Major Fellowship Activities: Nelson researched the current U.S. policy towards the International Criminal Court (ICC). She wrote a briefing book on the subject, Closing the Door: The U.S. Effort to Shield Itself from the International Criminal Court, that was published by CDI. She conducted interviews with experts, attended relevant lectures and conferences, and read the pertinent literature on the topic. She wrote “Iraq: Questions Regarding the Laws of War” for the CDI website, which includes discussion of conventional weapons, weapons of mass destruction, and human shields. She contributed a quote on Belgium’s “Anti-Atrocity Law” to the April 8th edition of CDI’s “Insights” dispatch. She wrote an article on Options for the Prosecution of War Crimes and Atrocities in Iraq for the Weekly Defense Monitor, and a forthcoming article on the prospect for trials for the detainees in Guantanamo Bay. In October she presented her paper on the International Criminal Court at the International Biennial Conference of the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society, held in Chicago. She attended two United Nations Association conferences on “Post-Conflict Law and Order,” one focusing on maintaining the peace and the other focusing on creating a working legal system; and a lecture at the National Press Club on war crimes in Iraq in honor of the release of the Arabic edition of a book on the law of armed conflict and violations thereof. She attended a Center for Defense Information/Physicians for Social Responsibility conference on U.S. Nuclear Policy and Counterproliferation, which included a panel on international law; a briefing on the law of armed conflict and a potential war in Iraq; two meetings with Supreme Court Justices; and a lecture on war crimes tribunals at the Holocaust Memorial Museum. She attended the two-day Judicial Conference of the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, which included lectures on international criminal law and military law; a press conference at the National Press Club on the International Criminal Court’s Victims Trust Fund; a “Law Day” lecture at the Library of Congress; a panel discussion at the American Enterprise Institute on U.S.-Russian Relations after Iraq; and a panel discussion at the US Institute of Peace on the Military and the Making of Foreign Policy. She also attended a panel discussion on “Establishing Justice and the Rule of Law in Iraq” at the United States Institute of Peace; a lecture on and release of the new book Rogue Nation: American Unilateralism and the Failure of Good Intentions; and a discussion of external security and the use of force at “The Changing Role of the State: A Franco-American Dialogue” conference. She attended a debate on “Prosecuting Terrorists: Civil or Military Courts?” at the American Enterprise Institute; a Women in International Security (WIIS) meeting on Baltic Regional Security Challenges; the presentation of the National Endowment for Democracy’s “Democracy Award” to North Korean gulag survivors; and a “Captive Nations” meeting held by Victims of Communism.
Current Activities: Nelson is an associate at Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP where she works in the firm’s litigation group and concentrates her practice on commercial litigation. She previously served as a member of the legal team supporting a United Nations human rights inquiry. During law school, she worked in the Department of Defense Office of General Counsel and interned for the Honorable Beryl A. Howell, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. She was an editor of the Yale Journal of International Law for the summer 2011 issue. She was a Research Associate at the University of Chicago during 2009-2010 where she focused on international law and security, especially on the law of armed conflict. She received a PhD from the Department of War Studies at King’s College, University of London in 2009 where she received the “Defence Studies PhD Studentship.” She also received an Overseas Research Student Award from the United Kingdom government. She wrote her doctoral thesis in the area of the law of armed conflict. In fall 2005 she started teaching at a training facility for British officers. In July 2005 she participated in Columbia University’s Summer Workshop on Analysis of Military Operations and Strategy (SWAMOS), and in September 2005 she presented a paper on “NGOs and the Creation of Laws of War Treaties: A Democratization of Negotiation?” at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association. In 2005 and 2006 she presented papers at the International Studies Association (ISA) and the British International Studies Association (BISA) conferences. Nelson presented a paper on the laws of war at “Transformation and Convergence: Armed Forces and Society in the New Security Environment,” a conference held in Toronto in October 2004.