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Mehdi J. Hakimi is the Executive Director of the Rule of Law Program at Stanford Law School.  He develops and implements projects in the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa.  As Lecturer in Law, he also teaches classes on comparative law, law and development, and legal education at Stanford.  Mehdi has managed global development initiatives sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. 

He was the former Chair of the Law Department at the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF).  In addition to teaching various courses, he founded and directed AUAF’s Business Law Clinic Program as well as the university’s Moot Court Program.  Mehdi has worked with various organizations on international development and human rights issues.  In collaboration with The Asia Foundation, he has designed and directed legal and educational programs in developing countries.  He has also served as consulting counsel for Yale Law School’s Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic.     


Mehdi has acted as counsel, consultant, and expert witness on comparative and foreign law issues in various jurisdictions including major country guidance cases in Europe and North America.  His work has been cited and quoted in judicial decisions and litigation briefs in national and international proceedings.  Mehdi has advised international organizations, governments, academic and research institutions, and global law firms on, inter alia, the Afghan legal system.  He has also been referenced in publications by the European Union, as well as Congressionally-mandated reports examining U.S. policies and actions in Afghanistan. 

Mehdi serves as editor for the Harvard International Law Journal.  His scholarship is published or forthcoming in leading academic journals including the California Law ReviewYale Journal of International LawStanford Journal of International LawColumbia Journal of Transnational LawMichigan Journal of International LawVirginia Journal of International LawGeorgetown Journal of International LawNorthwestern Journal of Human Rights, MENA Business Law ReviewJudicature, and The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, among others.  He has authored or co-authored multiple books on the laws of Afghanistan.  His work has been translated into Farsi/Dari.  

He has been interviewed by or featured in national and international media including Reuters, National Public Radio, Al Jazeera, Voice of America, Bloomberg, New York Daily News, Beijing News, The Pioneer, The Altamont Enterprise, The Diplomat, Tolo News, and other outlets.  Mehdi is an LL.M. candidate at Harvard Law School.  He also holds a Juris Doctorate (J.D.), an M.B.A., and a B.A. (Economics & Law).  A licensed attorney, he practiced litigation, international trade, and business law at a leading Canadian law firm.  Born in Afghanistan, Mehdi speaks Persian/Farsi/Dari (native), English, Arabic, and French.


  • LL.M. (Candidate), Harvard Law School

  • J.D., University of Ottawa

  • M.B.A., University of Ottawa

  • B.A. (Economics & Law), Carleton University

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