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Photograph of Susan Benesch

Susan Benesch Adjunct Associate Professor School of International Service

SIS-School of Intl Service
By appointment
LL.M., Georgetown University Law Center, 2008, J.D., Yale Law School, 2001, B.A., Columbia College, 1986

Susan Benesch founded and directs the Dangerous Speech Project (, to study speech that can inspire violence - and to find ways to prevent this, without infringing on freedom of expression. She conducts research on methods to diminish harmful speech online, or the harm itself. Trained as a human rights lawyer at Yale, Susan has worked for NGOs including Amnesty International and Human Rights First. She is also Faculty Associate of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.
For the Media
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Partnerships & Affiliations

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Selected Publications

Research Interests

Primary interests: Human Rights, International Criminal Law, Conflict Prevention, Transitional Justice, Refugee Law and Policy, International Law, Media and Internet Law.

Additional interests: Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Comparative Law, Constitutional Law, Immigration Law.

Professional Presentations

Grants and Sponsored Research

The Dangerous Speech Project studies the role of inflammatory speech in inspiring violence, to identify why and when speech is especially dangerous, and to find remedies that do not trample on freedom of expression. Its operational funding is provided entirely by private foundations, including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Open Society Foundations.

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

Edith Everett Fellow for Genocide Prevention, Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide, US Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2012-2013.

Clinical Teaching Fellow, Center for Applied Legal Studies, Georgetown University Law Center, 2006-2008. Supervised students in live-client asylum cases, took full role in teaching clinical seminar, wrote course materials, published scholarly articles in U.S. and international law.

Robert L. Bernstein Fellow in International Human Rights, Lawyer's Committee for Human Rights, 2000-2003.  Campaigned on asylum and refugee issues. Traveled to Guatemala to monitor human rights trial.