Jeffrey Kahn joined the SMU Law faculty in Fall 2006. He teaches and writes on American constitutional law, Russian law, human rights, and national security law. In 2007-2008, he received the Maguire Teaching Fellow Award from the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility at SMU for his seminar, “Perspectives on Counterterrorism.” In 2008-2009, he was named a Colin Powell Fellow of the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies. In 2010, he received SMU’s Outstanding Faculty Award, a university-wide award given each year to a junior, tenure-track faculty member for excellence in teaching, curricular development, and scholarship. In 2011, the year he was tenured and promoted to associate professor, he received the Law School’s Excellence in Teaching Award.
His latest research on U.S. topics focuses on the right to travel and national security. His most recent book, Mrs. Shipley’s Ghost: The Right to Travel and Terrorist Watchlists (University of Michigan Press, 2013), critically examines the U.S. Government’s No Fly List. Among other publications, his articles have appeared in the UCLA Law Review, Michigan Law Review, and the peer-reviewed Journal of National Security Law and Policy.
His work on Russian law has been noted by name by the editors of the New York Times and published in various law reviews as well as the peer-reviewed Post-Soviet Affairs and the Review of Central and East European Law. His latest research has focused primarily on the influence in Russia of the European Convention on Human Rights. In 2011, Russian President Dmitrii Medvedev’s Human Rights Council asked him—the one American among six other experts from Russia, one from Germany, and one from the Netherlands—to write an expert report on the second conviction of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Platon Lebedev. This work and its continuing repercussions was described in a recent essay published in the New York Times (online) and International Herald Tribune (print).
He is a graduate of Yale College, Oxford University (where he won the Hodgson Martin Prize for Best Dissertation for his doctoral work on Russian federalism), and the University of Michigan Law School. His first book, based on that dissertation, was published by Oxford University Press while he was a law student. During law school, he also served as a lecturer on European human rights law at summer training programs in Moscow for Russian lawyers sponsored by the Council of Europe. He was a law clerk to the Honorable Thomas P. Griesa of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. After his selection through the Attorney General’s Honors Program, he served as a trial attorney in the Federal Programs Branch of the Civil Division, United States Department of Justice, from October 2003 until April 2006.
He is a founding member of the Advisory Board for the SMU Embrey Human Rights Education Program. SMU is the first university in the South, and only the fifth in the country, to offer an academic major in human rights. The major is currently the fastest growing major in the University. He is also a Faculty Associate of the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies.