Executive Training on Investment Arbitration for Government Officials

Date: July 31-August 10, 2017
Location: Columbia University

Download the 2017 Executive Training Brochure hereThe application for the program is available here. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. 

Governments around the world are facing complex and pressing issues relating to their international investment treaties. Investor-state arbitrations based on those treaties are on the rise, involving ever-more novel and wide-ranging claims, and often claiming staggering sums in damages. hereNegotiations of new treaties continue, with many of these agreements being unprecedented in terms of the issues they seek to cover and the complexity of their provisions. States are also facing significant questions about what to do with their stocks of existing investment treaties, many of which no longer reflect the states’ treaty policies and practices.

Against that background, there is an important need for officials in all branches and at all levels of government to learn about and stay up to date on new developments in investment treaty content and investor-state arbitration law and practice, and understand what those developments mean for them in their respective roles. This course aims to fill that need, and is aimed specifically at addressing the issues, opportunities, and challenges facing governments. It is relevant for:

  • Treaty negotiators responsible for shaping the content of new agreements or revising existing ones;
  • State attorneys responsible for defending the state in investor-state arbitral proceedings or overseeing outside counsel;
  • Members of parliament or congress responsible for setting parameters for negotiations, ratifying treaties, and adopting implementing legislation; as well as those with questions about whether and in what circumstances their actions may give rise to investment arbitration cases;
  • Government regulators – whether responsible for areas of taxation, environmental regulation, investments in mining and infrastructure, or other areas – whose actions are often challenged in investor-state arbitration and for whom the content of investment treaties can have important practical implications;
  • Officials in investment promotion agencies who may be asked about investment treaties, and whose actions can also give rise to investment treaty claims;
  • State and local officials who want a better understanding of how investment treaties and investment arbitration can be relevant for and impact their roles and responsibilities; and
  • Representatives of government development institutions and inter-governmental organizations working on issues relating to international investment law and policy.

Through an intensive course, government officials will increase their knowledge of crucial procedural and substantive aspects of investment law, better equipping them to deal with this complex and ever-evolving field with wide ranging implications for myriad areas of law and policy, and direct consequences for host-state liability.

Participants can elect to attend only Module 1, which relates to substantive issues of investment law, only Module 2, which focuses on procedural and practical issues regarding resolution of investment disputes and handling investment arbitrations, or both.

A Certificate of Attendance will be provided by Columbia University upon successful completion of the course.

For more information about the program, please download the 2017 Executive Training Brochure here.  

Who should attend?

The program is designed for public sector officials whose responsibilities relate to investment treaty negotiation or investor-state arbitration.

All participants must be able to read and communicate in English.

If you have any questions about the program or if you would be interesting in sponsoring participants in the program, please contact us at ccsi@law.columbia.edu.

Where and when will the program be held?

The 2017 program will be held at Columbia University (New York) from July 31-August 10.

What are the program fees?

The program fee for the full course (July 31-Aug 10) covers lectures, on-campus accommodation, breakfasts and lunches, and social events.

  • Full course: $4000 with accommodation; $2850 without accommodation

Participants can also elect to attend only Module 1 (July 31-Aug 4) or 2 (Aug 7-10) as follows:

  • Module 1: $2500 with accommodation; $1850 without accommodation
  • Module 2: $2100 with accommodation; $1700 without accommodation

The on-campus accommodations included in the program fee have a twin size bed (which comfortably sleeps one) and a private bathroom; more information available here. If you prefer to secure your own housing, a few off-campus options are listed here.

How can I apply?

To apply, please complete and submit our online application form (available here). Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis. A limited number of scholarships may be available.


Sessions will be taught by leading academics and practitioners and will be tailored to uniquely address issues relevant to governments. Past faculty have included:

  • Lee Caplan, Partner, Arent Fox LLP
  • Kabir Duggal, Associate, Baker & McKenzie LLP
  • Lauren Friedman, Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP
  • Claudia Frutos-Peterson, Partner, Curtis Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP; Adjunct Professor, American University College of Law
  • Alvaro Galindo, International Counsel, Dechert LLP
  • Alejandro M. GarroAdjunct Professor of Law, Columbia Law School; Professor of Law, University of Buenos Aires; Senior Research Scholar, Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law
  • Grant Hanessian, Partner, Baker & McKenzie LLP
  • Anna Joubin-Bret, Avocat à la Cour, Cabinet Joubin-Bret (Paris)
  • Alexandra Kerr Meise, Associate, Foley Hoag LLP
  • Ucheora Onwuamaegbu, International Attorney, Arent Fox LLP
  • Constantinos Salonidis, International Associate, Foley Hoag LLP
  • Jeremy K. Sharpe, Partner, Shearman & Sterling, LLP
  • Shane Spelliscy, Trade Law Bureau, Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, Government of Canada
  • Ignacio Torterola, Partner, Brown Rudnick LLP
  • Elisabeth Tuerk, Chief, Section on International Investment Agreements, Division on Investment and Enterprise, UNCTAD
  • Louis T. Wells, Herbert F. Johnson Professor Emeritus of International Management, Harvard Business School
  • Katia Yannaca-Small, Counsel, Shearman & Sterling LLP

Scholarships & Sponsors

Firms and organizations wishing to provide scholarships for the 2017 program should contact us at ccsi@law.columbia.edu for more information.

CCSI thanks the executive training program’s 2017 supporters, which allow CCSI to cover the costs of the course and provide need-based scholarships to participants.

Core Supporters:







CCSI also wishes to thank the following benefactors for scholarships granted to participants of the 2016 Executive Training on Investment Arbitration for Government Officials:

The Dechert LLP Scholarship, which supported three participants at the 2016 Executive Training.


The Foley Hoag LLP Scholarship, which supported two participants at the 2016 Executive Training.


The Winston & Strawn LLP Scholarship, which supported
one participant at the 2016 Executive Training.


Support for the 2016 program was also generously
provided by Baker & McKenzie LLP.