A.B., Cornell University
J.D., Harvard Law School
Areas of Expertise
Deborah Pearlstein joined the Cardozo faculty following her tenure as an Associate Research Scholar in the Law and Public Affairs Program at the Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, and visiting appointments at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Georgetown University Law Center. Her research focuses on national security law and the separation of powers, and has appeared in journals including the Harvard Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and Columbia Human Rights Law Review.
From 2003-2007, Pearlstein served as the founding director of the Law and Security Program at Human Rights First, where she led the organization’s efforts in research, litigation and advocacy surrounding U.S. detention and interrogation operations. Among other projects, Pearlstein led the organization's first monitoring mission to the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; prepared a series of briefs amicus curiae to the U.S. Supreme Court; and co-authored multiple reports on the human rights impact of U.S. national security policy, including Command’s Responsibility, which provided the first comprehensive accounting of detainee deaths in U.S. military custody since 2002 and received extensive media attention worldwide. Pearlstein also worked closely with members of the military and intelligence communities, including in launching a series of off-the-record workshops to address key policy challenges in U.S. counter-terrorism efforts. Still an active contributor to the field, Pearlstein was appointed in 2009 to the ABA's Advisory Committee on Law and National Security.
Before embarking on a career in law, Pearlstein served in the White House from 1993-1995 as a Senior Editor and Speechwriter for President Clinton. A magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, Pearlstein clerked for Judge Michael Boudin of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, then for Justice John Paul Stevens of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Cardozo School of Law
55 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10003