Chairman, AG International Law, PLLC
Dr. Gerson is recognized as the first attorney to engineer a practical basis for suing foreign governments for acts of terrorism. After the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, he initiated the first civil suit against a foreign state (Libya) on behalf of families of the victims. In 1996, Dr. Gerson’s efforts were instrumental in the passage of the Anti Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act which provides U.S. citizens with the right to sue foreign governments in U.S. courts for complicity in terrorism. The outcome of his efforts, in conjunction with other attorneys, was an historic $2.7 billion settlement with Libya. This groundbreaking work is chronicled in The Price of Terror: How the Families of the Victims of Pan Am 103 Brought Libya to Justice (with Jerry Adler, see Books).
Dr. Gerson earned a J.D. (Juris Doctor) from New York University Law School (1969), an LL.M. (Master of Laws) from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1972), and a J.S.D. (Doctor of Juridical Science) from Yale Law School (1976).
In 1977, Dr. Gerson joined the U.S. Justice Department as a trial attorney. He was awarded Distinguished Performance Awards for his work with the Appellate Section of the Civil Division, and later with the Office of Special Investigations of the Criminal Division. In 1981, Dr. Gerson was chosen to serve as Senior Counsel to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Jeane Kirkpatrick, and in 1985 to her successor, General Vernon Walters. In 1985 and 1986, he served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Legal Counsel and Counselor for International Affairs with the U.S. Department of Justice. From 1986 to 1989 he was a Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and from 1989 to 1995 he served as a Distinguished Professor of International Law and Transactions at George Mason University. In 1998 through 2002, he was Senior Fellow for International Law and Organizations at the Council on Foreign Relations. In 2003, he served as Senior Counsel to the US Delegation to the Commission on Human Rights. He is admitted to the New York and District of Columbia Bars, the US Supreme Court Bar, and various US Courts of Appeals Bars.
His private practice revolves around his role as Chairman of AG International Law, specializing in complex issues of international law and politics.
A prolific author, Dr. Gerson has authored several books and contributed to multiple professional journals. His writings focus on promoting the rule of law, privatization of justice, post-conflict resolution, sovereign immunity, and innovative approaches to representing victims of terrorism and genocide. See the Articles and Books sections for more detailed information.
Dr. Gerson is also an accomplished photographer and artisanal jewelry designer, whose works are held in several museums, and corporate and private collections.