Tess Bridgeman

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Tess Bridgeman

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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, lectures on national security law at Berkeley Law, and serves on the Board of the Women’s Foundation of California and the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. She also chairs the Strategic Initiatives Committee of the American Society for International Law (ASIL).

You can follow her on Twitter (@bridgewriter) and find some of her recent publications, podcasts, congressional testimony, and online articles here: