The McGeorge School of Law’s International Board of Advisors (“the Board”) is an advisory body that provides guidance and support to the law school’s faculty, administration, and students with regard to educational programs and professional development in the fields of international law and transnational practice.

Our Board is comprised of individuals of distinction and preeminent international leaders who bring their considerable talents, diverse professional backgrounds, and wisdom to promote and strengthen our law school’s mission. The Board has made tremendous contributions to our school's academic and institutional advancement, predominantly by expanding our global network and enhancing our school’s presence and impact around the world.

McGeorge School of Law's community is deeply grateful to the Board’s members for their generous commitment of time, expertise, and resources.

Katharine Baragona
Katharine Baragona '90, J.D.

Sr. Infrastructure Finance Specialist
Finance, Economics and Urban Development
The World Bank Group

Kate Baragona is a senior finance executive / UK Solicitor / California lawyer with over 35 years of international experience and practice. Currently, she is a Senior Infrastructure Finance Specialist in the Financial Solutions Group of the World Bank in Washington, D.C., leading guarantee operations and financial structuring discussions in Nigeria and Sierra Leone. She will soon be transferring to the MNA-Energy team to undertake new duties on the EEX operations side. Her expertise is in the areas of project finance, public-private partnerships, structured finance, cross-border leasing, and trade finance, for the infrastructure, power, extractive industries and transport sectors. Throughout her career, Kate has been legal counsel, lender, financial advisor, and guarantor to some of the world’s most successful infrastructure projects, working side-by-side with sponsors, lenders, and governments to develop bankable financial structures, and successfully close public-private projects.

Vice Chair
Nora Klug ’01, LL.M.

Nora Klug is the general counsel to the Bosch Group as of January 1, 2021. In this position, she oversees the technology and services company’s corporate legal department and have global responsibility for this area. Prior to this, Klug was the general counsel and chief compliance officer of the global legal and compliance sector at BSH Hausgeräte GmbH in Munich, Germany. In addition, she was responsible for the company’s risk management and internal controlling system. Before joining BSH in 2013, she worked as a corporate lawyer advising a range of international companies on legal and compliance matters, including in the aviation and construction industries. Most recently, she was group general counsel for the Hilti Corporation.

Nora Klug


Judeh K. Bahnanc ’05, J.D.

General Counsel
Olayan Financing Company
Saudi Arabia

Judeh Bahnan can count upon a wealth of technical legal knowledge gained through a varied and rewarding private practice career to inform his in-house operations. He rose through the ranks of external counsel quickly: in October 2007, Bahnan was a senior associate with SNR Denton and, via a stint with New York-based Dewey & LeBoeuf, by the start of 2014 was going into his second year as an attorney for Patton Boggs (now Squire Patton Boggs). At this point, in January of 2014, he made the move in-house at an extremely prestigious company, Olayan Financing Company (OFC) of Saudi Arabia. OFC is the holding company for the Olayan Group’s sprawling, privately-owned business conglomerate, and has interests in a vast number of industries.

Linda Carter

Distinguished Professor of Law Emerita
McGeorge School of Law

Linda Carter is a Distinguished Professor of Law Emerita at McGeorge School of Law. She was a co-director of the Global Center prior to retiring in 2016.  She taught and researched in domestic and international criminal law, and continues to work on projects in her areas of expertise. She recently served as a consultant on a case at the International Criminal Court and is a trustee of the International Bar Association Foundation that focuses on supporting the rule of law worldwide.

Linda Carter
Daisy Deng
Daisy Deng

Xiaoxia Deng, (Daisy), was born in Guangdong, China. She is an alumna of McGeorge School of Law, having completed the LLM program in Transnational Business Practice in 2012. Daisy earned her bachelor's degree in law from Sun Yat-sen University in 2004, followed by a master's degree in law from the same university in 2008. With over 15 years of legal experience, Daisy served as an attorney-at-law for six years at Schinders Law, a law firm based in Guangzhou, China.

