3 Aug 2021

Marianna Henud Cresci (MILE 20) wins the Thomas Cottier Award for Best Thesis

Marianna Henud Cresci, MILE 20 alumna from Brazil, is this year's winner of the Thomas Cottier Award for Best Thesis. This award is presented annually to one WTI student for the best thesis submitted and was set up to honour the WTI's founder and former Managing Director Prof. Emeritus Thomas Cottier's leadership and vision. Read our interview with Marianna below.

Congratulations on having received the Thomas Cottier Award for the Best Thesis, Marianna! How are you feeling?

Thank you very much. I am highly honoured to be receiving the award. Firstly, I’ve had brilliant professors, including my thesis supervisor Christian Häberli, and receiving the award tells me I lived up to my expectations and have learned from them. Secondly, I had very talented classmates who challenged me through the program and supported me until the end. Learning is not just one way; their openness to share their experiences contributed to my success. Winning this award is proof that I have grown the other alumni.  

What does it mean for you to having received the prize from Prof. Emeritus Thomas Cottier himself?

It is such a privilege to receive the prize directly from Professor Emeritus Thomas Cottier. He is hugely respected and admired due to his work in international economic law and has accomplished a great deal in the field. Even more, it has been a more extraordinary experience to learn directly from him during the course of intellectual property rights.

What is your thesis about and what made you write about this topic?

I am incredibly passionate about sustainable development. Thus, I wanted to focus on a topic covered by the sustainable development goals as determined by the United Nations. And what better issue than SDG 14.6's direct mandate to the WTO for the creation of a Fisheries Subsidies Agreement? Furthermore, my previous experience with seafood trade led me to study the subject. My thesis looked into “how can WTO law contribute to fish stocks conservation.” It analyzed current multilateral trade rules and how they interact with fish trade. I wanted to understand if the rules in place today can contribute to fish stocks conservation while increasing market access for fish and fish products and simultaneously reducing fisheries subsidies. I came across several mechanisms that can achieve this objective; for that, it is necessary that the WTO creates a lex specialis fisheries agreement that includes subsidies and other aspects of market access such as process and production methods of harvesting fish.

What are your plans for the future? What have you been up to since graduating last year?

After graduating, I spent months volunteering for a small Swiss based organization called Rrreefs. Rrreefs was created by two young women and aims to replenish coral reefs by bringing science and design together. They produce clay bricks that work as the new home for baby corals, helping coral reefs to recover. In September, I am starting my job as a customs specialist at ON, a Swiss brand that has been highly successful and is the fastest-growing running shoes brand in the world right now. I will be supporting their customs team in building the structure that will shape the company’s supply chain landscape and compliance across the globe. I could not be more excited!

Any tips for anybody who is interested in pursuing the MILE programme at the WTI?

As per what I have heard in the industry, the MILE programme is highly valued globally in the field of international economic law. It is a fast-paced programme that will challenge your knowledge and capabilities and requires dedication to succeed. The programme coordinators and professors are incredibly supportive during and after the programme. The alumni can be found in the multilateral world or the private sector and are engaged and helpful if you want to start a career in the field. So, if you are going to pursue the program, invest your time in it. Learn from the outstanding professors as much as possible because this is your entrance to the trading industry.

Thank you!

You can find Marianna's thesis here.