Ganesh Sitaraman

Assistant Professor of Law

Ganesh Sitaraman‘s current research addresses issues in public law ranging from foreign relations and international law to domestic regulation and institutional design. He was on leave from Vanderbilt‘s faculty from 2011-13, serving as Elizabeth Warren‘s policy director during her campaign for the Senate, and then as her senior counsel in the Senate. Professor Sitaraman also served as a special advisor to Warren when she was chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Trouble Assets Relief Program (TARP). Before joining Vanderbilt‘s law faculty in 2011, Professor Sitaraman was the Public Law Fellow and a lecturer at Harvard Law School and a law clerk for Judge Stephen F. Williams on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit from 2010-11. He has also been a research fellow at the Counterinsurgency Training Center – Afghanistan in Kabul, and a visiting fellow at the Center for a New American Security. Professor Sitaraman is the author, most recently, of The Counterinsurgent‘s Constitution: Law in the Age of Small Wars (Oxford University Press, 2012). He has commented on foreign and domestic policy in the New York Times, The New Republic, and Boston Globe. An Eagle Scout and a Truman Scholar, he earned his A.B. in government magna cum laude at Harvard, a master‘s degree in political thought from Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he was the Lionel de Jersey Harvard Scholar, and his J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was editor of the Harvard Law Review. He is a principal of the Truman National Security Project.


"How to clean up American elections - Step 1: Ignore the Supreme Court," Policitco, April 8, 2014

"How candidates can sidestep Supreme Court rulings on campaign finance," The Christian Science Monitor, October 22, 2013

"Course Correction," The New Republic, October 9, 2009


Research Interests

Foreign relations law, administrative law, regulation, international law, constitutional law, political theory, American history, institutional design


Representative Publications

  • The Counterinsurgent’s Constitution: Law in the Age of Small Wars, Oxford University Press (2012)
  • "Counterinsurgency, the War on Terror, and the Laws of War," 95 Virginia Law Review 1745 (2009)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN
  • "The Use and Abuse of Foreign Law in Constitutional Interpretation," 32 Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy 653 (2009)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN
  • "Service Pays: Creating Opportunities by Linking College with Public Service," 1 Harvard Law & Policy Review 127 (2006) (with Elizabeth Warren and Sandy Baum)
    Full Text | SSRN | HEIN