The Catholic University of America
CUA Law Summer Abroad in Rome: Faculty
 Summer Law Programs > Rome


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."


FischerSusanna Frederick Fischer
Associate Professor of Law
The Catholic University of America

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 Fischer received her legal education at Merton College, University of Oxford, where she received a B.A. in jurisprudence, and the University of Virginia School of Law, where she was awarded the LL.M. degree.  She also studied at Princeton University, where she earned an A.B. in history, magna cum laude. 
She practiced for five years as a barrister in London, England, at 5 Raymond Buildings (currently headed by Desmond Browne QC and Matthew Nicklin QC).  She represented clients before all levels of English courts and tribunals, including the House of Lords.  In London, she also worked part-time as a Night Lawyer providing pre-publication legal advice for News International plc, the publishers of The Times, The Sunday Times, and the Sun.  She also taught Contracts at London Guildhall University. She later spent three years practicing intellectual property law as an associate at two New York City law firms, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP.
Professor Fischer joined the faculty of the Columbus School of Law in 1999, where she teaches or has taught copyright law, art law, entertainment law, introduction to intellectual property law, international intellectual property law, constitutional law, comparative law, comparative constitutional law, and civil procedure.  She has taught courses on intellectual property law in Krakow, Poland, for the American Law Program jointly run by the Columbus School of Law, The Catholic University of America and the Jagiellonian University, as well as for the summer program in International Business and Trade held at the Jagiellonian University. She has also taught a summer course at the University of Lisbon in Portugal. 
She served as the native English language consultant for a translation of the Polish Civil Code into English, published by Wolters Kluwer Polska in 2012.           


Profesor Regina T. Jefferson
Professor of Law
The Catholic University of America

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.  

Professor Jefferson joined the CUA faculty in 1992. She served as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in 2000 and 2001. Prior to joining the faculty, she was a Tax Law Specialist at the National Office of the Internal Revenue Service in the Employee Plans Division, where she specialized in qualified employee plans. From 1990 through 1992, she was a teaching fellow in the Graduate Teaching Program for Future Law Professors at Georgetown University, where her research and teaching focused on the tax aspects of private pension plans. Before attending law school, Professor Jefferson worked in the pension actuarial field.
Professor Jefferson’s scholarship focuses primarily on employee benefits and tax law. She has written extensively on the re-distributional impact of the private retirement system, the confluence of pension and tax law, the tax and actuarial aspects of the funding limitations of defined benefit plans, and the risks of defined contribution plans.
Professor Jefferson was selected as a Fellow in the American College of Employee Benefits, and the National Academy of Social Insurance. She is a member of the Pension Rights Center Board of Directors, the BNA Pension & Benefits Reporter Advisory Board, and the Institute on Retirement Security Academic Advisory Board. She also is a former chair of the Employee Benefit Section of the Association of American Law Schools. 
Professor Jefferson earned a B.S. degree in mathematics from Howard University, a J.D. degree from George Washington University, and an LL.M. degree from Georgetown University.


Dr. David Dawson Vasquez, CUA Rome directorDr. 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                                                                          



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