Tegan Brink ’09 LL.M. speaks with the pacing of a seasoned diplomat used to the rapid exchange of ideas. Often leaning forward and gesturing with her hands, the Australian native becomes highly animated as she explains her interest in international trade law.
“I believe in the importance of trade and economic development as a vehicle for political change,” Brink says. “It’s a younger field of law, so it’s exciting because new law is being created every day.”
Brink hopes to contribute to the development and interpretation of international economic law, “whether on the policy side or through the dispute settlement process,” she says. “I’m interested in how trade law can respond to international challenges, including [environmental issues].” She notes, for example, that despite popular critiques of the international trading system, subsidies and tariffs can be more environmentally damaging than carbon emissions from shipping food.
Before coming to the Law School, Brink, who is a Fulbright Scholar, spent three years in Geneva as a representative for the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. “People tend to think diplomats are always at cocktail parties drinking champagne and eating canapés,” she says. “While there is some of that, it’s really thrilling to go into a room with representatives from 150 other countries and negotiate treaties. It’s really international relations at work.”