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International Ambassador Program

The Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law has attracted numerous students from outside the United States who have completed their education with Pepperdine and are back in their home countries advancing dispute resolution in their communities.

The International Ambassador Program was established by the Straus Institute at Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law to connect prospective Certificate, MDR and LLM students with Straus alumni around the world through email, networking and outreach events.

If you are interested in our academic programs and would like to talk with alumni in your area, please email the Straus Institute to be put in contact with one of our international ambassadors. 

World Map


You may click on a region in the map above or in the links below to view the ambassadors. Clicking the map or region again will close the regional view.

Central/South America


Rene Llapur (LLM, 2003)

RLlapur is an Argentinean bilingual (English-Spanish) ADR professional (mediator and attorney at law admitted in Argentina), specializing in the field of family business and international mediation. He has extensive experience in family business and corporate law. His ADR practice focuses primarily on corporate, commercial, real estate law and family business cases.

Rene studied law at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. He graduated LLM Program of the Straus Institute. His LLM studies focused on International Mediation. Rene is fluent in English and Spanish and has a working knowledge of French. Currently, he holds his private practice in family businesses conflicts and also teaches ADR (organizational, negotiation and mediation) in Argentina and Latin America.


Andrés Correa Cruzat (LLM, 2006)
is a Chilean qualified lawyer specializing in the field of mediation, AndresCarbitration, commercial and corporate law. He has extensive experience mediating conflicts in the health field and negotiating commercial deals.

Andrés studied law at the Diego Portales University in Santiago, Chile, graduating with honors. In 2006 Andrés graduated from the Straus Institute LLM Program, with the focus of his studies on mediation. Andrés is fluent in Spanish and English. He is an official arbitrator of the "Centro Nacional de Arbitraje" (Chile), an official mediator of the "Superintendencia de Salud" (Chile) and works as a lawyer at Eluchans & Cia. (Chilean Law firm). He has published articles on mediation and cross-cultural negotiation. Andrés has participated as a spokesman in expositions related to dispute resolution.

El Salvador

Oscar Samour (LLM, 2009OscarS
is a Salvadoran lawyer specializing in international transactions and international arbitration. He has a broad experience handling complex corporate transactions and investment disputes. He has represented the government of El Salvador in the first two investment arbitration proceedings brought against the government under CAFTA-DR.
Oscar studied law at the Universidad Centroamericana in San Salvador, El Salvador. In 2009 he obtained an LL.M from the Straus Institute as a Fulbright Scholar. His LL.M focused on International Dispute Resolution. Oscar is fluent in Spanish and English. He is a partner with Consortium Centro America Abogados in El Salvador.


Victor Ruiz (LLM, 2008



Benito Vega (LLM, 2010)
is a Panamanian Lawyer, mediator and professor. He graduated in Law at the University of Panama as Summa Cum Laude. He has a postgraduate degree and a master’s degree in procedural law. As a Fulbright Scholar he studied American Law at Tulane University (New Orleans, Louisiana), and obtained an LLM from the Straus Institute with the focus of his studies in Mediation and International Dispute Resolution.

Benito has been a law Professor at the Americana University in Panama since 2007. He has practiced criminal, labor and civil law. In addition, he has worked as a legal assistant at the University of Panama, as a clerk at the Office of the Attorney General of Panama, and as a lawyer at the Martinez Law Firm. Currently, Benito is working as the first Secretary for registration affairs at the Public Registry of Panama, and taking a Master’s in Higher Education at the Interamericana University in Panama.


Czech Republic

Dana Potockova (MDR, 2000)

DPotockovahas been involved in mediation and dispute resolution programs for more than 12 years as an educator, trainer and contributor to projects dealing with mediation in her native Czech Republic, the United States and Europe. Since 2001 Ms. Potockova has been managing director of Conflict Management International, a company specializing in consulting and training in negotiation and mediation skills. She has trained more than 3,000 people in 14 different countries, and is co-founder of the Association of Czech Mediators and the board member of the World Mediation Forum. She has been appointed by the Czech Ministry of Justice as a member of the working group for drafting and commenting on Czech mediation law.


Felix A. R. Doerfelt (LLM, 2007)

FelixD is a German PhD Student at Bucerius Law School, Hamburg. His fields of study are International Private Law, including procedural law, and
Alternative Dispute Resolution with an emphasis on Mediation
and International Commercial Arbitration.

