Research Centers

Faculty and Staff

Sumudu Atapattu

Sumudu Atapattu, Director, Research Centers
Sumudu Anopama Atapattu is the Director of Research Centers and Senior Lecturer at UW Law School. She teaches in the area of International Environmental law and her book titled "Emerging Principles of International Environmental Law" was published by Transnational Publishers, New York in 2006. She holds an LL.M. (Public International Law) and a Ph.D. (International Environmental Law) from the University of Cambridge, U.K., and is an Attorney-at-Law of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka. She is currently working on a book titled "Human Rights Approaches to Climate Change: Challenges and Opportunities" which will be published by Routledge. She is affiliated with UW-Madison's Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Center for South Asia and was a visiting professor at Doshisha University Law School, Japan, in summer 2014.

Susannah Tahk

Susannah Tahk, Director, Institute for Legal Studies
Susannah Camic Tahk teaches tax law and policy and supervises UW Law's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program. She is currently the Rowe Faculty Fellow in Regulatory Law as well as an affiliate of UW-Madison's Institute for Research on Poverty. Before coming to UW Law, Tahk practiced in the tax group in the Washington, DC office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, where she focused on controversy and policy matters.

Tahk is currently writing a book tentatively titled The Tax War on Poverty that explores the reasons for and consequences of tax policies that address poverty in the U.S. In 2015, Tahk received the Vilas Early Career Investigator Award from UW-Madison and was named an Up and Coming Lawyer by the Wisconsin Law Journal.

Alex Huneeus

Alexandra Huneeus, Director, Global Legal Studies Center
Alexandra Huneeus is a leading authority on human rights law in Latin America. She has written extensively about international human rights courts, with an emphasis on their relation to national courts, as well as to other international courts. Her work stands at the intersection of law, political science and sociology, and has been published in the American Journal of International Law, Law and Social Inquiry, Yale Journal of International Law, Cornell International Law Journal and by Cambridge University Press. In 2013, she was awarded the American Association for Law Schools Scholarly Papers Prize, as well as the American Society for Comparative Law Award for Younger Scholars (for two different articles). Currently, she holds an NSF grant to explore the impact of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on domestic prosecutions of state atrocity. She is Associate Professor of Law and Legal Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, received her PhD, JD and BA from University of California, Berkeley, and was a post-doc at Stanford's Center on Development, Democracy and the Rule of Law.

John OhnesorgeJohn Ohnesorge, Director, East Asian Legal Studies Center
Professor Ohnesorge teaches Business Organizations and Administrative Law, as well as seminars in Chinese Law, and in law and economic development in developing countries. He is the former Chair of the Wisconsin China Initiative (2008-2012).

A native of Minneapolis, Professor Ohnesorge received his B.A. degree from St. Olaf College (1985), his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School (1989), and his S.J.D. from Harvard Law School (2002). Along the way he has spent several years in East Asia, first as a teacher and law student in Shanghai in the 1980s, and then as a lawyer in private practice in Seoul in the 1990s.

During the course of his S.J.D. studies, Professor Ohnesorge spent a year as a visiting scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and Public International Law in Heidelberg, Germany, on a fellowship from Harvard's Center for European Studies. In 2000 he served as a lecturer at Harvard Law School, co-teaching with Professor William P. Alford. From 2000 to 2001 he clerked for Federal District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel (D. Mass), then joined the Law School in the fall of 2001.

Michelle PrestonMichelle Preston, Assistant to the Director, Research Centers
Michelle Preston is the Assistant to the Director of Research Centers at the University of Wisconsin Law School. In this position, she is responsible for all logistics associated with coordinating academic programs and events organized by the Research Centers. She works primarily with events and programs organized by the Institute for Legal Studies. Preston earned her BBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2014. Prior to starting at the Law School, she worked as a Community Relations Assistant with Wisconsin Athletics.



Dana JordanDana Coates, Assistant to the Director, Research Centers
Dana Coates is the Assistant to the Director of Research Centers at the University of Wisconsin Law School. Dana’s responsibilities include assisting the directors of the East Asian Legal Studies and Global Legal Studies Centers in coordinating and executing events. She also assists in the study abroad and visiting scholar department of the research centers.  Coates earned a B.A. in Sociology at Eastern Illinois University and her M.S. in Communication Strategy from Northwestern University. Prior to starting at the Law School, she worked in admissions at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools in Chicago, Illinois.


Wenjie Hu, Outreach Specialist, East Asian Legal Studies Center

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