Meet the International Law Section Executive Board

Meet the Section's Executive Board

Matthew D. McGhie, Section Chair: Matthew has been serving as an Assistant Counsel for the U.S. Senate Office of the Legislative Counsel since 2001. In this position, he regularly drafts Federal legislation regarding immigration, foreign assistance, homeland security, and transportation issues. A member of the Federal Bar Association since 2001, Matthew previously served as the President of the FBA Capitol Hill Chapter. He has played a key role in the success of the FBA’s annual International Conference on Legislative Drafting and Law Reform for the past three years. Mr. McGhie earned a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Sociology from Brigham Young University in 1989, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California in 1992 and a Juris Doctor degree from BYU’s J. Reuben Clark Law School in 2001. A native Californian, Mr. McGhie worked for six years as a manager for the Mendocino County California Social Services and Public Health Departments in the mid-1990s. He also spent two years in Brazil as a missionary in the mid-1980s. He has been happily married for 26½ years and has three adorable children.

Hon. Mimi E. Tsankov, Section Senior Deputy Chair: Judge Tsankov has served as an Immigration Judge with the U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review, since 2006 where she has presided over detained and non-detained dockets at the Los Angeles Immigration Court, the Denver Immigration Court, and the New York Immigration Court. She has served as Pro Bono Liaison Judge at the Denver and Los Angeles Immigration Courts, and has been a contributing editor of the U.S. Department of Justice Immigration Judge Bench Book. A frequent panelist at regional, national, and international law conferences, Judge Tsankov has presented on a wide variety of immigration law topics ranging from mental competency and juvenile docket hearings, to ethics, professional responsibility, and “crimmigration” matters. She has published articles in the U.S. Department of Justice Immigration Law Advisor, the Federal Lawyer Magazine, and various academic law journals on topics ranging from 287(g) law enforcement to immigration benefits for victims of domestic violence in the U.S. and the European Union. Judge Tsankov established and chaired the Colorado Federal Attorney Pro Bono Program, and served on the Colorado Chief Justice’s Commission on the Legal Profession. In her personal capacity, she has served as an officer with the Federal Bar Association (FBA) Colorado Chapter, the FBA Immigration Law Section, and the FBA International Law Section, having been recognized nationally in this regard. She is a member of the National Association of Women Judges, Human Rights Subcommittee, and the American Bar Association, National Conference of the Administrative Law Judiciary. She has taught immigration law as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, and the University of Colorado, School of Law. She holds a J.D.-M.A. in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia.

Dorothy L. Tarver, Section Secretary: Dorothy is an attorney at Taggart Morton in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is an experienced trial attorney who has litigated many insurance defense cases in state and federal courts. Her practice areas include immigration, successions, trusts and estates, construction litigation, business litigation, and franchise law. Born in Heidleberg, Germany, Dorothy attended the University of New Orleans and obtained her JD from Loyola University. She has published multiple articles on forum selection clauses and has spoken before the Women Who Litigate section of the Louisiana Association of Defense Counsel at the annual conference and before the Insurance and Torts Section of the American Bar Association. She has also taught European Union Law Studies Seminar in Brussels, Strasbourg, and Luxembourg, as well as a course for the National Business Institute in New Orleans titled, “Nursing Home Failure of Care Claims are on the Rise! Are You Prepared?”

Roger Kobert, Section Treasurer: Roger is a partner in the Litigation Department of the Miami office of Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman, P.L., where he runs its International Practice Group. A veteran federal court trial and appellate counselor, Mr. Kobert litigates complex commercial, banking, business tort, fraud, insurance, and foreign sovereign immunities cases, among many others, with an emphasis on jurisdictional and cross-border disputes. He earned his J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law (1988) and his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania (1985).