Following her time at Schinders Law, Daisy joined Amway China as a legal counsel, specializing in intellectual property issues, projects, and marketing support. Currently, she holds the position of senior legal counsel at (NYSE: VIPS), where she oversees litigation matters and provides support for daily operations.

Gordian N. Hasselblatt ’95, LL.M.

CMS Hasche Sigle

Gordian Hasselblatt is a partner in the Cologne office of CMS Hasche Sigle. He has many years of experience and comprehensive expertise in intellectual property law, focussing particularly on international trade mark and design law, unfair competition law, press law and cross-border litigation. In addition, Gordian Hasselblatt is particularly appreciated as an expert for trademark clearance (e.g. in the context of product launches at international level) and strategic management of large trade mark and design portfolios. Gordian is the author of numerous publications, amongst others the two commentaries in the English language European Union Trade Mark Regulation and Community Design Regulation, published by C.H. Beck Hart Nomos (2nd ed., 2018).

Gordian Hasselblatt
Wafa J. Hoballah ’87, LL.M.

WJH Law Group, APC

Wafa J. Hoballah, attorney at law, specializes in International and Immigration law, representing clients across the globe in business, commercial and corporate law. With over twenty years of experience, Ms. Hoballah tailors her services to assist her client’s needs in business and immigration, into the United States. Ms. Hoballah has worked with clients from Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, focusing on major aspects of international business transactions, negotiations, due diligence investigations, development, financing, and joint ventures. Ms. Hoballah’s practice focuses on international investments and employment and investment-based immigration.

Kay Jebelli ’08, J.D.

Competition & Regulatory Counsel
CCIA Europe

Kayvan Hazemi-Jebelli (Kay) is Competition & Regulatory Counsel to the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) based in Brussels, where he’s represented and advised the association on competition policy issues, and European regulatory policy matters since 2019. He has over a decade’s experience working as a competition lawyer in private practice, in the European Commission Directorate-General for Competition, in academia, and as Senior Legal Counsel at a leading UK media and communications company. Before that, he worked as a computer engineer. Kay received his B.Sc. in Computer Science & Engineering from UCLA, his J.D. from the University of the Pacific, and his LL.M. in Competition Law from King’s College London.

Kay Jebelli
Nicolas Lassonde
Nicolas Lassonde ’95, LL.M.

Legault Joly Thiffault (LJT), LLP

Nicolas Lassonde practices business and technology law at LJT Avocats since 1995. He actively participates in business sale/acquisition transactions and setting up commercial agreements of all kinds. Nicolas advises medium-sized businesses on the different aspects of their legal affairs, with a focus on commercialization of intellectual property rights, products, services, and joint venture agreements. Nicolas also advises many businesses in high technology, clinical research, and information and communication technology (ICT). Nicolas is a legal expert partner of the Groupement des chefs d'entreprises du Québec and a partner member of the Guilde des développeurs de jeux vidéo indépendants du Québec.

Henry Liao ’98, LL.M.

Managing Partner
Schinders Law

Prior to working at Schinders, Henry worked in a prestigious international law firm (Linklaters) where he represented clients (including multinational corporations and sovereign governments) in offerings and private placements. Henry also worked for & Gamble, where he was in charge of joint venture investment, business transactions, advertising and intellectual property. Henry was listed and profiled in the “Legal 500” (Asia Pacific).

Henry Liao
Avv. Maurizio M.A. Maiano ’88, LL.M.

Managing Partner
Maiano Pisano & Partners

With over three decades of experience in Corporate and Commercial Law, Mergers and Acquisitions, Corporate Finance, Tax Planning and Real Estate Development, Maiano has advised corporate clients from a wide spectrum of industries and developed an in-depth expertise in the Multilevel Marketing and the Medical Device industries. A member of the Milan Bar Association since 1983, qualified as a Non-Executive Company Director and a Certified Public Accountant. He is also a member of the State Bar of California (International Section), having completed his postgraduate studies at the McGeorge School of Law, California and having practiced at Attia, Bartel, Eng & Torngren in Sacramento, California.

Lawrence Manzi '11, LL.M.

