The Rules of War Blog is managed by the American Red Cross International Humanitarian Law team.
Randy Bagwell, U.S. Army Colonel (Ret)
Senior Director, International Services, U.S. Programs
Colonel (retired) Randy Bagwell serves as the Senior Director of International Services, U.S. Programs at the American Red Cross. This includes International Humanitarian Law, the IHL Youth Action Campaign, Restoring Family Links, and Missing Maps. at the American Red Cross. In this role, he supervises the IHL Team in the execution of their mission to educate and inform the American public on IHL. Prior to joining the American Red Cross, Randy was a career U.S. Army officer serving in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps.
Randy last served in the army as Dean at the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s School in Charlottesville, Virginia. The U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s School is the only American Bar Association accredited law school within the U.S. government and is authorized to award a Masters in Laws degree in Military Law. In addition to his duties as Dean, Randy also taught classes in IHL and leadership. He has also taught IHL at the U.S. Naval War College, the Defense Institute of International Legal Studies, the NATO School in Oberammergau, Germany, and the International Institute of Humanitarian Law in Sanremo, Italy. Additionally, he has taught IHL as an officer in the U.S. Army in over twenty countries.
As a Judge Advocate, Randy advised senior military commanders on a wide variety of legal issues serving as the senior legal advisor (known as a Staff Judge Advocate) for U.S. Army Alaska, 3rd Infantry Division, and I Corps. In these positions, he participated in numerous operational exercises where he advised on IHL.
Randy’s operational deployments include Hungary in support of operations in Bosnia in 1996. With the 82nd Airborne Division as the Staff Judge Advocate for Coalition Task Force – 82 in Bagram, Afghanistan, 2002-2003. In Bagdad, Iraq as the Chief of Operational Law for Multinational Forces – Iraq, 2006-2007. Finally, with 3rd Infantry Division to Kandahar, Afghanistan as the U.S. Staff Judge Advocate and Senior NATO Legal Advisor to NATO Regional Command – South, 2012-2013. During these deployments in addition to leading legal teams addressing a variety of legal issues, Randy personally advised senior commanders on issues such as targeting, detention, and rule of law.
A frequent speaker and writer in IHL, Randy’s primary focus has been in the area of self-defense in IHL.
Randy retired in June 2018 with 29 years of active duty service and over 36 years of combined Active Duty, Army Reserve and National Guard service. He has four times been awarded the Legion of Merit and three times the Bronze Star for meritorious service.
Senior Legal Advisor, IHL
Molly Kovite is the Senior Legal Advisor for the American Red Cross IHL team and responsible for the day to day management of the team. As the child of a diplomat, Molly lived abroad from a young age and attended international schools throughout her childhood. This unique upbringing, allowed her to develop a broad perspective on world events and to develop a strong interest in international relations. Her degrees include a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Italian from Barnard College, Columbia University, New York City; a Masters of Arts in International Relations from Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland; and a Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law, New York City.
Upon graduation from law school, Molly joined the US Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps, where she sought out opportunities to practice International Humanitarian Law. As a Judge Advocate, Molly served two combat deployments to Afghanistan where she advised soldiers and senior commanders on IHL. During her first Afghanistan deployment in 2012-2013, she served with 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division near Kandahar Afghanistan, where she advised on a wide variety of legal issues primarily focused on IHL, but that also included rule of law capacity building, adjudicating claims resulting from combat damage and soldier misconduct. In a subsequent assignment, Molly was selected to be one of the first two women to serve as legal advisors at a Special Forces line battalion. While serving in this job, Molly again deployed to Afghanistan, this time as the legal advisor for the Special Operations Task Force, Afghanistan from 2016-2017. In this position, she advised on a wide array of IHL issues, including targeting, operations, detentions, and rules of engagement. Molly also served as a legal advisor to the 20th Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives Command, where she advised the command on weapons of mass destruction. In addition to the Army Parachute Badge and the Combat Action Badge, Molly has also been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal and the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service.
Molly left active duty military in 2017 to spend time with her family and to continue to pursue her interests in IHL. She has published articles on IHL and role of women in combat. In addition to her work for the American Red Cross, Molly has also taught IHL as a lecturer at the University of Washington in Tacoma. She continues to serve in the U.S. Army Reserves as a Judge Advocate.
Program Officer, International Humanitarian Law: Youth Programs
Larissa joined the IHL Red Cross team in the Summer of 2020 after nearly 4 years of service with the American Red Cross in Volunteer Services both on a regional and national level. Prior to her service with the Red Cross, Larissa worked abroad and domestically, for organizations including Habitat for Humanity, serving marginalized communities, and managing youth development programs for over a decade. She holds a Bachelors in Nonprofit Management and Peace and Conflict Studies and MPA with a concentration in Nonprofit and Organizational Leadership. Outside her academic career, Larissa volunteers on the board and as a trip leader of YES, a youth service organization that teaches young adults about the poverty in their own cities and how to implement their skills in the healing of their communities.
