Juan Mondelli, the 2011-2012 Siderman Fellow, specializes in immigration and asylum law. Since 2003, Juan has worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as a protection officer and legal advisor on issues related to refugee protection. His main responsibilities entail supporting national governments and non-governmental organizations that assist refugees in their local integration process in the asylum country. He regularly participates in proceedings of Argentina's National Refugee Commission, which adjudicates asylum claims, and conducts training and workshops for government officials. He also provides support to international workshops dealing with refugee protection. In 2009, he taught the UNHCR's course on International Refugee Law in San Remo, Italy.
"Because of my experience working for the U.N., I know a lot about refugee and human rights law, but studying the U.S. system for immigration and asylum is important because it is so developed. In Argentina, we have many human rights lawyers and some immigration lawyers but not many refugee lawyers. I see the good things you have here and will try to implement them in my country."- Juan Mondelli
At Southwestern, Juan's studies have focused on Constitutional Law and International Human Rights. In addition to his coursework, he was instrumental in Southwestern's Immigration Law Clinic's filing of an amicus curiae brief with the Inter-American Court on Human Rights in Costa Rica on the right of refugees to asylum under Inter-American Human Rights Law, and he has completed an independent study project on the same issue. Juan plans to return to his work at UNHCR upon completing his internship at the ACLU.