expert on Chinese law and government. A pioneer in the field, Prof. Cohen began studying and teaching about China’s legal system in the early 1960s and from 1964 to 1979 introduced the teaching of Asian law into the curriculum of Harvard Law School, where he served as Jeremiah Smith Professor, Associate Dean and Director of East Asian Legal Studies. In addition to his responsibilities at NYU, Prof. Cohen served for several years as C.V. Starr Senior Fellow and Director of Asia Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, where he currently is an Adjunct Senior Fellow.  In addition, he has published hundreds of scholarly articles on various topics as well as a book, China Today, co-authored with his wife, Joan Lebold Cohen, and a regular series of journalistic opinion pieces for various newspapers. Today, Prof. Cohen continues his research and writing on Asian law, specifically focusing on legal institutions, criminal justice reform, dispute resolution, human rights and the role of international law relating to China and Taiwan. View his complete bibliography here.


Executive Director

Katherine Wilhelm, executive director of the U.S.-Asia Law Institute, is an expert on China’s legal system, public interest law organizations and civil society. She joined USALI in August 2019 after returning from nearly three decades of residence in Asia, where she split her career between law and journalism. Most recently she was the legal program officer at the Ford Foundation’s China office, where she funded Chinese legal advocacy NGOs and university-based legal research and education programs. Before that, she directed the Beijing office of Yale Law School’s China Law Center, which implements law reform projects in partnership with government, academia and civil society. Areas of focus included juvenile justice, criminal procedure, women’s rights, media law, and government information disclosure. Ms. Wilhelm also practiced corporate law in the Beijing office of a leading U.S. law firm. Before beginning her career in law, she was a journalist. She reported for The Associated Press from Beijing, Hong Kong, and Hanoi, and for the Far Eastern Economic Review from Hong Kong and Shanghai. Her work has been published in leading newspapers around the world. She won a John S. Knight Fellowship in communications in 1996 and spent a year in residency at Stanford University. She holds a J.D. from Columbia Law School, a master’s degree in East Asian studies from Harvard University, a master’s in journalism from Columbia University, and a bachelor’s degree in history from Niagara University.



Program Coordinator

Alexis received her Bachelors Degree in East Asian Studies and Japanese from UC Santa Barbara in 2008, and in 2013 graduated from Harvard University's Regional Studies of East Asia Program. She has worked and studied in Japan prolifically, living in rural Shimane and Yamanashi Prefectures, Tokyo and Nagoya. She comes to USALI via the Asia Society where she worked in the Executive Office. Her research interests include food culture, history, trade, agriculture and society. Her graduate work and continuing studies focus on the Japanese school lunch system.

At USALI, Alexis oversees the Visiting Scholar Program, website, NYU-relations, and assists with grants work.


Senior Research Scholar

Ira Belkin is a Senior Research Scholar with the U.S.-Asia Law Institute and Adjunct Professor at NYU. Prior to joining the Institute in September 2012, Belkin served as a program officer at the Ford Foundation in Beijing, where he worked on law and rights issues. His grant-making supported Chinese institutions working to build the Chinese legal system, to strengthen the rule of law and to enhance the protection of citizens’ rights, especially the rights of vulnerable groups. Prior to joining the foundation in 2007, Belkin combined a career as an American lawyer and federal prosecutor with a deep interest in China, and spent seven years working to promote the rule of law in China. His appointments included two tours at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and a year as a fellow at the Yale Law School China Law Center. After graduating from NYU Law, Belkin spent 16 years as a federal prosecutor including time in Providence, R.I., where he was chief of the criminal division, and in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he was deputy chief of the general crimes unit. Before attending law school, Belkin taught Chinese language at Middlebury College. He has lectured extensively in Chinese to Chinese audiences on the U.S. criminal justice system and to American audiences on the Chinese legal reform movement. In addition to his J.D. from New York University School of Law, Belkin has a master’s degree in Chinese studies from Seton Hall University and a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Albany.


