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Susan J. Cohen

Member / Founding Chair, Immigration Practice

[email protected]

+1.617.348.4468

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Susan is a nationally recognized immigration lawyer. As Chair of Mintz’s Immigration Practice, she works with corporate clients to address their immigration challenges. Susan is very active in the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and has contributed to federal and state immigration regulations. She is frequently quoted in the media. She is also an editor of Mintz’s Immigration Law blog and has been recognized as a “Top Author” by JD Supra. Susan helped to lead a Mintz team that worked with the ACLU of Massachusetts and others to obtain a temporary restraining order on the 2017 Travel Ban. Through her pro bono work, she has helped many immigrants obtain asylum.

Susan is the founder and Chair of the firm’s Immigration Practice, which is composed of 12 attorneys and 18 immigration specialists and assistants who service the immigration needs of Mintz’s existing corporate and individual clients, and of new clients who choose the firm precisely for its knowledge in the field of immigration and nationality law.

Susan is actively involved in the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and has chaired and co-chaired a wide range of national AILA committees, including the National Planning Committee for AILA’s Annual Immigration Law Conference. She has also served on the review board for AILA periodicals and has served as the ABA’s liaison to the Department of Labor on immigration-related issues. She is a frequent panelist at AILA, ABA, and other immigration-related conferences, and a contributor to AILA, ABA, and other immigration-related publications.

Susan was involved in contributing to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regulations implementing the Immigration Act of 1990, the Department of Labor regulations implementing changes to the H-1B visa category as a result of the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998, and the Department of Labor PERM labor certification regulations issued in 2004. Susan also advised the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in drafting the legislation which resulted in the Massachusetts Global Entrepreneur in Residence (GEIR) program.

Susan has won awards for her political asylum work from the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project, the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, and Mintz.

During law school, she served on the Cardozo Law Review.

Education

  • Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (JD)
  • Brandeis University (BA)

Recognition & Awards

  • Recipient of the Irish International Immigrant Center's Solas Award (2014)
  • The American Lawyer & Corporate Counsel: Woman Leader in The Law (2019)
  • Who’s Who Legal: Recognized as “Thought Leader” for Corporate Immigration (2019)
  • The Global Business Magazine and the Professional Sector Network Global Awards: Immigration Adviser of the Year – Boston, USA (2018)
  • Chambers Global Guide: Immigration: Business (2015 – 2019)
  • Named to the National Law Journal’s list of Immigration Trailblazers (2018)
  • International Advisory Experts Award: Immigration Lawyer of the Year in Massachusetts (2018 – 2019)
  • Legal 500 Hall of Fame: Immigration (2018)
  • Lawyer Monthly – Women in Law Award: Immigration Law (2017)
  • JD Supra: Top Author, Readers' Choice Awards – Immigration (2017)
  • Chambers USA: Nationwide – Immigration (2013 – 2019)
  • Recommended as a leading lawyer by The Legal 500 United States for Labor and Employment: Immigration (2013 – 2019)
  • Finance Monthly Global Awards: Corporate Immigration Lawyer of the Year USA (2017 – 2018)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent
  • Best Lawyers in America: Immigration Law (2007 – 2018)
  • Named to the Short List for Corporate Immigration - USA by Finance Monthly (2014)
  • Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly: Circle of Excellence Award (2013)
  • International Who’s Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers (2002 – 2014, 2016 – 2019)
  • Massachusetts Super Lawyers: Immigration (2004, 2008 – 2013)
  • Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly: Women of Justice Award (2008)

Involvement

  • Co-chair, Immigration Subcommittee, ABA International Law and Practice Section
  • President, Board of Directors, Political Asylum/Immigration Representation (PAIR) Project
  • Frequent Guest Lecturer, MIT
  • Member, Immigration Editorial Advisory Board, Law 360
  • Past chair, Immigration Committee, Boston Bar Association International Section

Languages

- Spanish

Recent Insights

News & Press

Events

Viewpoints

Viewpoint General

Decreased Privacy in the Visa Application Process

June 5, 2019 | Blog | By Susan Cohen

On June 1, 2019 the Department of State (DOS) announced that it would immediately begin requiring visa applicants to the United States to provide additional personal information on U.S. visa applications, including social media information, and all email addresses and phone numbers used over the prior five year period.  Up to 15 million visa applicants around the world could be affected by these new questions on the visa application forms. 
Viewpoint General

When Must an Employer Amend an Approved L-1 Visa Petition?

