Who We Are

The Harvard Law School Project on Disability (HPOD) was established by Professor William Alford and Professor Michael Stein in 2004. We are a team of international scholars and advocates working to promote disability human rights.  HPOD‘s transnational operation is headquartered in Harvard Law School.


William P. Alford

Professor Alford
Chair, Harvard Law School Project on Disability
Henry L. Stimson Professor of Law, Vice Dean for the Graduate Program and International Legal Studies, and Director of East Asian Legal Studies, Harvard   Law School.
Professor Alford is a graduate of Amherst College and holds advanced degrees from the University of Cambridge, Harvard,  and Yale. His publications include To Steal a Book is an Elegant Offense:  Intellectual Property Law in Chinese Civilization, Raising the Bar: The Emerging Legal Profession in East Asia, and scores of articles on China. At Harvard, his teaching has focused on Chinese law and society, international law, the legal profession, and disability in a global setting. Professor Alford is an honorary professor of Renmin University, Zhejiang University, and the National Institute of Administration of the PRC, as well as an honorary fellow of the Institute of Law of the Chinese Academy of Social Science. He is a member of the board of directors of Special Olympics and has for years been involved through that organization with training, health, and other disability issues in China and elsewhere. He has been called upon for counsel by international organizations, governments, universities, and charitable entities in the United States and abroad.
For further information please visit Professor Alford’s faculty webpage.

Michael Ashley Stein

Professor Michael SteinExecutive Director, Harvard Law School Project on Disability, Extraordinary Professor, University of Pretoria Faculty of Law, Centre for Human Rights, and formerly Professor, William & Mary Law School.
Professor Stein is a graduate of New York University, holds a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, and a J.D. degree from Harvard (where he was the first person with a disability to serve on the Law Review). His path-breaking scholarship has been published in many leading journals. Examples include Disability and the Social Contract, University of Chicago Law Review, Disability Human Rights, California Law Review, and Cause Lawyering for People with Disabilities, Harvard Law Review.  Professor Stein has taught courses on disability law at Harvard, NYU, Stanford, and William & Mary. Professor Stein has taught courses on disability law at Harvard, NYU, Stanford, and William & Mary. An internationally recognized expert on disability law and policy, Stein participated in the drafting of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, works with disabled persons organizations around the world, actively consults with governments on their disability laws and policies, advises a number of UN bodies, and has brought landmark litigation and written extensively on disability rights. Stein has received numerous awards for his work (e.g., the inaugural Morton E. Ruderman Prize for Inclusion, the inaugural Henry Viscardi Achievement Award, and the ABA Paul G. Hearne Award), and was appointed by President Obama to the United States Holocaust Council.

For further information please read Professor Stein’s CV

Affiliated Harvard Law School Colleagues

I. Glenn Cohen
Assistant Professor of Law, Faculty Co-Director of the Petrie-Flom Center

Alonzo Emery
Lecturer on Law, The Harvard Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program, Harvard Law School

Martha A. Field
Langdell Professor of Law, Harvard Law School.

Martha L. Minow
Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

Senior Research Associates

Janet E. Lord
Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Maryland School of Law.

Penelope J.S. Stein
Research Fellow, East Asian Legal Studies, Harvard Law School.

Research Associates

Janos Fiala
Director, Central Europe Program.

Deborah Gleason
Director, Philippines Program.

Mona Indargiri
Islamic Countries Program

JaeWon Kim
Director, Korea Program

William Pons
Research Associate

Yuanyuan Shen
Lecturer, Department of Economics, Brandeis University.

Hezzy Smith
Director, Bangladesh Program.

Dorothy Weiss Tolchin
Research Associate

Postdoctoral Fellows

Fengming Cui
Director, China Program; Ed.D. Special Education, Boston University.

HPOD Management

Juliet K. Bowler
Senior Program Manager.

Associated Colleagues and Disability Centers

Peter Blanck
University Professor, Syracuse University, and Chair, Burton Blatt Institute.

Harold J. Bursztajn
Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, and President of the American Unit of the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics.

Yu Xingzhong
Anthony W. And Lulu C. Wang Professor in Chinese Law, Cornell University, School of Law

Nora Ellen Groce
Leonard Cheshire Chair in Global Health and Inclusive Development, University College London.

Rune Halvorsen
Senior Researcher, NOVA Norwegian Social Research.

Malcolm Langford
Research Fellow at the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, and Director, Socio-Economic Rights Programme.

Jonathan Lazar 
Professor of Computer and Information Sciences, Towson University

Osamu Nagase
Special Visiting Professor, Research Center for Ars Vivendi, Ritsumeikan University.

Arie Rimmerman
Professor and Richard Crossman Chair for Social Welfare & Planning, Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences, University of Haifa.

Gerard Quinn
Professor of Law and Director, Centre for Disability Law and Policy, National University of Ireland, Galway.

Jeremy Sarkin
Extraordinary Professor of Law, University of South Africa at UNISA

Michael Waterstone
Associate Dean and Professor of Law, Loyola Los Angeles Law School.


Guo Rui
Assistant Professor, Renmin Law School in Beijing

Wang Liming
Vice President, Renmin University of China, and Member of the Law Committee of the National People’s Congress.

Han Dayuan
Dean, Renmin University of China Law School.

Li Jianfei
Professor of Law, Renmin University of China Law School.

Ding Xiangshun
Associate Professor and Assistant Dean for Foreign Affairs, Renmin University of China Law School.

Charles Wharton
Assistant Professor, Renmin University of China Law School.

Xu Jiacheng
Dean, Beijing Lianhe University.

Zhang Wanhong
Associate Professor, Wuhan University Law School and Director, Wuhan University Public Interest and Development Law Institute

Lu Zhi’an
Professor of Law, Fudan University Law School.

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