Judith Wood, International Human Rights Committee Chair: Judith is an immigration attorney in Los Angeles, California. She came to immigration law as a result of a vision in 1984, where she saw hands reaching out of a jail cell and heard her name being called to help. The hands and voices were those of Salvadoran political prisoners, who were stranded in El Salvador during the 1980s when the Civil War was raging. She immediately heeded the call and went to Los Angeles and began working with several refugee and immigrant agencies. She worked to bring concepts of International Human Rights Law into the immigration court and was successful in a number of asylum cases using precepts of international law. Her practice evolved and she began to represent refugees from other countries, including Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Iran, among others. She won an important case before the Board of Immigration Appeals, Matter of S-P-, which turned the tide for Tamils seeking asylum from Sri Lanka. She has also prevailed in a number of cases before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals representing refugees from various countries seeking asylum. She continues to work tirelessly after 30 years of practice. In addition to the FBA, she is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the International Bar Association, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Immigration Executive Committee Member, is a frequent presenter at the AILA and LACBA conferences and has taught at the People’s College of Law.

Michele Forzley, International Development and Investment Committee Chair: Michele is a senior legal advisor and public health professional based in Maryland. Her clients are health institutions, national ministries of health, and inter-governmental organizations such as the World Bank, World Health Organization, The Global Fund, PEPFAR/SCMS and professional associations such as the Global Health Council and Access to Medicines Index among others. Through the application of governance and rule of law principles and the reform, implementation and enforcement of laws, Michele builds institutional and staff capacity to regulate the health and pharmaceutical sectors to achieve national goals and meet obligations. She works hands-on with ministries of health and stakeholders to design and build effective regulatory systems that strengthen the health system. Current projects include the USAID Health Policy Project in Afghanistan where she is Legal and Governance Advisor on private health sector regulation and in Swaziland, Papua New Guinea and Uganda and elsewhere, where she is revising health and medicines laws and health systems processes to support the national health plan, meet international obligations such as the International Health Regulations and institute best practices. Among her numerous accomplishments, her work has resulted in the delivery of HIV medicines to millions of patients by removing regulatory barriers and through pooled procurement and a global change in policy on access to medicines for pain and palliative care as resolved by the 2014 World Health Assembly. Michele’s career has included posts as policy advisor in the Office of International and Refugee Health at the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services and in the Office of the General Counsel at the George Washington University Health Insurance Plan. She also held two stints in the Maryland General Assembly and as the public health advisor to the U.S. Trade Representative. Michele holds a JD from the New England School of Law, a BA from Simmons College and a MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is also a graduate of The Hague Academy of International Law. She is a Senior Scholar at the O’Neil Institute for National and Global Health at Georgetown Law Center. Previously she was Visiting Distinguished Professor of Global Health Law at Widener School of Law Health Law Institute.

Hans H. Hertell, International Resources and Environmental Law Committee Chair: Hans is a Senior Associate in the International Arbitration Group in the Miami office of Hogan Lovells. He focuses his practice on international litigation and arbitration of commercial and investor-state disputes. He has significant experience representing clients in international business disputes arising from a variety of contractual arrangements and industries, particularly in the energy and natural resources sector, and administered under leading arbitration rules such as those promulgated by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). He also has experience counseling clients in environmental litigation and regulatory matters.

Angelika Hunnefeld, International Law Committee Chair: Angelika is a Shareholder at Greenberg Traurig in its Miami office practices in the areas of commercial litigation, international business arbitration and compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). She is experienced in matters involving multi-jurisdictional issues, enforcement of foreign judgments and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards. Her experience includes assisting a major retail client in the implementation of FCPA compliance in several Latin American countries; representing a South American wine producer in a contract dispute involving numerous multi-jurisdictional issues; representing multiple world champion boxers in contract disputes, negotiations and litigation; and representing a foreign aviation company in a dispute with a foreign government. She also assists clients with matters relating to issues arising under the anti-bribery and record-keeping provisions of the FCPA. Among other professional and community involvement, she has been the Co-Chair of the Women in International Law Committee for the Florida Bar International Law Section, Director of the American Nicaraguan Foundation, and Director of the Nicaraguan American Bar Association, Inc. Angelika is fluent in Spanish and proficient in Portuguese and French.

