Sutton Colloquium

Speaker Bios




International Legal Perspectives on the Future of Development

Saturday November 9, 2013

Jason Aamodt

Jason B. Aamodt is the Assistant Dean for Online Legal Education at the University of Tulsa, where he administers two master degree programs in Energy and Indian Law, and teaches International Environmental Law and Water Law in the JD program. As a practicing attorney he represented tribes concerning energy, natural resources and trust matters. He also served as class counsel in a half-dozen cases, mostly regarding pollution. Mr. Aamodt and Dr. Guruswamy of the University of Colorado Law School are co-editing a book concerning International Development and Energy Poverty. Mr. Aamodt lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma with his lovely wife, Bea, and enjoys fishing with his Newfoundland Dog, Charlie.

Upendra D. Acharya

Upendra D. Acharya is a professor at Gonzaga University School of Law. He teaches public and private international law, political economy of law and development, contracts and administrative law. He has taught in many countries including China, Brazil, France, India, and Nepal. Professor Acharya has presented papers on human rights, humanitarian law, trade law and other areas of international law in North and South America, Middle East, Europe and Asia. He was an attorney in a major human rights case (daughters’ inherent rights) in the Supreme Court of Nepal, in addition to having worked as counsel for a native American tribe.

W. Chadwick Austin

W. Chadwick Austin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Law at the United States Air Force Academy. Courses he has taught include International Law; International Humanitarian Law; and War Crimes, Genocide & Human Rights. He has served as Co-Director for the LOAC Competition for Military Academies at the Sane Remo International Humanitarian Law Institute & is a member of the Jean-Pictet IHL Competition committee. A Lt Col in the USAFR, he deployed to the Law & Order Task Force at FOB Shield, Baghdad, Iraq where he partnered with Iraqis on restoring judicial capacity and the prosecution of suspected terrorists.

K.K. DuVivier

K.K. DuVivier joined the Denver Law faculty in 2000 after teaching at the University of Colorado Law School since 1990. In 2013, she received the Sturm Faculty Excellence Award for best professor. Professor DuVivier has been a member of the American Law Institute since 2006, and she is currently chair-elect of the AALS Section on Natural Resources and Energy Law. She has presented at several national conferences and has over 100 publications in state bar journals and national law reviews. Much of her research and many of her recent speaking engagements have focused on the hurdles involved in deploying renewable energy, with a special emphasis on wind, solar and energy efficiency. Her book, The Renewable Energy Reader, was published by Carolina Academic Press in 2011.

Lakshman Guruswamy

Lakshman Guruswamy is Nicholas Doman Professor of International Environmental Law at the University of Colorado at Boulder and is a recognized expert in International Environmental and Energy Law. He is also Director of the Center for Energy & Environment Security (CEES), an interdisciplinary Center that seeks to find practical renewable energy solutions for the energy deficits confronting the globe while pursuing environmental justice for peoples of the developing world. He is widely published in legal and scientific journals, and his present scholarship is focused on access to energy for the Other Third of the world. Prior to joining CU, he taught in Sri Lanka, the UK, and the Universities of Iowa and Arizona. He is a frequent speaker at scholarly meetings around the country and the world.

Anita Halvorssen

Dr. Anita M. Halvorssen teaches Sustainable Development & Trade and Global Climate Change Law & Policy at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and is Director of Global Legal Solutions, LLC, an international think tank and consultancy. She was formerly a Senior Executive Officer at the Royal Ministry of Environment in Norway, and has worked at the law firm of Holme Roberts & Owen, in Denver, Colorado. She also taught courses at the University of Colorado, Boulder and was a Fellow at its Natural Resources Law Center (NRLC). Dr. Halvorssen has also been a consultant to the World Health Organization. Dr. Halvorssen is a member of the International Law Association’s Committee on the Legal Principles Related to Climate Change. Furthermore, she does pro bono work for the Legal Response Initiative, which provides free legal support to the least developed country (LDC) delegations and NGOs in relation to the UNFCCC negotiations. Dr. Halvorssen received her first degree in law from the University of Oslo, Norway, and an LLM and a Doctor of the Science of Law (JSD) from Columbia University, New York.

Sally Hamilton

Dr. Sally Hamilton is Associate Professor and Director of the MA Degree Program in International Development at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. She teaches a number of international development courses at the Josef Korbel School and has conducted research and published widely in the areas of anthropology (Latin America) and sustainable development. Her writing and research in the area of sustainable development focuses on the socio-political and environmental outcomes of sustainable development agendas promoted by bilateral and multilateral development organizations, nation states and the private sector. Dr. Hamilton holds a Master of Arts and PhD from the University of Kentucky and a BA from the University of North Carolina.

Haider Khan

Haider A. Khan is currently a professor of economics at the Joseph Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver. He has served as a senior economic adviser to UNCTAD in Geneva; as a consultant to UNDP, ILO, ADB, the World Bank; and as the chief international adviser to the Arab Trade and Human Development project in Cairo, Egypt. He was a visiting fellow at the Asian Development Bank Institute, Tokyo and at WIDER, Helsinki. He has been a visiting professor at the Graduate School of Economics, University of Tokyo, Hitotsubashi University, People’s University, Beijing and several US and European Universities. His work ranges from modeling complex economic systems to the political and economic theories of democracy and justice. He has published more than fifteen books and over one hundred articles in professional journals.

