PUBLISHED:May 09, 2022

Duke Law’s Salzburg Cutler Fellows explore public service on global stage


At 10th annual program, students from 13 top law schools discussed how international law and legal systems can tackle challenges ranging from human rights to climate change and global economic issues.

Duke Cutler Fellows Clockwise from top left: Olivia Daniels, Claire Holtzman, Jane Tien, Diana Kenealy

Four students from Duke Law School were selected to join their peers from 12 other law schools across the United States to explore the future of public and private international law at the tenth annual Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program.

The online program, spread across two weeks in February and March, saw top law students engage with prominent legal professionals, public servants, and leaders in the fields of international law and public service. All four Duke students were participants in the Law School’s JD/LLM in International and Comparative Law dual-degree program.

Olivia Daniels ’22, Clare Holtzman ’22, Diana Kenealy ’23, and Jane Tien ’22 represented Duke as Cutler Fellows. They were joined by faculty representatives Professor Shitong Qiao, Associate Dean for International Studies Oleg Kobelev, and Balfour Smith, program coordinator for the Center for International and Comparative Law.

Speakers this year included John B. Bellinger III, former legal adviser to the U.S. Department of State and National Security Council; Pavel Baev, research professor at Peace Research Institute Oslo and senior non-resident fellow at Brookings Institution; and Svitlana Starosvit, former staffer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and Ministry of Justice of Ukraine.

The 13 law schools taking part in the program this year were Berkeley, Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Harvard, Michigan, New York University, Northwestern, Penn, Stanford, Virginia and Yale.

The Cutler Fellows Program is always looking to respond to current world events, but this year’s opening event happened at a particularly crucial time in history, as the most “notable use of force that we have ever seen on the European continent since World War II” happened simultaneously. The opening keynote session looked to cover the future of international law after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the future of the Western order, and the future of Ukraine.

In addition, fellows received individual critique on their student papers from faculty of the participating law schools, as well as further advice on how to seek publication in journals. This year’s papers covered diverse topics, ranging from cyberwarfare and space weapons, Black Lives Matter, gender-based violence, and climate justice, amongst many others.

In the program’s Knowledge Café, students discussed personal ambitions and potential career routes in international law with mentors from Covington & Burling LLP, the International Monetary Fund, and New Markets Lab.

“The Cutler Fellows Program was an invaluable opportunity to receive thoughtful, focused feedback on my work-in-progress,” said Daniels. “I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know those in my workshop group on a personal and professional level, and I appreciated the time and care they all put into reviewing and discussing my work. I am grateful to have received the opportunity to receive and share feedback in such a supportive, intellectually stimulating setting, and I know I have built connections that will carry beyond the program’s end.”

Added Tien: “It was an invaluable experience learning from renowned experts in international law and fellow students. The feedback I received on my paper positively influenced my approach to writing and research.”

At the end of this year’s program, Salzburg Global Seminar President Stephen L. Salyer spoke about what it means to be a Salzburg Global Fellow and the value it can bring to their lives. “I hope as you move forward in your careers that you will find those in this network to be valuable mentors and counterparts in helping you to shape a more just and sustainable world.”

Throughout the year, Salzburg Global Seminar also convenes current and rising leaders on topics such as education and work; human and planetary health; arts, culture and the creative economy; and finance and corporate governance. As Cutler Fellows, students are part of the wider Salzburg Global Fellowship and can connect with Fellows from around the world, giving them access to a rich and varied network.