Dr. Tess Bridgeman is Co-Editor-in-Chief at Just Security and Senior Fellow and Visiting Scholar at NYU Law School’s Reiss Center on Law and Security, where she created the War Powers Resolution Reporting Project. Bridgeman served as Special Assistant to President Obama, Associate Counsel to the President, and Deputy Legal Adviser to the National Security Council (NSC), where she provided legal advice on a broad range of issues relating to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. From 2014 to Jan. 2017, among other administration priorities, she worked on matters relating to the use of force and international humanitarian law; human rights law; counterterrorism; negotiation and implementation of the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA); Middle East and North Africa policy (including the conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Libya); foreign assistance programs; the UN and other multilateral bodies; sanctions (including cyber, Russia, Iran, and North Korea sanctions); and negotiation and interpretation of international agreements.
Bridgeman previously served in the U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Legal Adviser, where she Special Assistant to the Legal Adviser. Prior to that role, she was an Attorney Adviser in the Office of Political-Military Affairs where she focused on armed conflict, related civil and criminal litigation, detention, UN Security Council practice involving armed conflict, and the intersection of human rights and international humanitarian law, including representing the United States before human rights treaty bodies. Bridgeman clerked for Judge Thomas L. Ambro of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and, earlier in her career, worked as a consultant for the World Bank Inspection Panel and co-founded a food security and community development organization in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Bridgeman has a D.Phil. in International Relations from Oxford University, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar; a J.D. from NYU Law School, magna cum laude and Order of the Coif, which she attended as a Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar, Institute for International Law and Justice Scholar, and Harry S. Truman Scholar; and a B.A. with University Distinction and Departmental Honors from Stanford University. She has taught cyber law and policy at Stanford University, lectured in national security law at Berkeley Law, and serves on the Board of the Women’s Foundation of California.
You can follow her on Twitter (@bridgewriter) and find some of her recent publications, podcasts, and online articles here:
- Biden’s Support of 2002 AUMF Repeal: The Start of a Long Overdue Conversation, Just Security, June 16, 2021.
- Witness, Hearing before House Rules Committee on Article I: Reforming the War Powers Resolution for the 21st Century, March 23, 2021.
- Principles for a 2021 Authorization for Use of Military Force, Just Security, March 5, 2021 (with Ryan Goodman, Stephen Pomper, and Steve Vladeck).
- Trump’s War Powers Legacy and Questions for Biden, Just Security, Feb. 23, 2021
- Good Governance Reform Paper No. 14: War Powers Reform, Just Security, Oct. 30, 2020 (with Stephen Pomper)
- ASIL International Law Behind the Headlines Podcast, Aug. 31, 2020, Episode 22: Snapback at the Security Council (with host Kal Raustiala)
- The Soleimani Strike and War Powers, Just Security, Jan. 6, 2020.
- New Online Resource: War Powers and Presidential Practice, Just Security, Feb. 24, 2020 (co-authored with Rachel Goldbrenner).
- Now is the Time to Repeal the 2002 AUMF, Just Security, July 11, 2019.
- Unpacking the State Department Acknowledgment that the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs Don’t Authorize War Against Iran, Just Security, July 3, 2019 (co-authored with Ryan Goodman).
- Top Experts Backgrounder: Military Action Against Iran and US Domestic Law, Just Security, June 21, 2019 (co-authored with Brian Egan).
- Bill Barr’s Extreme Views on War Powers Mean Congress’ Window to Stop War with Iran is Now, Just Security, May 20, 2019 (with Rebecca Ingber and Stepen Pomper).
- The Iran Nuclear Deal After Rouhani’s Announcement, Just Security, May 9, 2019.
- Getting Past the Veto on Ending Yemen War: How Congress’ Next Moves Can Succeed, Just Security, May 3, 2019.
- The Viability of Data-Reliant Predictive Systems in Armed Conflict Detention, ICRC Humanitarian Law and Policy Blog, April 8, 2019.
- What’s the Mission in Syria? The Answer May be Illegal and Without U.S. Allies’ Support, Just Security, Feb. 25, 2019.
- About that Trial Balloon on Using the 9/11 AUMF to Authorize U.S. Strikes on Iran, Just Security, Feb. 21, 2019 (with Steve Vladeck).
- Congress, Saudi Arabia, and the Conflict in Yemen: Where do We Go from Here?, Just Security, Feb. 12, 2019.
- Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: Does the McConnell amendment provide a justification for military operations against Iran?, Just Security, Feb. 7, 2019 (with Brian Egan).
- ASIL Behind the Headlines Podcast, Episode 4: How Does International Law Get Incorporated into Presidential Decision-Making, Jan. 25, 2019 (with host Catherine Amirfar).
- A Dangerous Bet on Recognition in Venezuela, Just Security, Jan. 25, 2019.
- How the Senate Should Move Forward on Resolution to Withdraw from Yemen War, Just Security, Nov. 30, 2018 (with Steve Pomper).
- Guantanamo is No Answer, But Here’s What Can Work, Just Security, Aug. 31, 2018 (with Luke Hartig and Josh Geltzer).
- U.S.-Russia Military Cooperation: Secretary Mattis Doesn’t Need Congress’ Permission, but Congress has Options to Assert Control, Just Security, July 23, 2018.
- In Defense of the ‘Conventional Account’ of the Jus ad Bellum, AJIL Unbound, 112, 102-107 (2018).
- Will the Trump Administration Claim Congress Authorized Force Against Iran? An Analysis of Existing Statutory Authority and New Proposals, Just Security, June 4, 2018.
- How to Ensure New Congressional War Authorization is Not a Blank Check, Just Security, April 20, 2018.
- Taking Stock on Syria, The Lawfare Podcast, April 13, 2018.
- When Does the Legal Basis for U.S. Forces in Syria Expire? The End Point of the ‘Unable or Unwilling’ Theory of Self-Defense, Just Security, Mar. 14, 2018.
- Will the Next Use of Force ‘Transparency Report’ be Transparent? The Devil May be in the Classified Details, Just Security, Feb. 27, 2018.
- U.S. ‘Confronting’ Iran Inside Syria: Spoiling for an Unlawful Fight, Just Security, Dec. 18, 2017.
- Corker and Cotton’s False Promises Would Push Iran Towards Nuclearization, Foreign Policy, Oct. 30, 2017.
- Decertifying Without Cause, Nukes of Hazard Podcast, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, Oct. 17, 2017.
- What the White House Announcement on the Iran Deal Really Means: Three Takeaways, Just Security, Oct. 13, 2017.
- How Congress Should Avoid taking the Bait if Trump Fails to Certify the Iran Nuclear Deal, Just Security, Oct. 10, 2017 (also published in Newsweek, Oct. 10, 2017).
- About that ‘Deconfliction Zone’ in Syria: Is the United States on Firm Domestic and International Legal Footing?, Just Security, June 15, 2017.
- Paris is a Binding Agreement: Here’s Why that Matters, Just Security, June 4, 2017.