Deputy Chief of Mission/First Counselor
Embassy of Rwanda to the United States of America
Washington, D.C.

Lawrence Manzi has been in charge of Political Affairs at the Embassy of Rwanda to the United States, in Washington, D.C., since 2015. Before his current assignment, he worked for two years at the Mission of the Republic of Rwanda to the United Nations in New York where he served as a Political Coordinator of the Rwanda’s UNSC team. Lawrence has over 14 years of experience in public service, policy process, governance, community development, diplomacy and international relations, and has hands-on experience in multilateral and bilateral relations and negotiations. He has worked and advised high level policymakers. He is experienced in human rights advocacy and training and in assisting victims of human rights violations. Lawrence acquired experience in conflict resolution, conflict transformation and peace building. He received his LLB at the National University of Rwanda (now University of Rwanda) and holds an LLM in Public Policy and Law from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.

Lawrence Manzi
Michele E. McGuire ’88, LL.M.

Retired Partner
Deloitte Tax LLP

Michele is a retired partner of Deloitte Tax LLP. She has over 30 years of experience advising clients on numerous global trade matters. Michele specialized in the operational side of global trade, helping clients assess and design their global trade management process including automated solutions. Michele’s deep regulatory and operational background allowed her to apply real life practical solutions for her clients which are not only compliant with a myriad of global trade regulations but are also efficient and effective.

Iván M. Morales ’96, J.D., ’97, LL.M.

Executive Director
iCorporate Consulting

Iván Morales, iCorp’s Managing Director, is a lawyer by training. Iván started his career with Gomez, Acebo & Pombo in Madrid, Spain before joining Shearman & Sterling in New York where he acquired experience in bank finance, corporate finance, M&A, bankruptcy and litigation.  In 2003, he joined Linklaters expanding practice in New York as a Senior Litigation and Restructuring Associate until he joined Visa International in 2008 as its Head of Legal Services and Government Relations for Latin America. Thereafter, Iván became the General Counsel of the Somos Group, a Latin American Entertainment Group based in Miami, Florida.  In order to expand his horizons, he established iCorp in 2013 in order to help clients become more attractive for US transactions.

A close up image of a man standing by a window
Andre Odermatt ’95, LL.M.

Attorney at law, LLM (McGeorge School of Law)
Partner, HBM Kerdos AG

Odermatt is a partner and lawyer for the corporate and trust services firm HMB Kerdos. He has worked in fiduciary since 2000 and has been a member of HMB Kerdos team since 2011.

Keith E. Pershall ’94, LL.M.

Attorney & Counselor at Law

Keith is in private practice in Sacramento. He is also an adjunct professor at McGeorge school of Law. Keith’s practice focuses on U.S., domestic, and international income tax matters in business transactions and controversies before Federal and State tax authorities, as well as on general international business matters. Keith began his legal career in Houston and then spent nine years as a partner and head of the tax practice at Downey Brand. During his eight years at McGeorge, he was Director of International Programs, in charge of the international graduate programs and its international programs in Europe. After leaving McGeorge, he returned to private practice and opened his own law office in 2006.

Svetlana V. Petroff ’91, LL.M.

Managing Partner
Rowland & Petroff

Svetlana V. Petroff is the co-founder of Rowland & Petroff, and Ms. Petroff focuses on cross-border corporate and commercial matters, especially for German and French speaking clients. Ms. Petroff services a number of private clients, predominantly European companies doing business in the United States or European nationals in connection with their U.S. investments. In Germany and France, Ms. Petroff cooperates with several firms in various cities, serving as a U.S. legal consultant on Anglo-American legal issues and liaising with those firms’ English- speaking clients.

