DIILS is pleased to announce that Ms. Carolyn Leonard-Cho was recently promoted as our Maritime Program Director. Prior to the promotion, Ms. Leonard-Cho worked as an Institutional Capacity Building (ICB) Attorney since August 2019. As Maritime Program Director, Ms. Leonard-Cho serves as a subject matter expert on issues of international maritime operational law, the law of the sea, and maritime governance, and manages DIILS maritime ICB programs and related training and education activities. In this capacity, she supports partner nation efforts to enhance maritime security sector governance and core legal functions necessary to effectively and responsibly achieve shared security objectives. She also helped establish and has served as the co-coordinator for the Legal Aspects of Maritime Security Operations course, a DIILS resident course.
Ms. Leonard-Cho retired as a Commander in the U.S. Coast Guard in 2019, following a two year assignment as the DIILS Operations Deputy Director, during which time she developed and delivered legal advisory services, education, and training to security cooperation partners around the world.
Noteworthy Coast Guard assignments prior to DIILS include Ms. Leonard-Cho serving for three years as the Logistics Department Head at Sector Long Island Sound, overseeing 80 staff who supported the Sector in the areas of finance, engineering, personnel administration, and housing. From 2009 to 2012 she was the Deputy Staff Judge Advocate of District Eleven in California, where she provided real-time guidance to senior leadership to ensure Coast Guard operations were conducted in accordance with applicable law, policy and international agreements. In addition, she worked at the Office of Maritime and International Law from 2001-2003, where she was the U.S. Delegation Deputy Representative to the International Maritime Organization Legal Committee.
Ms. Leonard-Cho graduated from The Johns Hopkins University with a BA in International Studies with an East Asian concentration, and earned her JD, cum laude, from Suffolk University Law School.