Felix studied law as a member of the first class at Bucerius Law School, Hamburg. After his First State Examination in 2005, he worked part time for law firms in Hamburg and Munich before joining the Straus Program in 2006 as a Fulbright Scholar. Upon his return to Germany he worked for Prof. Dr. Thorn, LLM at Bucerius Law School. Since February 2009 he has been clerking at the Hanseatisches Oberlandesgericht Hamburg to prepare for his Second State Examination. He published on Mediation as well as International Private Law and Jurisdictional aspects of transport by sea.

Anke Meier (LLM, 2008)

Anke Meieris a German and U.S. qualified lawyer specializing in the field of international arbitration and litigation. She has extensive experience with commercial and investment arbitration proceedings, international procedural law, especially the international taking of evidence. Her litigation practice focuses primarily on corporate, commercial, and civil cases.

Anke studied law at the Ruhr University in Bochum, Germany, from which she also holds a PhD degree (Dr. iur) in legal history. In 2008, Anke graduated from the LL.M program of the Straus Institute. Her LL.M studies focused on International Dispute Resolution. Anke is fluent in German and English and has a working knowledge of French and Spanish. She is author of articles on alternative dispute resolution, including the use of e-discovery in international commercial arbitration, and negotiation practice.


Laura Lozano (LLM, 2012)
received her LLM in Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law with a focus on International Dispute Resolution in the summer of 2012. She also holds a double degree in Law and Business from ICADE University of Madrid.

She is currently collaborating in the first European Class Action book that will be published by the Association for International Arbitration at the beginning of 2013. Furthermore, she has interned at the International Center for Dispute Resolution a division of the American Arbitration Association, the leading dispute resolution provider. Along with her passion for and experience in Dispute Resolution, she has significant experience conducting research in both legal and business settings. She is extremely interested in arbitration and her professional goal is becoming a well known arbitrator.


Charalampos Tagaroulias (Bobby) (LLM, 2012) is currently Charalamposserving as a judicial representative (attorney) for the Legal Counsel of the Greek state, the equivalent of the Attorney General in the US. Prior to 2007 he worked for 5 years as a private attorney. Bobby has been involved in representing the Greek government in courts and arbitrations, and he currently focuses his efforts on promoting the introduction of alternative dispute resolution methods in governmental practices and the administrative law.

Bobby studied law at the University of Athens (Ethnikon and Kapodistriakon), Greece. He graduated in 2012 from the LLM Program of the Straus Institute and his LLM studies focused on International Arbitration and Mediation. Bobby is accredited as mediator (Greek state), mediation trainer (toolkit company of Holland), and negotiator (ACB Foundation, IMI). He is also fluent in English and Greek, having a very good knowledge of French.


Olesia Safulko (LLM, 2011) is currently working as Compliance Analyst for a major German bank.  Prior to Pepperdine she received her legal degrees from National University of Lviv (Ukraine), and an LLM from the University of Hamburg (Germany).


Giorgi Chaladze (LLM, 2008) is an attorney from Georgia,Giorgi Chaladze and prior to joining Pepperdine's LLM program he served in the Prosecutor General's Office and previously Regional Ombuds for human rights protection. Upon his return to Georgia he served as Vice Minister for the Government of Georgia where he authored and drafted several laws. He has mediated and negotiated various international disputes including high profile conflicts involving governments, head of states and religious leaders and have included topics in religion, cross cultural, political, commercial and family disputes.

Giorgi earned his LLM in Dispute Resolution in 2008 and was a recipient of Georgia's prestigious Presidential Scholarship. He is currently managing his law firm in Georgia and working to introduce and implement Alternative Dispute Resolution in his country, and harmonizing Georgian legislative system with internationally recognized ADR practices. He is also working on a PhD dissertation focusing on Implementing ADR in the Georgian Legal System. Giorgi is fluent in English, Georgian and Russian and has a knowledge of French, German and Chinese (Mandarin).

Middle East

United Arab Emirates

Zouhdi Yakan (LLM, 2004)

Zouhdi Yakanis currently a Senior Associate at Law House Advocates & Legal Consultants in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. He is involved in negotiating, drafting and reviewing of agreements of different types (such as commercial, real estate, banking, construction) to national and multi-national corporations and in incorporation and restructuring of companies as well as conducting due diligence and providing legal opinions and in negotiations for out of court settlements.