Fausto Pocar

European Law Institute (Austria)
University of Milan (Italy)

Fausto Pocar is a member of the Council of the European Law Institute and Professor Emeritus of International Law, Private International Law and European Law at the University of Milan. From 2000 to 2017 he was a judge of the International Criminal Tribunals for former Yugoslavia (and President thereof) and for Rwanda, where he also presided over the Appeals Chamber. From 2017 on he has been an ad hoc judge of the International Court of Justice. From 1984 to 2000 he was a member (and Chairman 1991–1992) of the UN Human Rights Committee under the ICCPR. Since 1980 he has participated in many sessions of the Hague Conference of Private International Law, and was co-rapporteur of the Draft Convention on Foreign Judgments (1999), President of the Special Commission on Maintenance Obligations (2002–2007), and Chair of the Drafting Committee of the Judgments Convention (2019). 

As for the European unification of private international law, Pocar was the rapporteur on the revision of the Brussels I Convention (1999) and of the Lugano Convention (2007). He authored hundreds of publications in the above-mentioned fields, lectured at the Hague Academy of International Law and many universities worldwide, and has been a member since 1997 of the Institut de droit international. He is Dr honoris causa University of Antwerp and Kennedy University, Buenos Aires.

Fausto Pocar
Eric Pope

Director of Exports
Purple Brands

Mr. Pope is Director of Exports at Purple Brands in Petaluma, California, a mid-sized wine producer with a small-batch, artisanal spirits portfolio. At Purple, he oversees a thriving export division with current sales to 35 markets worldwide. Eric began his international career working for the Office of Graduate and International Programs of University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in Salzburg, Austria and credits the law school, its faculty and students for setting his broad international perspectives. Previously, he was the Regional Director, Emerging Markets at the Wine Institute of California in San Francisco, where he oversaw trade promotion in Asia and the Americas for the California wine industry.

Dr. Hansjürgen Schnur ’90, LL.M.

DR:SCHNUR Anwaltskanzlei/Law Firm

Hansjurgen is an attorney in private practice in Leipzig and in Frankfurt/a.M., Germany. He founded his law firm in 1993. His practice areas are corporate law, labor law, cross-border transactions, intellectual property, and U.S. law. Hansjurgen was previously a partner with the firm Funk Schnur & Laska in Siegburg, Foreign Legal Advisor to Williams Kastner & Gibbs in Seattle, and was a law clerk for the Higher Regional Court of Cologne.

Joseph Smallhoover
Joseph Smallhoover

Law offices of Joseph Smallhoover pllc
France and USA

Mr. Smallhoover has been practicing law in France since 1985. Prior to opening his own firm, with offices in Paris and Pittsburgh, he was the managing partner of the Paris office of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP and previous to that, the managing partner of the Paris and Frankfurt offices of Dechert LLP. Earlier he had been a partner of the Paris firm S.G. Archibald, an associate at Rosen, Wachtell & Gilbert in Los Angeles, and a foreign associate with Farnborough & Partners in Dusseldorf. He began his career as a judicial law clerk with the President Judge of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Smallhoover specializes in French commercial and corporate law, art law, film and media law, estate management and related family law issues, and international and French banking and financial law. His practice primarily centers on counseling, as well as accompanying his clients in complex litigation matters. 

He holds degrees from Duke University, the University of Virginia and the University of Pittsburgh, and was a fellow of the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) in Tübingen and Düsseldorf, and a Fulbright exchange teacher in Austria. He has also studied in Austria, France and Germany.

He speaks English, French and German and reads Spanish.

Douglas Smurr ’87, J.D.

Of Counsel
Gordon & Rees

Douglas Smurr is of counsel in the Cannabis, Hemp & CBD, Commercial Litigation, Business Transactions, International, Immigration, White Collar Criminal Defense, and Government Regulatory & Administrative Law practice groups at Gordon & Rees. For over 30 years, he has been a practicing international business attorney maintaining a diverse litigation and transaction practice from offices based in the United States, Latin America, and Europe. Mr. Smurr is a dual national of the United States and Mexico and is fluent in Spanish.

Francis S.L. Wang
Francis S.L. Wang, Esq.

