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Colleen P. Graffy

Associate Professor of Law
Caruso School of Law


Originally from Santa Barbara, California, Professor Graffy earned her BA from Pepperdine University and her MA from Boston University. She then served as co-director of Pepperdine's Year-in-Europe program in Heidelberg, Germany. Professor Graffy completed the Diploma in Law in London. After attending the Inns of Court School of Law, she was called to the Bar of England and Wales as a Barrister of the Middle Temple and received her LLM in international law through King's College, University of London with merit.

Professor Graffy served in the second Bush Administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy for Europe and Eurasia at the US State Department. In that capacity, she travelled to over 40 countries and worked with US embassies and a team in Washington DC to communicate US policy, values and culture. She created the first ever "media hub" for the US government with radio and television broadcasting facilities based in Brussels, Belgium. In order to reach younger audiences, an area that she identified as critical to US public diplomacy, she established the "Ben Franklin Transatlantic Fellowship," a program that brings together high schools students from former eastern block countries, Western Europe and the US to study comparative constitutions and rights—in addition to fostering long-term relationships among nations. Professor Graffy was the first high level US government official to actively advance "Public Diplomacy 2.0" using Twitter and other social media platforms to further US communications.

Professor Graffy was elected as the new Chair of the Society of English and American Lawyers and is a Bencher of the Middle Temple. She is a member of The Royal Institute of International Affairs, The British Institute of International and Comparative Law, The Pilgrims, The British American Project and the Pacific Council. She is on the Advisory Board of the McCain Leadership Institute and the British American Project.

Professor Graffy has written on legal issues in the United States and Britain and is a frequent commentator for radio and television on transatlantic political, legal, and cultural issues including BBC Radio Four's The Today Programme, BBC Question Time with David Dimbleby, BBC TV HARDtalk, The Andrew Marr Show, Any Questions?, Al Jazeera Frost Over the World with Sir David Frost, SKY TV, and CCN.

Her teaching includes: Public International Law, International Environmental Law, and International Law and the Use of Force.


  • LL.M., King's College, 1996, with merit
  • Diploma in Law, City University & Inns of Court School of Law, 1991
  • M.A., Boston University, 1982
  • B.A., Pepperdine University, 1979



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  • International Law