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Who is Apsara Iyer, the first Indian-American woman President of Harvard Law Review?

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DailyBiteFeb 07, 2023 | 13:11

Who is Apsara Iyer, the first Indian-American woman President of Harvard Law Review?

Apsara Iyer becomes the first Indian American woman to be President of Harvard Law Review. Photo: Harvard

Apsara Iyer, 29, has become the first Indian-American woman to be elected the President of Harvard Law Review in its 136 years of history. Iyer, a second-year student at Harvard Law School, succeeds Priscila Coronado, the first Latina to be elected the President of the prestigious publication. 

Apsara has changed the lives of many editors for the better, and I know she will continue to do so. From the start, she has impressed her fellow editors with her remarkable intelligence, thoughtfulness, warmth, and fierce advocacy.
- Priscila Coronado, outgoing HLR President 

What do we know about Apsara Iyer? Iyer is described as a first-generation American who was born in Chicago and raised in Indiana. Much of her interests and work revolve around archeology and repatriating stolen works of art. 

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  • Iyer graduated from Yale in 2016 with a BA in Economics & Math and Spanish.
  • The Crimson reported that Iyer had shown an interest in "the relationship between communities living around archeological sites and the management of cultural heritage".
  • Her interest in archeology led her to pursue MPhil at Oxford University as a Clarendon Scholar.
  • In 2018, she joined the Manhattan District Attorney's Antiquities Trafficking Unit (ATU) investigating art crime. 
  • Harvard says that Iyer helped authorities safely repatriate over 1,100 stolen art works to 15 different countries.
  • Reuters reports that one of the famous cases Iyer worked on was that of billionaire Michael Steinhardt, who agreed to return $70 million in antiquities determined to be stolen in 2021. 

Apsara Iyer's statement: 

Priscila’s leadership is a model for all of us... I am so grateful that we—Volume 137—inherit her legacy, and I am honored to continue building on this important work over the next year.

Apsara Iyer's Harvard journey began in 2020 when she started law school. She even went to the Netherlands as a Chayes International Public Service Fellow for the TRANSFORM research project. 

  • Iyer told Harvard that her interest in archaeology started way back in childhood, inspiring her to take up research and fieldwork in India and Peru. 
  • Iyer had been a part of Harvard Law Review as an editor before being elected the president. She is also involved in the Harvard Human Rights Journal and the National Security Journal. She is also a member of the South Asian Law Students Association. 
  • The Crimson reported Iyer saying that she is a "nontraditional student" and is unsure of her plans after graduating from HLS.
  • At Harvard Law Review, Iyer plans on including more editors for reviewing and selecting articles.
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I cannot wait to see what Volume 137 will achieve under her leadership.
- Priscila Coronado

Harvard Law Review: The publication was founded in 1887. As Apsara Iyer serves as the 137th president of Harvard Law review, here are some notable Presidents of the publication:

  • Barack Obama (former US President) served as the 104th President 
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg (former Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court) 
  • Ketanji Brown Jackson (Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court) served as supervising editor.
Last updated: February 07, 2023 | 13:11
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