Program Manager & Research Scholar

Elias Blood-Patterson received his J.D. from New York University School of Law in 2014. As a student, he performed research on international maritime disputes and sovereignty in the Antarctic Ocean and South China Sea. On graduation, he worked as the Robert L. Bernstein Fellow for International Human Rights at the New York-based NGO, Human Rights in China. Elias joined the U.S.-Asia Law Institute as a research fellow in 2015, where he has worked on issues of criminal procedure and legal ethics; since 2016 he has also served as program manager for the institute. His current research interests include Chinese criminal procedure, the use of technology to assist judicial decision-making, and international law as a tool for interstate dispute resolution.

At USALI, Eli oversees management of the program, including finances and grant-related activities.

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Research Scholar

Allen Clayton-Greene received his LL.M degree from New York University School of Law in 2014, and his combined B.A./LL.B (Hons) degree from The University of Melbourne in 2007.  After graduation from the University of Melbourne, Allen worked as a litigation attorney with Australian law firm, Allens Arthur Robinson.  In 2012, Allen was awarded an Australian Government Endeavor Executive Award fellowship, through which he undertook field work in China with Walmart, and research with Beijing-based consulting firm China Policy.  Upon graduation from NYU School of Law, Allen was a visiting scholar with the US-Asia Law Institute and as China Law Officer with Human Rights in China.  Allen is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and his research interests include Chinese criminal law and procedure, digital and cyber-security, Constitutional law and international human rights law.

At USALI, Allen conducts legal research and implements our international programs. Additionally, he oversees our Summer Internship and Student Scholars Program.


Research Scholar

Amy is a recent LL.M. (15') graduate from Columbia Law School. In 2014, she received her Ph.D. degree in Law from Peking University Law School, from which she also received her LL.B degree. During the 2012-2013 academic year, she spent a year as a visiting scholar with U.S.-Asia Law Institute where she focused mainly on comparative law studies and judicial reforms. In August 2015, after obtaining her LL.M. degree from Columbia, she joined U.S.-Asia Law Institute as a Research Scholar. Her research interests include criminal law, criminal justice, evidence, constitutional protection of procedural rights, law development and its implementation. She is currently working on various institution projects, related to labor law, and criminal justice issues.

At USALI, Amy conducts legal research, organizes our annual Wrongful Convictions Program, and implements project work.


Program Assistant & Faculty Assistant

Kelsey Haskins began research at the U.S.-Asia Law Institute in 2017. She received her Master of Arts degree in International Development from Nagoya University and continued her doctoral work on Turkey’s Kurdish minority policy. She studied and worked in Japan for fourteen years. From 2009 to 2013, she was a member of the inaugural faculty that launched the Global Gateway Program at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, which was created to promote study abroad and international exchange. Kelsey is fluent in Japanese and has served as a translator for the Japanese Ministry of Education, Aichi Prefectural Police, the Center for Asian Legal Exchange, and international law firms based in New York. Her current research focuses on gender and discrimination in contemporary Japan. 

At USALI, Kelsey supports administrative and institutional activities of Faculty and Executive Directors.


Senior Fellow

Myung-Soo Lee was born in Seoul, Korea and holds a Master’s Degree (LL.M.) and Doctoral Degree (S.JD) from Harvard Law School in public international law and conflict resolution. Her current research interests include legal issues concerning North Korea’s economic development and engagement with the international community, public international law issues related to the establishment of rule of law and the advancement of human rights, and comparative legal analysis involving East Asian countries. Ms. Lee has held many prestigious positions over the course of her career. She was a McArthur Scholar and Research Fellow at the Program on Non-Violent Sanctions at the Center for International Affairs at Harvard University and collaborated with the Harvard Negotiation Project/Conflict Management Group. Ms. Lee received her Bachelor’s Degree in Law and Master’s Degree in International Law from Korea University.

At USALI, Myung-Soo fosters connection and collaboration through human rights research and Korean research.