Rick Leach

Rick Leach serves as President and CEO of World Food Program USA (WFP USA), a nonprofit organization that builds support in the U.S. to solve global hunger. Under Leach’s leadership in 2012, WFP USA and a broad-based coalition of organizations launched “The Roadmap for Continued U.S. Leadership to End Global Hunger”, urging the U.S. government to continue to invest in a comprehensive approach to ending global hunger. Previously, Leach worked with the World Health Organization to develop a plan to halt the production and trade in counterfeit drugs. During the Clinton Administration, Leach served as Director of the Child Immunization Campaign, helping to address the low immunization coverage rates of children between birth and two years age. Earlier in his career, Leach served as the foreign policy advisor to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Select Committee on Hunger, helping to shape Congressional policy on international development and humanitarian issues.

Ved P. Nanda

Ved P. Nanda is John Evans Distinguished University Professor at the University of Denver, Thompson G. Marsh Professor of Law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and Director of the Ved Nanda Center for International and Comparative Law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. He currently serves as Honorary President of the World Jurist Association, as an elected member of the American Law Institute, as a council member-at-large for the American Bar Association Section of International Law and Practice, and as Honorary Vice-President of the International Law Association – American Branch. He also serves on the Board of Trustees and Board of Directors of several national and international scholarly societies and nongovernmental organizations. He was formerly Vice President of the American Society of International Law, United States Delegate to the World Federation of the United Nations Associations, Geneva, Vice-Chair of its Executive Council, and on the Board of Directors of the United Nations Association of the United States of America. He is widely published and has authored or co-authored numerous books and articles in the various fields of international law.

Luka Powanga

Dr. Luka Powanga is a professor in the School of Management at Regis University and the Executive Director of the Global Commerce Forum. He is also the Managing Editor of the Journal of Global Commerce Research and the Journal of Current Research in Global Business. He is currently the US correspondent for CargoNews Asia a trade magazine based in Hong Kong. He holds a BSC degree in Metallurgy and Mineral Processing, Masters and PhD degrees in Mineral Economics from Colorado School of Mines. He also holds a Masters degree in Computer Information Technology from Regis University. He specializes in international business, economic analyses and consults in mining and international business management. He has worked in the mining and telecommunications industry within and outside the United States. He taught at Colorado School of Mines before transitioning to Regis University. He has written a case study on the privatization of the Zambian copper mining industry and a textbook in economics published by McGraw-Hill.

Michael Scharf

Michael Scharf is the John Deaver Drinko – Baker & Hostetler Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Global Legal Studies at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. He is also Managing Director of the Public International Law & Policy Group. Scharf has served as Attorney-Adviser for United Nations Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, and Special Assistant to the Prosecutor of the Cambodia Genocide Tribunal. He is the author of 121 scholarly articles and sixteen books, including three that have won national book awards. Scharf produces and hosts the radio program “Talking Foreign Policy,” broadcast on Cleveland’s NPR station, available at:

David P. Stewart

David P. Stewart is Visiting Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches public and private international law, international criminal law and foreign relations law among other subjects. He spent most of his career in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the U. S. Department of State. He is a member of the Inter-American Juridical Committee and the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law, a reporter for the ALI project to revise the Restatement of Foreign Relations Law, and president-elect of the American Branch of the International Law Association.

Anastasia Telesetsky

Anastasia Telesetsky is associate professor at the University of Idaho College of Law where she teaches in the Natural Resources and Environmental Law Program. After graduating from Boalt Hall, University of California at Berkeley, she was a Fulbright fellow in the Philippines working on questions of environment and community development. In addition to her representation of Native American tribes and private clients, she represented the government of Ethiopia before the Ethiopia-Eritrea Claims Commission. She is currently the liaison for the American Bar Association to the Green Economy Community of Practice composed of representatives from intergovernmental organizations, States, and civil society. Her current research focuses on challenges to food security, shared natural resources, and global environmental governance.

Peter Weiss

Peter Weiss is President Emeritus of the Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy; Co-President of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms; Vice-President, Center for Constitutional Rights; member of the Board of Advisers of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights; and a former Vice President of the International Federation of Human Rights. He is a graduate of Yale Law School and has lectured and written widely on the international law of war and peace, nuclear weapons and human rights and was lead counsel in the landmark human rights case Filartiga v Peña Irala.. He is also a former President of the American Committee on Africa and former Chairman of the Board of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington. He has long been an activist for peace in the Middle East and is a member of the Executive Committee of Americans for Peace Now. In 2006 he retired from making a living as an intellectual property lawyer.

Annecoos Wiersema

Annecoos Wiersema holds the Ved P. Nanda Chair and is an Associate Professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, as well as being Director of the International Legal Studies Program. She received her first law degree (LL.B.) from the London School of Economics in England and her S.J.D. (Doctor of Juridical Science) degree in International and Environmental Law from Harvard Law School. Before joining the University of Denver, she was an Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law and has also worked in the Denver office of Arnold and Porter and as a Visiting Scholar at the IMF. She writes about international environmental law and governance with a particular focus on the protection of species and ecosystems, with recent work focusing on REDD+. Her publications include The New International Law-Makers? Conferences of the Parties to Multilateral Environmental Agreements published in the Michigan Journal of International Law and A Train without Tracks: Rethinking the Place of Law and Goals in Environmental and Natural Resources Law, published in Environmental Law.

John Works

John Works is Senior Energy Manager at Engility-IRG, where he manages international energy projects by supervising the selection, preparation, placement, and support for all technical experts and interfacing with clients to ensure adequate quality control and achievement of project objectives. Mr. Works brings over 3 decades of progressively responsible work experience and cross-cultural and full-cycle understanding of the international energy arena from his work as a consultant, government official, corporate executive, investment banker, and lawyer. Mr. Works holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Kansas, and JD from the University of Denver, and an advanced degree in International Economics from L’Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris.


Sturm College of Law
University of Denver
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Denver, CO 80208