January 22, 2019 | Blog | By Susan Cohen

There are two relevant questions that must always be answered in considering whether or not to file an amended petition: (1) what does the law strictly require? and (2) what is the risk to the organization of not filing the amended petition?
Viewpoint General

Potential Government Shutdown and Impact on Immigration Processes

December 21, 2018 | Alert | By Susan Cohen

Read about the impact of a potential government shutdown on immigration processes, including on Labor Condition Applications and PERM Labor Certification Applications.
Viewpoint General
In this five-part series, we highlight three important USCIS policy changes and provide eight best practice tips in light of the ever-tightening U.S. immigration environment. This is the fourth installment in the series. Click to read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.
Viewpoint General
In this five-part series, we highlight three important USCIS policy changes and provide eight best practice tips in light of the ever-tightening U.S. immigration environment. This is the fourth installment in the series. Click to read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.
Viewpoint General
In this five-part series, we highlight three important USCIS policy changes and provide eight best practice tips in light of the ever-tightening U.S. immigration environment. This is the third installment in the series.
Viewpoint General
Employers who sponsor foreign nationals for (1) H-1B visas; (2) PERM-based permanent residence applications and (3) STEM OPT Extensions must ensure their records are in order and retain them for the required statutory time-periods.
Viewpoint General
The Trump Administration has made immigration enforcement and the restriction of immigration to the United States a high priority.
The tilt in this Administration towards harsh immigration measures is well known because of high profile moves like the travel bans and the separation and incarceration of parents and young children from Central America who have sought safety in the U.S.
On March 26, 2018, Massachusetts adopted a new system for driver’s licenses and identification (Mass ID) cards to comply with the REAL ID federal standards.

News & Press

Mintz, ACLU Lead Charge to End Unlawful ICE Detentions

June 19, 2019 | Mass Lawyers Weekly

Articles published by Law360 and Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly report on a class action lawsuit filed by Mintz, together with the ACLU of Massachusetts and the ACLU of New Hampshire, challenging the government’s practice of denying due process to detained immigrants.

In Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, Member and Chair of Mintz’s Pro Bono Committee Susan Finegan and Member and Founding Chair of Mintz’s Immigration Practice Susan Cohen discuss the purpose of the lawsuit and the legal challenges facing detained immigrants in Massachusetts and beyond.

To view the full press release on this lawsuit, please click here.
Susan Cohen, Member and Chair of the firm’s Immigration Practice, comments on how the Trump administration’s zealous approach to immigration enforcement at courthouses has resulted in a showdown between the federal government and progressive state prosecutors in Massachusetts.

What the DACA Repeal Means for Students

April 7, 2019 | Accredited Online Schools

Susan Cohen, Member and Chair of the firm’s Immigration Practice, looks at the rights, resources and opportunities for students affected by DACA.
Susan Cohen, the founding chair of Mintz's Immigration Practice, is quoted in this article on how tech companies are watching this years H-1B visa lottery, which opened up on April 1, closely. Changes to the system are expected to give master’s degree candidates a better shot.
Member and founding chair of the firm’s immigration practice Susan Cohen provides commentary on how processing times across a broad range of immigration petitions adjudicated by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services have been on the rise in recent years, showing no signs of declining this fiscal year so far.

Shifting Scrutiny of H-1B Visas Raises Eyebrows About Motive

February 14, 2019 | Bloomberg Daily Labor Report

Member and founding chair of the firm’s immigration practice Susan Cohen is quoted providing commentary in this feature article on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ shift from the amount of wages for new visa holders to whether the positions qualify for a specialty visa in the first place.

