Marianne D. Short and Ray Skowyra Sesquicentennial Assistant Professor
Steven Arrigg Koh, the inaugural recipient of the Marianne D. Short and Ray Skowyra Sesquicentennial Assistant Professorship, teaches and writes in the areas of criminal law and procedure, international law, and legal theory. His scholarship—which explores the foreign relations, comparative, and racial implications of U.S. domestic, transnational, and international prosecutions—has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as New York University Law Review, Duke Law Journal Online, Cornell Law Review, Minnesota Law Review, and Fordham Law Review. He is also a contributor to Just Security law blog. He joins the Boston College Law faculty after completing a fellowship at Columbia Law School.
Professor Koh’s scholarship is informed by a unique combination of high-level legal practice at both U.S. federal criminal and international criminal legal institutions. As a Trial Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in Washington, D.C., he advised U.S. federal and state prosecutors on international, criminal, and constitutional legal issues arising in U.S. criminal cases with transnational dimensions. At DOJ, he also served as Counsel to the Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Counselor for International Affairs, the top international law adviser to Attorney General Loretta Lynch. During this time, Koh also taught International and Transnational Criminal Law as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center.
His international legal experience spans multiple continents, highlighted by positions in two prominent international criminal courts in The Hague, Netherlands. First, as a Visiting Professional at the International Criminal Court (ICC), he advised the Legal Adviser to the ICC Presidency on matters including the enforcement of sentence agreements with States party to the Rome Statute of the ICC. Second, as an Associate Legal Officer at the U.N. International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, he served in Chambers on the Prosecutor v. Radovan Karadžić trial, one of the capstone cases in the Tribunal’s history regarding charges of war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity. Additional international experiences include service as Visiting Scholar at Seoul National University, South Korea; study at the Cornell Summer Institute in International & Comparative Law at Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne in Paris, France; representation of the Robert F. Kennedy Center of Human Rights before the OAS Inter-American Commission on Human Rights; and human rights research on a mission to Colombia co-sponsored by Senator Edward M. Kennedy. He has also been Senior Fellow and Interim-Attorney Editor at the American Society of International Law in Washington, D.C. and a law clerk for the Honorable Carolyn Dineen King of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Professor Koh earned his J.D. from Cornell Law School, where he served as Senior Article Editor of the Cornell Law Review. In 2019, Cornell awarded him the Law School Alumni Exemplary Public Service Award for “commitment to the highest standards of public service.” He earned an A.B. degree cum laude from Harvard College and an M.Phil degree in Social and Developmental Psychology from the University of Cambridge, England. He speaks conversational Spanish; has studied French, Arabic, and Korean; and is currently a member of the bar in New York, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C.