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Varun Aery

Class of 2017-2018

About Varun

(updated 6/2018) Varun Aery is an American lawyer and legal scholar specializing in international human rights law.  Growing up in a rural farming town in Northern California sparked Varun’s interest in understanding how socioeconomic conditions affect access to important public resources. Starting at a local junior college, he received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.  While a student, Varun interned for Congresswoman Barbara Lee, whose commitment to addressing the needs of lower income populations and to eliminating HIV/AIDS inspired him to pursue a career in public service.  During the UC Berkeley Washington Program, Varun interned for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.  After graduation, he became a paralegal with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, and later interned with the U.S. Department of State while studying for his J.D. at the University of California, Davis.  He received an additional Master of Law (LL.M.) in international law from the University of Michigan, and published five articles in peer-reviewed journals.  He also worked as the Senior Research Assistant to the United Nations Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, and served on committees for the American Bar Association and World Affairs Council.  During his Luce year, Varun served as the Deputy Research Director for Future Forum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, an evidence-based think tank founded in 2015 to develop creative and principled solutions to a wide range of policy issues at local, national, and international levels.  He was responsible for writing a substantive report on Cambodian judicial reform for Members of Parliament that assesses how Cambodia can promote the rule of law in 20 years. Additionally, Varun helped manage Future Forum’s Young Fellows program.  On a personal note, he is a classically trained kathak dancer.

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