President/Chairman, International Association of Law Schools
Dean Emeritus/Professor of Law, Soochow University, Kenneth Wang School of Law, China

Francis SL Wang is the President/Chairman of the International Association of Law Schools. Professor Wang is one of the founding Governors of the IALS. He is the Executive Director of The Wang Family Foundation.  Professor Wang is the Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law at the Kenneth Wang School of Law, Soochow University, Suzhou, China where he serves as the Honorary Chair of the University’s Board of Regents.   He has taught for many years at the University of California at Berkeley both in its Department of Rhetoric and at the Law School’s School of Jurisprudence and Social Policy. He was a Visiting Professor of Law and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the University of Pacific – McGeorge School of Law where he now serves on its International Advisory Board.  He is the co-founder and Senior Counsel of the War Crimes Studies Center at U.C. Berkeley, now part of the WSD Handa Center at Stanford University. Professor Wang is a member of the Scholastic Council and holds an Honorary Doctorate in Law from the Far Eastern Federal University of Russia. He is a member of the Visiting Committee and Law School Advisory Council at Cornell Law School.  He has served on numerous other professional, business, and non-profit boards. He is presently a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the International Law Students Association which oversees the Jessup International Moot Court Competition. He is a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, and an Honorary Bencher of the Honorable Society of King’s Inns.

Edward J. Wright, Jr.’82, J.D.

Martensen Wright, P.C.

Since co-founding Martensen Wright PC in 2000, Ed has dedicated himself exclusively to establishing and nurturing businesses from abroad in the U.S. He regularly assists clients with the practical requirements of “Doing Business in the US.” Indeed, Ed and co-founder, Finn Martensen, were pioneers in bringing Danish business to the U.S., and Danish based clients account for some 90% of the firm’s client base. Ed has extensive experience in corporate formation, governance, start-ups, M&A, business visas and employment law. He is also a seasoned litigation attorney, helping business clients resolve disputes for over 25 years. Ed’s goal is to smooth your entry into the U.S. market—to make sure all legal issues are handled up front so that you can concentrate on business.


Paul Dassenko
Paul Dassenko

Mr. Dassenko is an experienced arbitrator and mediator, having been appointed in over 290 arbitrations worldwide. His background as an executive in the insurance sector and as an entrepreneur add unique perspective to his work as an arbitrator and mediator.


Since 1993, Mr. Dassenko has maintained an active calendar as an arbitrator. These include arbitrations conducted under the auspices of the AAA, the ICDR, the ICC International Court of Arbitration (Paris), the LCIA (London), and the DFIC-LCIA (Dubai). Mr. Dassenko is an ARIAS-U.S. Certified Arbitrator and Umpire. He is also on the panel of arbitrators for ARIAS (UK). In addition to his arbitration and mediation work, he takes a limited number of expert witness engagements.


In 1976 Mr. Dassenko entered the property-casualty training program at the Travelers Insurance Group. After leaving The Travelers, he advanced through the ranks at Swiss Re and Munich Re. Since his work for the liquidator of Transit Casualty Company starting in 1989, he has acquired a reputation internationally as a turnaround and solvency specialist focused on financial services and particularly insurance and reinsurance companies. He led turnarounds as Chief Executive at GIO Insurance Limited (Australia) and Converium Reinsurance (North America) Inc. Mr Dassenko founded two companies in the insurance space which have since been acquired and integrated into larger insurance holding groups.


Mr. Dassenko holds a Juris Doctor degree from the McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific and has been an active member of the California Bar since 1979. He received a B.A. from Walla Walla University and did post-graduate work at IMD in Lausanne Switzerland.

Carol M. Mates, Esq.

Retired Principal Counsel, IFC

4202 Embassy Park Drive, NW
Washington, DC 20016

Tel: 1 (202) 537-0326
Cell: 1 (301) 792-0595

Winfried H.A.M. van den Muijsenbergh, Esq.
Winfried H.A.M. van den Muijsenbergh, Esq.

Attorney at Law/Advocaat
Wilhelminakade 1

3072 AP Rotterdam
P.O. Box 4302
3006 AH Rotterdam

Tell: +31 88 253 5372

Claude Rohwer

Professor Emeritus

733 Main Street
Winters, CA 95694

Tel: 1 (530) 212-5080

Claude Rohwer behind a lectern