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Law of International Development Initiative

The Law of International Development Initiative (LIDI) serves as an intellectual and practical hub for innovative solutions to development challenges and works to mentor and train the next generation of international development law leaders. Photo: Erica Frendach for USAID

About the Initiative:

Launched in Fall 2019 through a unique public-private partnership between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the O’Neill Institute for National & Global Health Law at Georgetown Law, LIDI responds to the need to address legal challenges arising from development and humanitarian assistance to the world’s most vulnerable. These challenges range from navigating terrorist sanction regimes to structuring complex financial transactions, and involve a host of actors including governments, multilateral organizations, foundations, non-governmental organizations, and private sector entities.

LIDI Priorities:

  • Serve as a convener, thought leader and voice for the legal community on legal topics relating to international development and humanitarian assistance.
  • Execute applied research projects in consultation with USAID staff and external partners that identify and employ solutions to development problems.
  • Support educational opportunities for students and practitioners in the field of international development and humanitarian assistance law, including the addition of the course “Introduction to International Development and Humanitarian Assistance” starting fall 2020.
  • Develop future leaders in International Development Law by mentoring, sharing experiences, and increasing dialogue among students and practitioners and showing a path to practice.


Susan Keller Pascocello, Distinguished Development Diplomat in Residence, Visiting Professor

Susan Keller Pascocello, a career member of the Senior Executive Service at USAID and an alumnus of Georgetown Law School, leads LIDI and its work. As a recognized leader at USAID, within the US government, international organizations and among non- and for-profit partners, Ms. Pascocello is a strategic and results-driven international development executive and lawyer. She has proven abilities and broad experience leading teams advancing international development and economic growth in the public and private sectors. Since 2018, she has been a leader of USAID’s focused efforts to prevent and address sexual misconduct, including sexual exploitation and abuse in the development sector. Ms. Pascocello is committed to developing a diverse group of international development law leaders of the future and has a track record of identifying opportunities for law students and lawyers in the international development community.

Active Projects

Active Personnel

Susan Keller Pascocello

Completed Projects