Mr. Yakan also worked in the field of international arbitration at the law firm of Dr. Abdel Hamid El Ahdab in Beirut from 2004 until the end of 2007. He has worked in various arbitration cases relating to international sales, banking, B.O.T. and construction (FIDIC) disputes. His work involved preparation of briefs, legal research, pleadings, examination/cross-examination of witnesses, and exequatur and annulment of arbitral awards. He also extensively assisted in the preparation of the revised 3rd Arabic version of the “Encyclopedia of Arbitration” (3 volumes) of Dr. El Ahdab as well as assisted him (while acting as an arbitrator) in the preparation of terms of reference, procedural orders and arbitral awards.



Yuwen Chen (LLM, 2010)

Yuwen Chenreceived her bachelor's of law degree from Wuhan University, a prestigious comprehensive university in China. Yuwen's research focused on the current status and development of arbitration in China. "Studying at the Straus Institute is a challenge, but also an opportunity to test your will, mind and abilities."

Jie Xu (LLM, 2010)

JieXua Chinese alum from Straus received his LLM in Dispute Resolution in 2010. He graduated from the Wuhan University, one of the top 10 universities in China. His studies at Straus enhanced his capability of being successful in the current Chinese legal environment. With the LLM program from Straus, his research on the unique Chinese dispute resolution methods gained a lot of insight other than relying solely on basic legal thinking. As a current member of the Beijing Arbitration Commission, one of the emerging arbitration institutions in east Asia, he is trying to utilize what Straus has taught him and put it into practice in China.

Hong Kong

Sala Sihombing (LLM 2012)
Australian by birth, Sala has lived in Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong Sihombing
and the UK. Sala has lived and worked in Hong Kong for over fifteen years. On qualification as a solicitor in the UK, she went to Hong Kong and practiced as a criminal litigator. She worked for 11 years at Morgan Stanley in Asian equity derivatives focusing on documentation and then product development. Upon completing
her LLM, Sala returned to Hong Kong and has set up an ADR practice and mediation centre. She is also teaching a financial dispute resolution course as an adjunct at the University of HK in the LLM programme.



Shibani Rao (LLM, 2004)

Shibani Raoreceived her Bachelor of Law from Mumbai University in India and attended Pepperdine's LLM program through an international fellowship sponsored by the American Association of University Women. After completing her LLM, Shibani returned to India and is currently with J.P. Morgan as its first locally qualified lawyer in India responsible for the Legal function within the investment banking division. Shibani is qualified to practice law in India and is a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales in the United Kingdom. In her spare time, Shibani enjoys traveling to remote places, painting and photography and is also a trained Indian Classical vocalist.



Priscilla Ahn (LLM, 2012 candidate) grew up in southern California and attended high school and college in Seoul, Korea. She received her LL.B. at Sogang University. Upon graduating, she moved to New York and worked at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP then at Kirkland & Ellis LLC as a legal assistant in general litigation for six years. She then transferred to the Kirkland office in Chicago, Illinois. After working for two years, she decided to pursue an LLM in Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine's Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution with a focus in Mediation and International Dispute Resolution. Priscilla is interested in Fashion Law and is expected to take the California bar exam in February 2013.

Sang Yeop Lee (MDR, 2008)


Kinga Tshering (MDR, 2002)



Sherif El Negahy (LLM, 2008)

Sherif El Negahyis a public prosecutor and a future judge at the Egyptian judiciary system. He joined the Pepperdine community as a Fulbright scholar pursuing his passion of ADR after he obtained a diploma in international arbitration from Ain Shams University. Elnegahy co- founded the Egyptian Anti-Cyber Crimes Association, and after earning his LLM at Pepperdine became a founding member of the Arab League for Electronic Arbitration. He is a member of the Egyptian ADR association and an accredited arbitrator at the Cairo Regional Center for International Arbitration as well as an accredited mediator at CEDR London.

Elnegahy has given lectures and speeches including "Presenting Cases before courts or arbitral tribunals" at the Continuing Legal Education for Young Lawyers, Skills and Practice Program, administered by the ABA American Bar Association rule of law initiative, and was a panel speaker at the Dispute Resolution and Information Security Protection Conference where he gave a presentation on "E-Negotiations as a Method of Dispute Resolution".