Legal Advisor, IHL
Christian holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Iowa, an MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies from DePaul University, and a JD from the University of New Mexico School of Law. Outside of the United States, Christian has lived and worked in the United Kingdom, Germany, Cyprus, and Colombia. He began his interest in international law while assisting Dr. Barbara Harrell- Bond OBE of the University of Oxford during the peak of the refugee crisis. In the UK he was charged with providing social assistance to recently resettled refugees and was a legal researcher and consultant for UK and European immigration attorneys in asylum cases. His experiences have allowed him to publish extensive short and longer academic pieces regarding human rights, international law, politics, and foreign policy. He is an international legal fellow with the legal think tank Dejusticia based in Bogota, Colombia where his legal research focused on the human rights in the Inter-American legal system specifically with regards to the rights of stateless children and those displaced by armed conflict in and around Colombia.
Currently, outside of his work with the American Red Cross, Christian is an editor of the monthly legal newsletter, Rights in Exile, which focuses on refugee law and issues concerning global migration. He is passionate about IHL dissemination after working closely with victims of armed conflict (both civilians and non-civilian individuals) and his own personal socio-legal research which provided insight on the consequences that can occur when the public is either unaware or misunderstands the principles of IHL. Christian is fluent in Spanish and conversationally proficient in German. He expects to sit for the Iowa Bar Examination in July 2020.
Clara Barton International Humanitarian Law Fellow
Claudia is a New Zealander but was raised in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. She went to United World College South East Asia, where her interest in human rights began through learning about different cultures, traditions, and upbringings. She then attended Bard College, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Human Rights and Art History followed by a Juris Doctor from Boston University School of Law. Her international background was what drew her to pursue international human rights and humanitarian law.
Prior to law school, Claudia volunteered in two refugee camps in Greece, gaining on the ground experience. During law school was a staff attorney in the International Human Rights Clinic, a staff member on the American Journal of Law and Medicine, was the policy director and intake volunteer for the International Refugee Assistance Project, and interned for Reprieve U.K. and the Refugee Solidarity Network. Claudia developed her passion for IHL after taking Law and War and conducting research on the use of force for Professor Rebecca Ingber. Outside of IHL and IHRL, Claudia is interested in privacy and national security law.
Henry P. Davison International Humanitarian Law Fellow
Julia holds an LL.M. from the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights (Switzerland) and an LL.B. from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil).
Julia's interest in international law started in 2015, during her participation at the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. She developed her passion for IHL and IHRL through working as a legal assistant at GAIRE, a legal aid service for refugees in Brazil and as a Visiting Professional at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Julia then pursued an LL.M. in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, during which she interned at the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research.
Currently Julia is the Henry Pomeroy Davison Fellow and works as an international humanitarian law consultant at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul's IHL Clinic. She is involved in research projects about rebel governance, girls soldiers, and critical approaches to international law.
Henry P. Davison International Humanitarian Law Fellow
Albert’s law and policy practice focused on criminal defense litigation, development and human rights advocacy in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. He represented clients in high-profile cases involving election-related violence, electoral fraud and multiple murder in conflict areas, arguing on novel issues of law and handling cases of historical importance. Since 2016, he has been collaborating with human rights organizations serving severely persecuted minorities in the Southeast Asian region, and trained lawyers on land rights and religious freedoms advocacy. In 2017, he led Habitat for Humanity’s program on access to land for shelter in the Philippines. In 2019, he negotiated agreements that pioneered a shipping route and opened opportunities for trade and development in the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area.
He holds a juris doctor from the Ateneo de Manila University and a master’s in European Union Governance and Regulation from the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, Germany. He graduated cum laude from the University of the Philippines with a bachelor’s in Political Science. He studied Hebrew, Greek and Theology at the Asian Theological Seminary.
Currently, Albert teaches International Humanitarian Law and serves as caseworker for the Restoring Family Links Program of the American Red Cross Greater New York Region.
International Humanitarian Law Clerk
Luciana is a Legal Intern at the American Red Cross’ International Humanitarian Law department. Luciana holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná, in Brazil, and is currently pursuing a Master of Liberal Arts in International Relations at Harvard University, along with a Graduate Certificate in International Security. Luciana has a keen interest in IHL and her academic research is centered on issues relating to civilian protection during armed conflicts. She currently works as a Research Assistant at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative where she is involved in research projects that explore matters related to securing humanitarian operations during armed conflicts and the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse in humanitarian responses.
International Humanitarian Law Clerk
Originally from a small town in Mississippi, Alicia Dixon is a 2020 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center. She joined the Red Cross IHL team to pursue her passion for international cultural heritage law and the preservation of cultural property during crisis. She has spent time studying and working in Rome and London, in addition to her time in Washington, DC. Alicia is currently working on a webinar series concerning cultural property protection in International Humanitarian Law. She hopes to dedicate her career to cultural heritage ownership and protection issues at home and abroad. In her free time, Alicia enjoys cooking mail-order meal kits, watching bad horror comedy movies, and pampering her tiny cat.