P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans


Kuong Ly, 2013

JD, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Kuong Ly is a Cambodian refugee from Vietnam

Fellowship awarded to support work towards a JD in Law at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Kuong was born in a refugee camp in Vietnam to parents who had fled the Cambodian killing fields. They were granted political asylum and relocated to the greater Boston area in the winter of 1990. He focused his energy on succeeding in school while working to support his family.

Kuong enrolled in Boston College, where he won a Harry S. Truman Scholarship, was selected to the All-USA College Academic First Team, and graduated with a BA in philosophy and minors in studio art and faith, peace and justice studies. He worked at the International Co-Prosecutor's Office at the U.N.-backed Khmer Rouge Tribunals as an Arthur Helton Fellow. His 2010 op-ed piece in the International Herald Tribune urged the court to stiffen the sentence of a senior Khmer Rouge leader, an action that it subsequently took.

Winning a British Marshall Scholarship, Kuong earned master's degrees from the University of Essex School of Law (in international human rights law) and the University of Cambridge (in international relations).

Kuong earned his JD from UCLA School of Law, where he is part of the Programs in Public Interest Law and Policy and Critical Race Studies. He is currently a practicing attorney at Northeast Legal Aid in Massachusetts where he provides legal representation to low-income clients on matters related to housing and domestic violence. 

  • JD Law | University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) 2015
  • LLM International Human Rights Law | University of Essex 2012
  • MPhil Politics and International Studies | University of Cambridge 2011
  • BA Philosophy | Boston College 2008
  • McGill University Echenberg Young Leaders in Human Rights Fellowship
  • University of Essex Sir Eric Berthoud Award
  • American Society of International Lawyers Arthur Helton Fellowship
  • Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Scholarship
  • Humanity in Action Fellowship
  • British Marshall Scholarship
  • Harvard Kennedy School of Government Galbraith Fellowship
  • USA Today's All Academic First Team
  • Edward H. Finnegan, S.J. Award
  • Harry S. Truman Scholarship
  • Boston College Karen Campbell Severin Book Award
  • Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship
  • Boston College Benigno and Corazon Aquino Award
  • Institute for International Public Policy Fellowship
  • Amnesty International Patrick Steward Human Rights Award
  • Boston College Nicholas H. Woods Leadership Award
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