Research Scholar

Chao Liu received her LL.M. degree from NYU School of Law in 2010. Prior to joining the Institute as a Research Scholar in 2011, she worked for one year as a legal intern in the Enforcement Division of the Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington, DC. Ms. Liu assisted in investigations involving mortgage-backed securities, collateralized debt obligations, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, and accounting fraud. Ms. Liu has four years of working experience in China. Previously, she worked for two years as a legal assistant in a prominent Shanghai law firm specializing in cross-border mergers and acquisitions. Prior to joining the law firm, she was a business consultant at the Council of Great Lakes Governor's Office in Shanghai. Ms. Liu received her LL.B degree from Shanghai University School of Law, graduating in the top 1% of her class. Her writing has appeared in Law360.

At USALI, Chao supports our activities and workshop implementation overseas.


Research Scholar

Trang ("Mae") Nguyen is the John N. Hazard Fellow in Comparative and International Law at New York University School of Law, U.S.-Asia Law Institute. She is also a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Law and Society, U.C. Berkeley School of Law (2018-2019). Her research interests are at the intersection of law, business, human rights, and jurisprudence, with a focus on empirical methods. Mae's work explores the recursive processes through which subjects of regulation such as businesses co-construct the meaning of social responsibility norms. A secondary interest is comparative legal institutions and the consequences of their structural differences for law and society. Mae's work has been published in the Harvard Human Rights Journal, the New York University Law Review and by the U.S. Agency for International Development. Mae earned a J.D. degree from New York University School of Law, where she was awarded full scholarship as a Jacobson Law & Business Fellow. She also served as an executive editor of the New York University Law Review.

At USALI, Mae is strengthening our connection and research with Vietnam, law, and tech.


Research Scholar

Chi Yin joined the Institute in 2013, and is currently focusing on China's recently revised Criminal Procedure Law. Ms. Yin previously served as a judge in the Intermediate Court of the greater Chengdu Municipality. The cases she tried included both appellate and first-instance criminal trials of white-collar, drug trafficking and violent crimes. Other work in the court included managing projects related to internal court reform, and editing an internal law review. She left the court in 2008 and moved to the U.S., where she pursued public interest law, volunteering with Colorado Legal Services and then interning with China Labor Watch. She received an LL.M. from NYU in 2013. She received her LL.B and Master’s of Law from Sichuan University, and has been a member of the Chinese bar since 2004.

At USALI, Chi implements legal research and project activities, as well as conducting a variety of legal translation for our project work.


Affiliated Scholars


Resident Affiliated Scholar

Bruce Aronson has been a tenured professor of law at universities in the United States and Japan, and has also served as a corporate partner at a major New York law firm. Professor Aronson is currently a Research Associate, Japan Research Centre, SOAS, University of London (non-resident). He also serves as an outside director at a listed Japanese pharmaceutical company. His main area of research is comparative corporate governance with a focus on Japan, and he is currently working on a new book tentatively titled Corporate Governance in Japan: A Comparative Approach.His current research project is a new book tentatively titled Corporate Governance in Japan: A Comparative Approach.


Non-Resident Affiliated Scholar

Yu-Jie Chen is a Post-Doctoral Scholar at the Institutum Iurisprudentiae of Academia Sinica and an Affiliated Scholar at the U.S.-Asia Law Institute of NYU School of Law. She received her J.S.D. and L.L.M. degrees from NYU School of Law. She also holds an LL.M. and LL.B. from National Chengchi University in Taiwan. Yu-Jie has had extensive experience as a research scholar at the U.S.-Asia Law Institute. Prior to that, she served as a researcher and advocate for the non-governmental organization Human Rights in China. She earlier practiced in the Taipei-based international law firm Lee and Li.


Non-Resident Affiliated Scholar

Alvin Y.H. Cheung's research interests include the implementation of "One Country, Two Systems" in Hong Kong and Macau, China's approach to international law, and the relationship between trade policy and intellectual property.  Alvin holds degrees from NYU (LL.M. in International Legal Studies, 2014) and Cambridge (M.A. 2011), and has worked in Hong Kong as a barrister and as a lecturer in Law; Public Affairs at Hong Kong Baptist University. Alvin has written and presented extensively about Hong Kong for both academic and lay audiences. In addition to being a contributor at ICONnect, his writing on Hong Kong has appeared in publications such as ChinaFile, the South China Morning Post, The Diplomat, Opinio Juris, World Policy Journal, and China Rights Forum. He has also been quoted by Al-Jazeera, DPA, and the Associated.


