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 University Colleagues

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

I. Glenn Cohen
Professor of Law, Harvard Law School; Faculty Director, Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology & Bioethics.

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

Thomas Hehir
Silvana and Christopher Pascucci Professor of Practice in Learning Differences, Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Martha L. Minow
Carter Professor of General Jurisprudence, Harvard Law School; Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor.

Fernando Reimers
Ford Foundation Professor of Practice in International Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Senior Associates

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

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


Chester Finn
Self-Advocacy Association of New York State; Office for People with Developmental Disabilities.

Deborah Gleason
Director, Asia/Pacific Region, Perkins International, Perkins School for the Blind.

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

Jody Heymann
Dean, Fielding School of Public Health, UCLA; Founding Director, WORLD Policy Analysis Center.

JaeWon Kim
Professor of Law, Sungyunkwan University Law School.

Jonathan Lazar
Professor of Computer and Information Sciences, Towson University.  

Osamu Nagase
Eminent Professor, Center for Ars Vivendi, Ritsumeikan University.

Tony Phillips
Self-Advocacy Association of New York State.

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

Anita Silvers
Professor and Associate Chair of Philosophy, San Francisco State University

Michael Waterstone
Dean, Loyola Law School Los Angeles.

2017-2018 Associates

Bradley Areheart

Jean Elphick

Janos Fiala

Mona Indargiri

Faraaz Mahomed

William Pons

Kjersti Skarstad

Matthew Smith

Senior Advisor

Hon. Luis Gallegos


HPOD Management

Juliet K. Bowler
Senior Program Manager.



© 2008 The President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved.

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