This feature article looks at the potential impacts of the Trump Administration’s plans to rescind the work authorization of H-1B visa holders. Member and founding chair of the firm’s immigration practice Susan Cohen is quoted throughout the piece.
This Law360 “Expert Analysis” column discusses how important compliance is in today’s aggressive immigration enforcement environment. The column is authored by a team of Mintz attorneys – Susan Cohen, Bill Coffman and Kevin McNamara.
This article discusses how the Trump Administration’s plans to require Mexican migrants to remain in Mexico while their asylum cases work their way through the U.S. courts could significantly impact border cities. Member and Founding Chair of Mintz’s Immigration Practice Susan Cohen is among the sources quoted providing commentary.
Member and Founding Chair of Mintz’s Immigration Practice Susan Cohen is quoted in this Law360 feature article providing commentary on the D.C. federal court’s recent ruling overturning a Trump administration policy barring those fleeing domestic or gang violence from obtaining asylum.

Proposed Visa Ban for Aid Recipients Could Hit Skilled Workers

September 25, 2018 | Bloomberg BNA Daily Labor Report

This article discusses a new proposal from the Department of Homeland Security which could impact skilled immigrant workers and their employers as it could block people from getting visas if they use public assistance. Susan Cohen, Member and Founding Chair of Mintz’s Immigration Practice, is among the industry sources quoted in the piece.
This feature story discusses a new U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services guidance which grants broader discretion to deny applications for immigration benefits. Member and Chair of the firm’s Immigration section Susan Cohen is among the industry sources providing commentary.
This feature story discusses the E-Verify system, which that allows businesses to confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the U.S., and the federal government’s efforts to encourage employers to make use of it. Member and Chair of the Immigration Section Susan Cohen provides commentary within the piece.
This article is a Q&A with immigration experts on the limitations of common work visa options foreign entrepreneurs are forced to consider and the merits of the International Entrepreneur Parole Program. Member Susan Cohen is featured.

Immigration Lawyer Uses Music to Appeal for Immigrants

June 19, 2018 | Bloomberg Law Big Law Business

Member and Founder of the firm’s Immigration Practice Susan Cohen is profiled in this piece. Susan created a video called “Beyond the Borders,” which features a song Susan wrote depicting the points of view of a fictionalized Syrian refugee family and the American aid worker who befriends them.
This feature article discusses international immigration policy developments which could impact the United States. Member and Chair of the Immigration Practice Susan Cohen is among those sources quoted within the piece.
Member and Chair of the firm’s Immigration Practice Susan Cohen provides commentary in this feature article discussing the challenges many businesses are facing as they look for seasonal work.
This feature story includes commentary from immigration lawyers, travel experts, a homeland security law professor, and a former TSA employee on the question of what rights travelers have upon getting detained at a U.S. airport.
Mintz partner and Massachusetts lawyer Julie Korostoff is one of 49 attorneys recognized as “Leaders in Their Fields” by the 2018 Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business guide. Chambers named Korostoff a “Recognized Practitioner” in Technology.
The New England chapter of the American Association of Pro Bono Lawyers has awarded Mintz with one of its Pro Bono Awards, specifically highlighting the firm's pro bono work in co-counseling the challenge to the first "travel ban" presidential executive order.
Member and Founder of the firm’s Immigration Practice Susan J. Cohen is featured in this article for her selection to Law360’s Immigration Editorial Advisory Board.
Member and Chair of Mintz’s Immigration practice Susan Cohen is quoted in this article discussing the new executive order of President Trump’s administration focused on immigration which is scheduled to go into effect March 16.
This piece focuses on the issue of family migration – a hot topic in the ongoing immigration debate. Member and Founder of the firm’s Immigration Practice Susan Cohen is among those sources quoted providing commentary.
PBS News published an article on their website co-authored by Mintz’s Immigration practice Chair Susan Cohen. The article discusses the growing issue of family-based migration, which allows admitted immigrants to sponsor their relatives’ admittance to the country following their own.
Susan Cohen is included in a recent blog post by Oxfam regarding the one-year anniversary of President Trump’s order suspending all refugee admittance to the U.S. for 120 days. The post notes that the question in the title has become a unifying phenomenon for the country.