Senior Fellow

Peter Dutton is a Professor of Strategic Studies and Director of the China Maritime Studies Institute at the U.S. Naval War College. Professor Dutton's current research focuses on American and Chinese views of sovereignty and international law of the sea and the strategic implications and regional dynamics resulting from Chinese perspectives on international law and Chinese policy choices concerning regional disputes.  His active research studies include the details and dynamics of the maritime disputes in the South China Sea and the East China Sea and their regional and global implications for security.  He is a retired Navy Judge Advocate and holds a Juris Doctor from the College of William and Mary, a Master's of Arts (with distinction) from Naval War College, and a Bachelor's of Science (cum laude) from Boston University.


Non-Resident Affiliated Scholar

Dr. Andy Griffiths is an internationally recognized expert on the subject of investigative interviewing and interrogation, drawing on a combination of real-life experience, academic publications and international consultation work. He was also influential in the development of investigative interviewing training for police officers across the country, after the implementation of the PEACE model. He was awarded his Ph.D. for research evaluating the value of specialist interview training in real life major crime cases. Both before and since completing his police service he has lectured, trained and consulted in numerous countries working on miscarriages of justice, criminal justice development programs and with individual law enforcement agencies.


Non-Resident Affiliated Scholar

Dan Guttman is a teacher, lawyer, and former public servant.  He was Executive Director of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Human Radiation Experiments, Commissioner of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, special counsel to Senate investigations of government management, and UNDP China and EU China foreign expert on environmental law. He has represented cities, states, citizens, and workers in energy, environment, civil rights, antitrust and whistle-blower litigation, and is of counsel to Guttman, Buschner and Brooks.


Non-Resident Affiliated Scholar

Aaron Halegua is a practicing lawyer and consultant. He is also a researcher fellow at NYU Law School’s Center for Labor and Employment Law. His interests include labor and employment law, dispute resolution, legal aid and access to justice, labor trafficking, labor issues involving “One Belt, One Road” investments, and corporate social responsibility and supply chains in the United States, China, and internationally. He is also the author of the report Who Will Represent China's Workers? Lawyers, Legal Aid, and the Enforcement of Labor Rights (2016). Aaron has consulted on labor issues in China, Myanmar, Malaysia, and elsewhere for Apple, the Ford Foundation, International Labor Organization, International Labor Rights Forum, Asia Foundation, and American Bar Association. He has been quoted in the New York TimesWall Street Journal, and Economist as well as been invited to speak in the United States, Europe, and Asia. He holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and an A.B. in International Relations from Brown University. 


Senior Fellow

Mr. Ren Ito is a diplomat, scholar, and social entrepreneur. He joined the Japanese Foreign Service in 2001, and has held key positions in Tokyo and Washington D.C. for 15 years. Ren’s current research focuses on the strategic implications of the maritime disputes in the South China Sea and the East China Sea, and how Japan, the US and China view sovereignty and international law of the sea.  Ren received his LL.M. from NYU School of Law, and his LL.B. from the University of Tokyo.  Ren also holds an M.A. in East Asian Studies from Stanford University.


Non-Resident Affiliated Scholar

Margaret Lewis is a Professor of Law at Seton Hall University. Her research focuses on law in mainland China and Taiwan with an emphasis on criminal justice. Professor Lewis has been a Fulbright Senior Scholar at National Taiwan University, a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Public Intellectuals Program Fellow with the National Committee on United States-China Relations, and a delegate to the US-Japan Foundation's US-Japan Leadership Program.


