Prof Ashley Deeks
Prof Ashley Deeks
Ashley Deeks is a Professor at the University of Virginia Law School. She joined the Law School in 2012 as an associate professor of law after two years as an academic fellow at Columbia Law School. From 2021-2022 she took leave from the Law School to serve as White House associate counsel, special assistant to the President, and deputy legal adviser to the National Security Council. Her primary research and teaching interests are in the areas of international law, national security, intelligence, and the laws of war. She has written articles on the use of force, executive power, secret treaties, the intersection of national security and international law, new technologies, and the laws of armed conflict. She is a member of the State Department's Advisory Committee on International Law and the American Law Institute, and she serves as a contributing editor to the Lawfare blog. She is a senior fellow at the Lieber Institute for Law and Land Warfare, and a faculty senior fellow at the Miller Center. In 2021, she received ALI’s Early Career Scholar Medal.
Before joining Columbia in 2010, she served as the assistant legal adviser for political-military affairs in the U.S. State Department’s Office of the Legal Adviser, where she worked on issues related to the law of armed conflict, the use of force, conventional weapons, and the legal framework for the conflict with al-Qaida. She also provided advice on intelligence issues. In previous positions at the State Department, Deeks advised on international law enforcement, extradition, and diplomatic property questions. In 2005, she served as the embassy legal adviser at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, during Iraq’s constitutional negotiations. Deeks was a 2007-08 Council on Foreign Relations international affairs fellow and a visiting fellow in residence at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Deeks received her J.D. with honors from the University of Chicago Law School, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif and served as comment editor on the Law Review. After graduation, she clerked for Judge Edward R. Becker of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
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