Executive Director
Lesley A. Benn

Programs Director
Tessa Walker

Program Associate
Christopher Bonnez

Program Assistant
Lara Al-Jaibaji

Board of Directors

Prof. William W. Burke-White
University of Pennsylvania Law School

Executive Director (ex officio)
Lesley A. Benn, Esq.
International Law Students Association

Andrew Holmes, Esq.
District Judge, London, UK


Joseph Brand
Squire, Patton Boggs

Dagmar Butte, Esq.
Parker, Butte & Lane, P.C.

Zach Lampell
The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law

Dr. Lucas Lixinski
University of New South Wales

Mark A. Luz
Senior Counsel, Trade Law Bureau (Canada)

Kirsten Odynski
White & Case

Patrick W. Pearsall
Jenner & Block

Alka Pradhan
Human Rights Counsel, Guantanamo Bay Military Commissions

Jeremy K. Sharpe
Shearman & Sterling LLP

Quang Trinh, Esq.

Dr. Michael Waibel
University of Cambridge Faculty of Law

Adrien K. Wing
University of Iowa College of Law

Sir Michael Wood
20 Essex Street

Student Directors

Scott Mullings
Norman Manley Law School (Jamaica)

Diana Catalina Patarroyo
Universidad de la Sabana (Colombia)

Brittany Shales
University of Calgary (Canada)


The Jessup Competition was the brainchild of Professor Richard R. Baxter at Harvard Law School, who worked with Professor Stephen M. Schwebel (later President of the International Court of Justice) to create a courtroom simulation experience grounded in international law.

Originally named the "International Law Moot," the Jessup Competition held its first round at Harvard University on 8 May 1960. The round, comprised only of Harvard Law students, involved a team of two American law students, Thomas J. Farer and William Zabel, and a team of two foreign LL.M. students, Ivan L. Head of Canada and Bernard H. Clark of New Zealand. The first Jessup problem was titled, "Cuban Agrarian Reform Case." Since then, the Jessup Competition has been held annually, and student participation has increased dramatically.

Shortly after the first Jessup Competition, the idea of creating an organization to serve the needs of students interested in international law arose. In 1962, students from a number of campuses founded the Association of Student International Law Societies. The Association evolved over the years, and in 1987, reconstituted itself as the International Law Students Association (ILSA). In May 1994, ILSA incorporated as a non-profit organization in the District of Columbia in response to its rapid expansion and development.

Past ILSA Leaders

Year Name Title
1970 James Nafziger Fellow
1971 J. Robert Steelman Fellow
1972 Jay A. Burgess Fellow
1973 Carol Per Lee Plumb Fellow
1974 Judith R. Hall Fellow
1975 S. Jacob Scherr Fellow
1976 Katherine Hope Larson Fellow
1977 Kenneth Klein Fellow
1978 Ellen Behravesh Fellow
1979 Simon Langer Fellow
1980 Cynthia S. Huber Fellow
1981 Louis E. Emery Fellow
1982 Richard W. Nelson Fellow
1983-1984 Elizabeth L. Rodgers Fellow
1985-1986 Heidi V. Jimenez Fellow
1987-1989 Jonathan Clark Green Fellow/ Executive Director
1990-1991 Denise M. Hodge Executive Director
1992-1994 Brett J. Lorenzen Executive Director
1995-1996 David Sabin Anderson Executive Director
1997 Kate Greene Executive Director
1998 Yvette S. Roozenbeek Executive Director
1999-2000 M. Elizabeth Atkins Executive Director
2001-2006 Michael Peil Executive Director
2007-2010 Amity R. Boye Executive Director
2011-2012 William Patterson Executive Director