How DACA Decision Will Impact the Restaurant Industry

January 18, 2018 | Restaurant Insider

In an article published by Restaurant Insider, Susan Cohen, the Chair of Mintz’s Immigration Practice, is quoted on the topic of the DACA decision and how it is impacting employment in the restaurant industry, the workplace of many undocumented immigrants.

Hard Labor

January 11, 2018 | The Journal of Alta California

Susan Cohen, the Chair of Mintz’s Immigration practice, was quoted in an article on the topic of President Trump’s crackdown on immigration laws, which threatens the farm labor workforce in California.
This Law360 article discusses plans by the Trump administration to end work authorization for H-4 visa holders and the impact that action would have on employers and immigrant workers and their families. Susan Cohen, founder and Chair of Mintz’s Immigration Practice, provides commentary.

Has Trump Been Good for Big Law?

November 7, 2017 | Law360

This feature article looks at the impact of the Trump administration on the practice of law. Susan Cohen, founder and Chair of the Immigration Practice at Mintz, is quoted within the piece. Susan’s comments focus on immigration efforts under Trump.
Susan Cohen, Chair of the Immigration practice, and Sue Finegan, a litigator and Chair of Mintz’s Pro Bono Committee, were quoted in a Law360 article covering the efforts by law who may be taking on more pro bono matters as a result of actions by the Trump administration.
Susan Cohen, Chair of Mintz's Immigration Practice, is quoted in this article on a potential move to rescind a deference policy by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, placing her among the attorneys predicting uncertainty and possible denials for companies hoping to retain foreign employees.
Susan Cohen, Chair of the Immigration practice at Mintz, is quoted in a Law360 article discussing Boston’s label as a “sanctuary city”. The article discusses the logistics that must be navigated to keep this status and how local and statewide leaders are reacting.
Best Lawyers named 85 Mintz attorneys to its 2018 list of The Best Lawyers in America. In addition, Mintz attorneys Matthew J. Gardella and Samuel M. Tony Starr were named “Lawyer of the Year” in their respective practice areas.
Susan Cohen, founder and Chair of Mintz’s Immigration Practice, is quoted in this Law360 article on the impact a proposed immigration bill will have on legal immigration. The article notes that the bill will be difficult to pass through Congress, but could still have a “chilling effect”.
Susan Cohen, founder and Chair of Mintz’s Immigration Practice, was featured in The American Bazaar discussion of the new visa protocol, Form DS-5535.
Member and Chair of Mintz’s Immigration Practice Susan Cohen was quoted in this article from The America Bazaar on new requirements that visa applicants provide all of their social media and email account information from the past five years.
Susan Cohen, founder and Chair of Mintz’s Immigration Practice, was quoted in a Bloomberg Law article on the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on President Trump’s travel ban.
This Law360 article features commentary from Susan Cohen, Member and Chair of Mintz’s Immigration Practice, on the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling to allow President Trump’s travel ban to be enforced against people lacking a “bona fide relationship”, and the likelihood of confusion in future litigation.
In this Bloomberg Law article, Chair of Mintz’s Immigration Practice Susan Cohen is quoted on the topic of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ rejection of the National Basketball Retired Players Association’s petition for a guest worker visa.
This Law360 feature article notes the likelihood of summer delays in visa application processes due to increased visa scrutiny following President Trump’s travel ban. Susan Cohen, founder and Chair of Mintz’s Immigration Practice, is among industry sources quoted.
Member and chair of Mintz’s Immigration practice Susan Cohen is among those featured in this article discussing the expected increase in document audits and potential worksite raids, following new orders by the Department of Homeland Security.
JD Supra has recognized Mintz in its 2017 Reader’s Choice awards, highlighting the most widely read authors and articles over the past year. Eleven Mintz attorneys were named JD Supra Top Authors in four industries and Mintz was recognized as the Top Firm with readers in the Energy Industry.
Susan J. Cohen, Chair of the Immigration Practice at Mintz, is the recipient of the Lawyer Monthly 2017 Women in Law award.  Ms. Cohen is the only U.S. immigration attorney to be honored with this award.
Member and Chair of Mintz’s Immigration practice Susan Cohen provides insight in this article discussing the potential effects of President Trump’s March 6 travel ban.
Mintz announced that it has been recognized by M&A Today Global Rankings as the 2017 “Law Firm of the Year – Immigration, U.S.” Winning firms are noted for providing overall value and a high level of service to clients.
This Wall Street Journal feature article discusses the latest, scaled-back version of President Trump’s travel ban and the potential fate of the new executive order in court.
Susan Cohen authors this March 2017 column in Hospitality Law addressing significant changes to existing immigration laws and policies, as well as increased scrutiny of visas, I-9s, and other changes.
This interview profiles Mintz Member Susan Cohen’s career and how her path led her to immigration law. Included in the feature article are some notable moments that shaped Susan’s career and her thoughts on the changes immigration could experience in the future.
This article in Home Health Line addresses the task put upon employers to keep foreign or immigrant employees informed about any travel restrictions put in place by President Trump’s administration, as well as advice on how to handle speaking about these issues with their staff.
This Law360 feature article focuses on the business implications of President Trump’s recently-leaked draft executive order on immigration policies including the H-1B visa program and others.
This feature article looks at U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s decision to keep President Donald Trump’s travel ban on hold while it’s being litigated could be headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Nearly 100 Companies File Legal Brief Opposing Trump's Travel Ban