David Wemhoff, Chair of the International Trade and Customs Law Committee: David is a solo practitioner in South Bend, Indiana. His practice consists largely of criminal defense and civil litigation, with some transactional work. He practices before state and federal courts and has been practicing law for more than twenty years. Mr. Wemhoff received a Bachelor’s degree in Government from the University of Notre Dame, and earned his Juris Doctor from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. He was an adjunct faculty member at two universities, where he taught a number of courses including Government, Employment Law, Business Law, Criminal Procedure, Constitutional Law, and State and Local Government. Mr. Wemhoff’s community involvement includes membership in the Downtown South Bend Rotary Club, the South Bend Museum of Art, and the Academy of American Poets. He is a member of the Federal Bar Association and also the Indiana State Bar Association.

Brian C. Murphy, Membership Chair: Brian serves as President-Elect of the FBA's District of Columbia Chapter. He is also a past International Law Section and Committee Chairperson. He is a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Virginia School of Law, with post-graduate study (International Law and Relations) at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Edward T. Hayes, International Finance and Banking Committee Chair: Edward is a partner at Leake & Andersson, L.L.P. in New Orleans, Louisiana. His practice focuses on litigation and international trade and business matters in state and federal courts and he is the leader of the firm’s international trade and business practice. Edward previously worked for the International Trade Commission, Office of the General Counsel, in Washington, DC, where he was charged with research and application of the United States’ trade remedy laws. His current international trade and business practice focuses on a wide variety of international issues, including customs matters; import/export transactions; international sales of goods and services; disputes under bilateral investment treaties; antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings before the Department of Commerce and International Trade Commission; Section 301 matters; and World Trade Organization dispute settlement. Edward also advises businesses and local governments on international trade capacity and international economic development issues. He was selected by the Office of the United States Trade Representative to serve on the roster of panelists eligible to adjudicate trade disputes under Chapter 19 of the North American Free Trade Agreement. In January 2014, the country of Ukraine appointed Edward to serve as the Honorary Consul to Ukraine for the State of Louisiana. In this position, he is charged with promoting and preserving the interests of Ukraine and her citizens throughout the State of Louisiana. Edward also published numerous articles and papers on international trade topicsand is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Tulane University Law School and Loyola University School of Law, where he teaches a Seminar on international trade policy and practice. He obtained his JD from Loyola University Law School and his LL.M, with distinction, in International Trade and Business from Georgetown University Law Center.

Antonio Pedrero, Law Student Division Liaison: Antonio is currently pursuing an LL.M. in International Business and Economic Law at Georgetown. He has held positions in Europe for the world’s leading online financial services organization and the world’s largest circulation newspaper group. He also previously worked in the United States on the executive management teams of the first direct-to-home satellite radio company and the Federal Reserve System’s exclusive currency handling contractor. Antonio’s other experience includes multinational regulatory and financial consulting, coordination on ITU issues, and working with national and international banking institutions. His philanthropic work includes assisting Russian asylum seekers, being a founding member of a non-profit organization to combat ageism, and serving on the boards of the WorldSpace Foundation and the Alliance for New Music-Theater. He is a Student Fellow at Georgetown’s Institute of International Economic Law and holds a J.D. and a Bachelor’s in International Finance. In addition to his native English, Antonio speaks Spanish, French, Swedish, and Catalan fluently.

Heather Carney Costanzo, Newsletter Chair: Heather is a business litigator in Gunster's Fort Lauderdale office. She has represented local, national and international clients in state and federal court. Her experience includes class-action and malpractice defense, and international arbitration involving multimillion-dollar claims. Her clients include Fortune 100 companies, a Big Four accounting firm, aerospace manufacturers, agricultural producers, land developers, and hotel and resort owners and operators. Ever the multitasker, Heather was simultaneously enrolled at George Washington Law School and the Elliott School of International Affairs; she obtained her J.D. and M.A. degrees in 2007. After graduation, she clerked for William P. Dimitrouleas of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Heather studied abroad as an undergraduate and during law school. She is conversationally fluent in Spanish, and enjoys spending time and traveling with her husband and two small children.


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