Robert Koulish is the founding director of Justice and Legal Thought, which was launched in 2014, as well as the director of MLaw Programs, administered through the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. MLaw is a collaboration between the University of Maryland (UMD), College Park, and the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, driven by MPower. Koulish is a Joel J. Feller Research Professor in government and politics and lecturer at law at the UMD Carey School of Law, where he teaches a seminar on immigration law and policy.
Koulish is a strong believer in applied scholarship, referred to as action research. His own scholarship includes many articles and book chapters, and three books, of which the latest is "Crimmigrant Nations: Resurgent Nationalism and the Closing of Borders" (2020), with another on the way.
Koulish earned his Bachelor of Art from the University of Pennsylvania and his doctorate in political science from the University of Wisconsin. He has traveled 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 and has three children, with whom he enjoys sailing, swimming, fishing and exploring new family ties in Colombia.