Professor Lucia Ann Silecchia, Director
Professor of Law and Vice Provost for Policy
The Catholic University of America
Professor Silecchia received her B.A. degree summa cum laude from Queens College (C.U.N.Y.) and her J.D. from Yale Law School where she was a Francis Coker Teaching Fellow, senior editor of The Yale Law Journal, and current topics editor of The Yale Law & Policy Review. After law school, she was a litigation associate at Rogers & Wells (now Clifford, Chance) in New York City.
Professor Silecchia has taught at Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law since 1991. She has been an ordinary professor since 2004, and served as the law school's Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in 2004 and 2005. She also directs Catholic University’s Summer Law Program in Rome. In the fall of 2015, she was appointed the University's Vice Provost for Policy.
During her 2000-2001 sabbatical, she spent the fall semester as a Visiting Scholar at Yale Law School and the spring term in Rome conducting research on environmental ethics issues from the perspective of Catholic social thought. Her 2007-2008 sabbatical saw travel to Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Portugal, Spain, and Italy.
In April 2007, Prof. Silecchia was one of nine Americans to participate in a Vatican conference on Climate Change and Development, organized by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. She has participated in the Association of Religiously Affiliated Law Schools, and hosted the 2008-2009 Conference on Catholic Legal Thought.
Professor Silecchia has written in the areas of environmental law and ethics, elder law, Catholic social thought, legal education, law and literature, and legal writing. She has presented at national and international conferences for legal educators, law librarians, lawyers, religious groups, students, and environmental professionals. She has also participated in projects of the Pontifical Council on Justice and Peace and the Environmental Justice Project of the U.S. Catholic Conference; assisted the American Bar Association's CEELI Project in critiquing draft business association laws for Estonia; taught in Catholic University's cooperative programs at Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland; and lectured in Portugal as part of Catholic University's U.S. - Portuguese Law Initiative at the University of Lisbon.
She has also been a member of the teaching faculty for international law students in the Washington D.C.-based Institute for United States Law.
Professor Silecchia is admitted to the bars of New York, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, and the Supreme Court of the United States.
In 2015, she received the Distinguished Alumna Award from the Queens College Political Science Department for teaching that "prepares your own students to combine faith with a passion for justice."
Susanna Frederick Fischer has practiced law on both sides of the Atlantic, as a New York attorney and an English barrister. Her primary areas of practice and her main research interests are copyright law, art law, media law, cyberlaw, and constitutional law, from a comparative law perspective.
Professor Jefferson is a nationally recognized authority on pension law, employee benefits, and tax law. In addition to teaching and producing a rich body of scholarship in these areas, she has been actively involved in the policy development of these fields. She has testified before Congress and briefed Congressional staff on employee benefits and tax topics. Professor Jefferson also was a delegate to the First White House Summit on Retirement Income Savings. She teaches courses in Federal Income Taxation, ERISA: Pensions Tax Policy, and Partnership Taxation.
Dr. David Dawson Vasquez
Director, The Catholic Universitity of America Rome Campus
Dr. Dawson has been teaching theology in Rome since 2001. He graduated from the University of Dallas in 1986 with a BA in Psychology and then went on to earn an MA in Systematic Theology at Boston College and a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology at The Catholic University of America. He currently directs CUA's Rome Global Education Program. His theological interests center around the relationship between faith and reason, the role of liturgy and the experience of God in theology, and the importance of the body for Christian thought. His dissertation studied the role of the experience of God in the theology of the Orthodox Churches. He lives year-round in Rome with his wife, Susan, and daughter, Magdalena.
Ms. Aurora Santoro
Assistant Director, The Catholic University of America Rome Campus