Robert Koulish, Ph.D. is the Director of MLaw Programs, administered through the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSOS). MLaw is a collaboration between UMCP and the UM Carey School of Law, driven by MPOWER. Koulish is also Joel J. Feller Research Professor in Government and Politics and Lecturer at Law at the UMD Carey School of Law in Baltimore, where he teaches a seminar in immigration law and policy. 

Dr. Koulish earned his doctorate in political science from the University of Wisconsin and his Bachelors degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied politics and philosophy.  He has traveled to and conducted research in Central Europe and along the U.S. Mexico border, investigating human rights abuses, refugees and patterns and practices of social control within legal institutions. Koulish is married with 3 children: Valentina (14), Olivia (12) and Julian (10), with whom he enjoys sailing, swimming, fishing, and exploring new family ties in Colombia.

Dr. Koulish is author of the book, Immigration and American Democracy, Subverting the Rule of Law, and several peer reviewed academic articles, law review articles, book chapters, and op-ed columns.  He conducted research on immigration at the US-Mexico Border, and on minority rights of Roma in Hungary.  Koulish has taken students to the U.S.-Mexico border at Ciudad Juarez-El Paso and to Roma settlements around Budapest.  Koulish is a founding member of CINETS--Crimmigration Control International Net of Studies (, a growing network of critical immigration law scholars, which hosts bi-annual international conferences, book volumes and research collaborations. 

Koulish is currently investigating new risk tools in immigration custody determinations, dealing with detention and alternatives to detention, with several forthcoming articles, book chapters and edited book volume on the topic. An article in the Georgetown Immigration Law Journal is  hereSamples of the risk tool can be seen here:




Koulish Robert

1117B Chincoteague Hall
Maryland Law Programs
rkoulish [at]