Leadership and Staff

Leila Nadya Sadat

Harris Institute Director 

Leila Sadat has served as the Director of the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute since 2007 and is the James Carr Professor of International Criminal Law at the School of Law.  She is an internationally renowned human rights expert specializing in international criminal law, public international law and foreign affairs.  In 2008, she launched the Crimes Against Humanity Initiative, an international effort to study the problem of crimes against humanity and draft a global treaty addressing their punishment and prevention.  Professor Sadat is a devoted teacher and award-winning scholar, publishing more than 100 books, articles, and essays in leading journals, academic presses, and media outlets throughout the world. In 2011, she was awarded the Alexis de Tocqueville Distinguished Fulbright Chair in Paris, France, the first woman to receive such an honor. In December 2012, International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda appointed her as Special Adviser on Crimes Against Humanity, a role she has been serving since 2013. She was elected to membership in the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations in 2012. Professor Sadat holds or has held leadership positions in many professional associations including the American Branch of the International Law Association and American Society of International Law. [more]     

The work of the Institute is also guided by an active
Faculty Advisory Board and an International Council that is comprised of respected statesmen, international jurists, and distinguished scholars.    

Kristin Smith

Harris Institute Fellow

Office: Seigle Hall, No. 115
Phone: 314-935-3379
Email: kjsmith@wustl.edu 

As Harris Institute Fellow, Kristin Smith, JD ’14, works on research projects of the Harris Institute.  She also supervises J.D. students working with the ICC Legal Tools project and the Crimes Against Humanity Research Project.  Before joining the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute, she was an intern at the Department of State and worked as a legislative analyst and prosecutor on the state level in Oregon.  During law school at Washington University, Kristin explored the intersection of international and federal law and incorporated public opinion and the policymaking process into her research.  Kristin worked on human trafficking and rule of law issues in Accra, Ghana through the law school's Global Public Interest Law & Conflict Resolution Initiative and on international criminal justice issues for the American Bar Association’s International Criminal Court Project as an extern in Washington, D.C.  Outside the classroom, she was a Primary Editor on the Washington University Journal of Law and Policy and enjoyed creating public service opportunities for students. Kristin holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame with majors in American Studies and Studio Art.   

Bethel Mulugeta Mandefro

Program Coordinator and Office Manager

Office: Seigle Hall, No. 108B
Phone: 314-935-7988
E-mail: bmandefro@wustl.edu 

Bethel Mandefro manages the day-to-day operations of the Institute including coordinating and managing its programs, conferences and speakers series, and special projects.  She is also responsible for managing the administrative, publication and communication efforts of the Institute.  Bethel joined the Harris Institute in 2011 after completing the Masters in International Affairs program at Washington University.  Her directed research project for her Masters degree focused on the impact of government policies in improving access to clean water in Sub-Saharan Africa.  Prior to returning to St. Louis to pursue her graduate studies, Bethel worked as an export logistics coordinator at BDP International in Philadelphia.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in International Business and Management and Organizational Behavior from University of Missouri - St. Louis, with a minor in Spanish.  An avid traveler, Bethel has visited more than 25 countries in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Central America.      


Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute


Washington University School of Law 
One Brookings Drive, Campus Box 1120 
St. Louis, Missouri 63130 
Phone: 314-935-7988  
Fax: 314-935-7961