New York, New York. The American Foreign Law Association announced today that Past Presidents Ellen Yost and Paul Downs have agreed to lead a committee dedicated to memorializing the 100-year anniversary of the organization’s founding in 1925. “I am extraordinarily grateful to our past presidents Ellen and Paul for stepping up to help AFLA take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.” said Raymond Dowd, AFLA’s President. According to Dowd, AFLA plans to publish a history of AFLA and to organize a celebration of the last century’s developments in international law and cross-border practice. “This is a wonderful moment in history to celebrate the rule of law and the brave souls who improbably sought — and continue against all odds to seek — to build a peaceful world order. Now, more than ever, the world needs great diplomacy, rules of comity and mutual respect.” stated Dowd.
From its inception in 1925, the primary purpose of the American Foreign Law Association has been to promote the understanding and application of foreign, comparative and international law, to cooperate with other professional organizations involved in such fields and to support relevant legal research and writing.
For more than eighty years, AFLA has addressed current issues of importance to those in the legal profession. With the recent globalization of business, trade and finance, an understanding of international law is more critical for more attorneys than at any other time in AFLA’s history.
Many AFLA members have studied or practiced law in more than one country and many are fluent in multiple languages. AFLA members include practitioners, judges, legal scholars and legal officers of international organizations including the United Nations.
AFLA is a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
About Past Presidents Ellen Yost and Paul Downs
Ellen G. Yost is a partner of Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, an AMLaw 100 firm specializing in global immigration law with offices in 25 countries. She practices exclusively in the area of US business immigration law and works with a wide range of industries and high skilled or high net worth individuals. She represents the interests of business, including Fragomen’s clients, at the Business Advisory Group of the Global Forum on Migration and Development, the United Nations in New York, the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD in Paris, and the International Organization of Employers in Geneva.
She is the immediate past President of the American Foreign Lawyers Association, is a Fellow of the American Bar Association (ABA), is a member and former officer of the ABA’s International Law Section, was a member of the ABA Commission on Immigration, is a member and former officer of the Union Internationale des Avocats and is a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and the International Bar Association.
She was President of the Buffalo Council on World Affairs and founded the Pro Bono Immigration Project of the Bar Association of Erie County.
Ellen is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and of the State University at Buffalo School of Law.
Paul practiced international law for more than four decades, most recently as a partner at Hogan Lovells in New York, where he co-founded the Sovereign Investor Practice and initiated its annual Sovereign Investor Conference. Paul also founded the United States presence of Italy’s Studio Carnelutti which subsequently combined with California’s Heller Ehrman where he headed the international practice.
Paul is co-author of The Hunt for Unicorns: How Sovereign Funds are Reshaping Investment in the Digital Economy. He has represented sovereign investors transacting in assets globally, has spoken and published on the topic and guest lectured at Columbia and New York University law schools.
He served as President of the American Foreign Law Association, is a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the International Bar Association and the American Bar Association.
He is a current or past director of international companies and not-for-profit organizations, including International House, New York, The Council for the United States and Italy, and the China US Business Alliance.
Paul is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School.