Kristen Eichensehr

  • Martha Lubin Karsh and Bruce A. Karsh Bicentennial Professor of Law
  • Director, National Security Law Center
Kristen Eichensehr writes and teaches about cybersecurity, foreign relations, international law and national security law. She has written articles on, among other things, the attribution of state-sponsored cyberattacks, the important roles that private parties play in cybersecurity, the constitutional allocation of powers between the president and Congress in foreign relations, and the role of foreign sovereign amici in the Supreme Court. She received the 2018 Mike Lewis Prize for National Security Law Scholarship for her article, “Courts, Congress, and the Conduct of Foreign Relations,” published in the University of Chicago Law Review. In 2021 she became director of UVA Law’s National Security Law Center.
Eichensehr clerked for Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Sonia Sotomayor of the Supreme Court of the United States and for Judge Merrick B. Garland of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. She also served as special assistant to the legal adviser of the U.S. Department of State and practiced at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., where she specialized in appellate litigation and international and national security law, including cybersecurity issues. 
Eichensehr received her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she served as executive editor of the Yale Law Journal and articles editor of the Yale Journal of International Law. She holds an A.B. in government from Harvard University and an M.Phil. in international relations from the University of Cambridge.
Eichensehr is the editor of the American Journal of International Law section on Contemporary Practice of the United States Relating to International Law and a member of the editorial boards of the national security blog Just Security, and of the Journal of National Security Law & Policy. She is a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering & Medicine Forum on Cyber Resilience, an affiliate at the Stanford Center for International Security and Cooperation, and an affiliate scholar at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School.


  • J.D.
    Yale Law School
  • M.Phil.
    University of Cambridge
  • A.B.
    Harvard University

“Cyberattack Attribution as Empowerment and Constraint,” Hoover Institution Aegis Paper Series No. 2101 (2021).

“Contemporary Practice of the United States Relating to International Law,”  115 Am. J. Int'l L. __ (2021).

“The Youngstown Canon: Vetoed Bills and the Separation of Powers,” 70 Duke L.J. 1245 (2021).

“The Law & Politics of Cyberattack Attribution,” 67 UCLA L. Rev. 520 (2020).

“Digital Switzerlands,” 167 U. Penn. L. Rev. 665 (2019).

“Decentralized Cyberattack Attribution,” 113 Am. J. Int'l L. Unbound 213 (2019).

“International Decision, Animal Science Products, Inc. v. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., No. 16-1220 (U.S. 2018),” 112 Am. J. Int'l L. 116 (2019). 

”Courts, Congress, and the Conduct of Foreign Relations,” 85 U. Chi. L. Rev. 609 (2018).

“Data Extraterritoriality,” 95 Tex. L. Rev. See Also 145 (2017).

“Public-Private Cybersecurity,” 95 Tex. L. Rev. 467 (2017).

“Giving Up on Cybersecurity,” 64 UCLA L. Rev. Discourse 320 (2016). 

“Foreign Sovereigns as Friends of the Court,” 102 Va. L. Rev. 289 (2016).

“The Cyber-Law of Nations,” 103 Geo. L.J. 317 (2015).

“Cyberwar and International Law Step Zero,” 50 Tex. Int'l L.J. 357 (2015). (Invited symposium contribution.)

“Review of ‘The Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare’” (Michael N. Schmitt ed., 2013), 108 Am. J. Int'l L. 585 (2014). 

“Treaty Termination and the Separation of Powers,” 53 Va. J. Int'l L. 247 (2013). 

“Treason in the Age of Terrorism: An Explanation and Evaluation of Treason’s Return in Democratic States,” 42 Vand. J. Transnat'l L. 1443 (2009).

Stopping Wars and Making Peace: Studies in International Intervention (ed. with W. Michael Reisman) (Brill, 2009).

Note, “Defending Nationals Abroad: Assessing the Lawfulness of Forcible Hostage Rescues,” 48 Va. J. Int'l L. 451 (2008).

Comment, “On Target? The Israeli Supreme Court and the Expansion of Targeted Killings,” 116 Yale L.J. 1873 (2007).

“Treason’s Return,” 116 Yale L.J. Pocket Part 229 (2007). 

Note, “Targeting Tehran: Assessing the Lawfulness of Preemptive Strikes Against Nuclear Facilities,” 11 UCLA J. Int'l L. & Foreign Aff. 59 (2007).

Current Courses

All Courses

Cybersecurity Law & Policy
Contemporary Practice of the United States Relating to International Law
Foreign Relations Law
Legislation & Regulation

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