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Sudha N. Setty

Dean, School of Law
A.B., Stanford University
J.D., Columbia Law School
Office: L 303

Sudha Setty became Dean of the School of Law in 2018, and has served on the faculty since 2006.  Dean Setty has taught courses in Constitutional Law, Law & Terrorism, National Security & Government Accountability, Contracts, and Business Organizations.  She was a visiting scholar at the University of Cape Town Faculty of Law in 2018, a Fulbright Senior Specialist at the Chinese University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law in 2014, and a Visiting Professor at the University of Connecticut School of Law in 2011. She was awarded Western New England Law School's Catherine J. Jones Professor of Year Award in 2009, 2016, and 2018, was recognized in 2015 as Trailblazer by the South Asian Bar Association of Connecticut, and received the 2017 Tapping Reeve Legal Educator Award from the Connecticut Bar Association. In July 2018, she was elected to membership in the American Law Institute.

Dean Setty's scholarly work focuses on comparative analysis of separation of powers, rule of law and national security.  Her monograph, National Security Secrecy: Comparative Effects on Democracy and the Rule of Law, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2017.  She has written dozens of law review articles and book chapters on national security and the rule of law, as well as editing the 2014 book, Constitutions, Security, and the Rule of Law. She currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of National Security Law and Policy and the executive committee of the American Society of Comparative Law.

Prior to joining the faculty of Western New England, Dean Setty was a litigator with the New York firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell, where she focused on antitrust and securities regulation matters.  She served as defense counsel in civil, regulatory, and criminal matters involving national security issues, including terrorism financing investigations and lawsuits, and a pro bono matter challenging sentencing guidelines for those convicted of terrorist acts.  Her pro bono practice also included litigating federal civil rights cases, working on state constitutional challenges to immigration-related ballot initiatives, and the mentoring of New York City high school students.  Dean Setty graduated as a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar from Columbia Law School and received her A.B. in History (concentration in comparative civil rights) with honors from Stanford University. Dean Setty is the first woman of South Asian descent to serve as dean of an ABA-accredited law school.

Sudha Setty's Google Scholar Profile

Other references to Sudha Setty and her work


Business Organizations

Comparative Constitutional Law

Constitutional Law


Law and Terrorism




CONSTITUTIONS, SECURITY, AND THE RULE OF LAW (Sudha Setty ed., International Debate Education Association 2014). Digital Commons

Book Chapters

Sudha Setty, Surveillance and the Inversion of Democratic Transparency, in DEMOCRACY AND SECURITY: A HANDBOOK (L. Weinberg and E. Francis eds., Routledge 2020).

Sudha Setty, Assessing Unconventional Applications of the "Terrorism" Label, in BEYOND HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE WAR ON TERROR 1 (Satvinder S. Juss ed., Routledge 2019). SSRN

Sudha Setty, Neo-liberal National Security: Wielding Counterterrorism Powers to Protect Economic Growth, in PRIVATIZATION AND GLOBALIZATION: CHANGING LEGAL PARADIGM 231 (Sairam Bhat ed., National Law School of India University 2017). SSRN

Sudha Setty, The United States, in COMPARATIVE COUNTER-TERRORISM 49 (Kent Roach ed., Cambridge University Press 2015). SSRN Digital Commons

Sudha Setty, Formalism and State Secrets, in SECRECY, NATIONAL SECURITY AND THE VINDICATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 57 (David Cole, Federico Fabbrini & Arianna Vedaschi eds., Edward Elgar Publishing 2013). SSRN Digital Commons

Sudha Setty, Litigating Secrets: Comparative Perspectives on the State Secrets Privilege, in NATIONAL SECURITY, CIVIL LIBERTIES AND THE WAR ON TERROR 20 (M. Katherine B. Darmer & Richard D. Fybe eds., Prometheus Books 2011).

Sudha Setty, Litigating Secrets: Comparative Perspectives on the State Secrets Privilege, in STATE SECRETS PRIVILEGE 201 (M. Bhavani ed., Icfai University Press 2009).

Journal Articles

Sudha Setty, Foreword: Symposium: On Account of Sex: Women’s Suffrage and the Role of Gender in Politics, 42 W. NEW ENG. L. REV. 333 (2020). SSRN Digital Commons

M. Isabel Medina, Jennifer Rosato Perea, Elena Maria Marty-Nelson, & Sudha Setty, Roundtable on Intersectionality and Strengths and Challenges in Leadership, 23 U. PA. J.L. & SOC. CHANGE 363 (2020). SSRN Digital Commons

Sudha Setty, Past and Present as Prologue: A Symposium on Richard L. Abel’s Law’s Wars and Law’s Trials, TEX. NAT'L SECURITY REV. (forthcoming 2020) (invited symposium submission)

Sudha Setty, Foreword, 41 W. NEW ENG. L. REV. 1 (2019). SSRN Digital Commons

Sudha Setty, The President's Private Dictionary: How Secret Definitions Undermine Domestic and Transnational Efforts at Executive Branch Accountability, 24 IND. J. GLOBAL LEGAL STUD. 513 (2017). SSRN Digital Commons