Non-Resident Affiliated Scholar

Sida Liu is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Law at the University of Toronto and a Faculty Fellow at the American Bar Foundation. He received his LL.B. degree from Peking University Law School and his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago. Professor Liu has conducted extensive empirical research on China’s legal reform and legal profession and published many articles in leading law and social science journals. He is the author of three books in Chinese and English: The Lost Polis: Transformation of the Legal Profession in Contemporary China (Peking University Press, 2008), The Logic of Fragmentation: An Ecological Analysis of the Chinese Legal Services Market (Shanghai Joint Publishing Co., 2011; revised edition, Yilin Press, 2017), and Criminal Defense in China: The Politics of Lawyers at Work (with Terence C. Halliday, Cambridge University Press, 2016).


Non-Resident Affiliated Scholar

Dr. Xiaonan Liu is a professor and the Director of the Constitutionalism Research Institute at China University of Political Science and Law. Through this position, Xiaonan has coordinated and conducted research on comparative projects of equality and nondiscrimination with the International Labor Organization, the Ford Foundation, Yale Law School’s China Law Center, and other foreign universities. She has lead a number of team research projects focused on gender equality and the condition of legal education in China. Xiaonan teaches anti-discrimination law, gender and law, and jurisprudence. Xiaonan holds an LL.M. from Yale Law School, as well as an LL.B., LL.M., and Ph.D. from Jilin University School of Law.


Adjunct Professor at NYU Law

Professor Takashi Maruta, Professor Emeritus at Kwansei Gakuin University Law School, obtained his LL.M. Degree from the University of Michigan Law School by the Fulbright graduate student grant as well as Ph.D. from Kwansei Gakuin University and has been visiting scholar at Harvard Law School and Columbia Law School.  He has taught Japanese Law at Michigan Law School, the University of Hawaii School of Law and Sussex University Law Centre of Sussex, England.  He is known as a leading scholar of the jury systems and an advocate and pathfinder in institutionalizing civil participation in Japanese criminal procedure, Saiban-in Seido fourteen years ago. He is also a Bengoshi (attorney) practicing both criminal trials and civil disputes in Kobe, Japan.  His research interests include comparative legal system, civil and criminal jury system, and legal theory. He has struggled to discover what legal system can promote and realize a fair and democratic society and achieve fundamental human rights. He has published several books on the jury system and numerous amount of articles in Japanese and his most recent English book is: Japan and Civil Jury Trials: The Convergence of Forces (with Matthew Wilson and Hiroshi Fukurai; Edward Elgar Publishing, 2015).


Non-Resident Affiliated Scholar

Carl Minzner is a Professor of Law at Fordham Law School. His research focuses on Chinese law and governance, particularly judicial reform, social unrest, and state-society relations. He previously served as an Associate Professor of Law at Washington University in St. Louis and Senior Counsel for the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.  He is currently completing a book manuscript on the direction of legal and political reform in China.


Non-Resident Affiliated Scholar

Eva Pils  is Reader in Transnational Law at The Dickson Poon School of Law at King’s College London, where she teaches human rights, public law, and law and society in China. She studied law, philosophy and sinology in Heidelberg, London and Beijing and holds a PhD in law from University College London. Her scholarship focuses on human rights, authoritarianism, and law in China. She has written on these topics in both academic publications and the popular press, and is author of China's human rights lawyers: advocacy and resistance (Routledge, 2014) and of Human Rights in China: a social practice in the shadows of authoritarianism  (Polity, forthcoming, 2017). For a complete listing of recent publications see here.


Non-Resident Affiliated Scholar

Yue (Angela) Zhuo is an Associate Professor of Criminology and Sociology at St. John’s University.  She received her LL.B. as well as B.A. in English from Tianjin University, M.A. in economics from Nankai University, and Ph.D. in sociology (with concentrations in criminology and demography) from SUNY-Albany.  Professor Zhuo’s scholarship focuses on crime and law, substance abuse and mental health, and intergenerational family dynamics in both Chinese and American societies.  She has published extensively in prestigious journals such as the British Journal of Criminology; American Journal of Community Psychology; Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, Crime, Law & Social Change; Asian Journal of Criminology; Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Research on Aging and others.  Professor Zhuo is an elected board member of the Association of Chinese Criminology and Criminal Justice.