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Nicholas Rostow

Nicholas Rostow

Charles Evans Hughes Visiting Chair of Government and Jurisprudence
Political Science, Persson Hall
p 315-228-7753


  • B.A., Ph.D., J.D., Yale

Teaching Experience

  • University of Tulsa College of Law
  • Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
  • Naval War College

Professional Experience

  • University Professor at the National Defense University (NDU), specializing in international and national security law and affairs and U.S. government and international decision-making in foreign and national security policy
  • Senior Research Scholar at the Yale Law School
  • Senior Director of the Center for Strategic Research, Institute for National Security Studies at NDU, 2011-15
  • University Counsel and Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs and tenured full professor at the State University of New York
  • General Counsel and Senior Policy Adviser to the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, 2001-05
  • Charles H. Stockton Chair in International Law, U.S. Naval War College, 2001
  • Staff Director, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, 1999-2000
  • Counsel and Deputy Staff Director to the House Select Committee on Military/Commercial Concerns with the People’s Republic of China, 1998-99
  • Special Assistant to Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush for National Security Affairs and Legal Adviser to the National Security Council under Colin Powell and Brent Scowcroft, 1987-93
  • Special Assistant to the Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State, 1985-1987

Recent Publications (Since 2010)

"The International Criminal Court, Aggression, and Other Matters: A Response to Koh and Buchwald," AJIL Unbound (2016)

9/11 and After: Legal Issues, Lessons, and Irregular Conflict,” with Harvey Rishikof, ch. 5 in Lessons Encountered:  Learning from the Long War, edited by Richard D. Hooker, Jr., and Joseph J. Collins (2015)

Pandora's Paradoxes: Nuclear Weapons, World Public Order, and International Humanitarian Law,” Israel Yearbook on Human Rights, Volume 45 (2015)

“Consequences,” Naval War College Review, Autumn 2014, Vol. 67, No. 4 (2014)

Wherefore Grand Strategy and International Law?” in A Revolution in the International Rule of Law:  Essays in Honor of Don Wallace, Jr. (Borzu Sabahi et al. eds. 2014)

Targeted Killing of Terrorists,” Institute for Strategic Studies, National Defense University, Strategic Forum No. 286 (March 2014).  Also published in Joint Force Quarterly, Issue 74, 3rd Quarter 2014.

“Transitional Justice for Syria,” Institute for Strategic Studies, National Defense University, Strategic Forum No. 282 (Sept. 2013)

“The Dog that Doesn’t Bark:  Syria and Article 51 of the UN Charter,” Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law 2012 (2013)

“U.S. National Security Law and International Law:  Links and Implications,” in National Security Law:  Fifty Years of Transformation (Jill D. Rhodes ed. 2012)

“Grand Strategy and International Law,” Institute for National Security Studies, National Defense University, Strategic Forum No. 277 (April 2012)

“Combating Terrorists:  Legal Challenges in the Post-9/11 World,” Introduction, International Law and the Changing Character of War, Raul A. “Pete” Pedrozo &

Daria P. Wollschlager, eds., International Law Studies, Volume 87 (Naval War College, 2011)

“The Laws of War and the Killing of Suspected Terrorists:  False Starts, Rabbit Holes, and Dead Ends,” Rutgers Law Review, Volume 63, p. 1215 (2011)

“The Historical and Legal Contexts of Israel’s Borders,” in Israel’s Rights as a Nation-State in International Diplomacy (Alan Baker ed. 2011)

“U.N. Realities,” in Looking to the Future:  Essays on International Law in Honor of W. Michael Reisman (Mahnoush Arsanjani et al. eds., 2011)

“The Human Rights Council (Goldstone) Report and International Law,” Israel Yearbook on Human Rights, Volume 40 (2010)

“Are the Settlements Legal?” The American Interest (Spring, March/April 2010)