Sudha Setty, Obama's National Security Exceptionalism, 91 CHI.-KENT L. REV. 91 (2016). SSRN Digital Commons

Sudha Setty, Student-Edited Law Reviews Should Continue to Flourish, 32 TOURO L. REV. 235 (2016). SSRN Digital Commons

Sudha Setty, Surveillance, Secrecy, and the Search for Meaningful Accountability, 51 STAN. J. INT'L L. 69 (2015). SSRN Digital Commons

Sudha Setty & Matthew H. Charity, Introduction: Constitutional Conflict and Development: Perspectives from South Asia and Africa, 28 TEMPLE INT'L & COMP. L.J. 179 (2015) (invited introduction for symposium issue). SSRN Digital Commons

Sudha Setty, Symposium: Preferential Judicial Activism, 17 BERKELEY J. AFR.-AM. L. & POL'Y, & 7 J. OF RACE, GENDER, AND ETHNICITY 151 (2015) (invited symposium submission). SSRN Digital Commons

Sudha Setty, Country Report on Counterterrorism: United States of America, 62 AM. J. COMP. L. 643 (2014). SSRN Digital Commons

Sudha Setty, Targeted Killings and the Interest Convergence Dilemma, 36 W. NEW. ENG. L. REV. 169 (2014). SSRN Digital Commons

Sudha Setty, Judicial Formalism and the State Secrets Privilege, 38 WM. MITCHELL L. REV. 1629 (2012). SSRN Digital Commons

Sudha Setty, The Rise of National Security Secrets, 44 CONN. L. REV. 1563 (2012). SSRN Digital Commons

Sudha Setty, National Security Interest Convergence, 4 HARV. NAT'L. SEC. J. 185 (2012). SSRN Digital Commons

Sudha Setty, What's In a Name? How Nations Define Terrorism Ten Years After 9/11, 33 U. PA. J. INT'L L. 1 (2011). SSRN Digital Commons

Sudha Setty, No Place for Secrets: Balancing National Security Interests and the Need for Transparency of the Law, 29 L'OBSERVATEUR DES NATIONS UNIES 151 (2010-12) (solicited article for an issue on Le Secret (The Secret)).

Sudha Setty, Comparative Perspectives on Specialized Trials for Terrorism, 63 ME. L. REV. 131 (2010). SSRN Digital Commons

Sudha Setty, National Security Without Secret Laws: How Other Nations Balance National Security Interests and Transparency of the Law, July 2009. SSRN Digital Commons

Sudha Setty, Litigating Secrets: Comparative Perspectives on the State Secrets Privilege, 75 BROOKLYN L. REV. 201 (2009). SSRN Digital Commons

Sudha Setty, No More Secret Laws: How Transparency of Executive Branch Legal Policy Doesn't Let the Terrorists Win, 57 U. KAN. L. REV. 579 (2009). SSRN Digital Commons

Sudha Setty, The President's Question Time: Power, Information, and the Executive Credibility Gap, 17 CORNELL J.L. & PUB. POL'Y 247 (2008). SSRN Digital Commons

Sudha Setty, Leveling the Playing Field: Reforming the Office for Civil Rights to Achieve Better Title IX Enforcement, 32 COLUM. J.L. & SOC. PROBS. 331 (1999). SSRN Digital Commons

Shorter Writings

Sudha Setty, Western New England University School of Law and Its Commitment to the Springfield Community, AF-AM POINT OF VIEW, Mar. 1, 2022, at 23.

Sudha Setty, The January 6, 2021 Capitol Riots: Resisting Calls for More Terrorism Laws, JOURNAL OF NATIONAL SECURITY LAW & POLICY (Special Online Issue: Capitol Insurrection 2021) (Jan. 25, 2021).

Sudha Setty, Marking the Centennial of the Law School, AF-AM POINT OF VIEW, Jan. 1, 2020, at 23.

Sudha Setty, The Dangers of National Security Secrecy to our Democracy, AMERICAN CONSTITUTION SOCIETY (Dec. 4, 2017).

Sudha Setty, The Plenary Powers Doctrine is Not a Blank Check, AMERICAN CONSTITUTION SOCIETY (Sept. 28, 2017).

Sudha Setty, Checks and Balances: How the Trump Administration is Testing the Boundaries of Its Power, AF-AM POINT OF VIEW, July 1, 2017, at 23.

Sudha Setty, Islam On Trial, BOSTON REVIEW (Feb. 27, 2017).

Sudha Setty, State Secrets Might Get a Little More Secret, JUST SECURITY (Oct. 17, 2014).

Sudha Setty, Amicus Brief, United States v. Johnson, No. 14-CR-390-1 (N.D. Ill. 2014).

Erin E. Buzuvis & Sudha N. Setty, Letter to The New York Times, May 25, 2008, at MM6. Digital Commons