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 launched the War Powers Reporting Project in February 2020. She teaches cyber law and policy at Stanford University.
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 the full range of issues relating to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. From 2014 to January 2017, among other Administration priorities, she worked on use of force; 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, and UN Security Council practice involving armed conflict, 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 is a lecturer in national security law at Berkeley Law, a Senior Adviser to National Security Action, and serves on the Board of the Women’s Foundation of California.
You can read some of Tess Bridgeman's recent publications, podcasts, and blog posts here:
- 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 (co-authored 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 (co-authored 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 (co-authored with Brian Egan).
- 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 (co-authored with Steve Pomper).
- Guantanamo is No Answer, But Here’s What Can Work, Just Security, Aug. 31, 2018 (co-authored 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.