February 6, 2017 | http://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-travel-ban-immigration-tech-industry-tech-google-apple-uber-553429?rx=us Newsweek

This feature article relates how, following the announcement of President Trump’s temporary travel ban, nearly 100 companies joined a legal brief opposing the ban.
This article covers the uproar following the announcement of President Trump’s travel ban, and how large companies stand in opposition to it.

4 Tips for Entrepreneurs Worried About Trump Immigration Policies

January 25, 2017 | http://blog.credit.com/2017/01/advice-for-foreign-entrepreneurs-as-trump-tweaks-immigration-policies-165103/ Credit.com

In this article, Susan Cohen speaks to the question of what the current administration will do in regards to the International Entrepreneur Rule, set up in the last weeks of the Obama Administration, and steps immigrant entrepreneurs can take to ensure their businesses succeed.

Trump Immigration Orders Stir Funding, Litigation Questions

January 25, 2017 | https://www.law360.com/articles/884991/trump-immigration-orders-stir-funding-litigation-questions Law360

Susan Cohen is quoted in this Law360 article addressing and analyzing two executive orders on immigration signed by President Trump in late January 2017. Susan is the founder and Chair of Mintz’s Immigration Practice.

Obama’s parting gift to foreign entrepreneurs: A new way to stay in the US

January 19, 2017 | http://venturebeat.com/2017/01/19/obamas-parting-gift-to-foreign-entrepreneurs-a-new-way-to-stay-in-the-us/ VentureBeat

Susan Cohen authors this VentureBeat column addressing the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services publishing the International Entrepreneur Rule, which expands immigration regulations regarding the government’s parole authority.
Susan Cohen authors this Law360 column addressing the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services publishing a rule expanding immigration regulations regarding the government’s parole authority.
In this January 2017 article, Susan Cohen reflects on the Trump administration attitude towards U.S. immigration, in addition to the effect it will have the hospitality industry. Susan is the founder and Chair of the firm’s Immigration Practice.

Immigration Practices Read Tea Leaves After Trump

December 1, 2016 | http://www.americanlawyer.com/home/id=1202773628542/Immigration-Practices-Read-Tea-Leaves-After-Trump?mcode=1202617075486&curindex=1&slreturn=20161102093235 The American Lawyer

Susan Cohen, Chair of Mintz’s Immigration Practice, was quoted in an American Lawyer article on the uptick in calls immigration practices are receiving from clients in light of the President-Elect’s promise to crack down on illegal immigration and what it would mean for their foreign workforces.  

Trump and Employment-Based Immigration: What’s Next?

November 21, 2016 | Bloomberg BNA Daily Labor Report

Susan Cohen, Member and Chair of Mintz’s Immigration Practice, is quoted in this Bloomberg BNA Daily Labor Report article on what the future holds for employment-based immigration under President-Elect Trump’s administration.
Mintz Immigration Practice Chair Susan Cohen was quoted in this Law360 article on the Department of Homeland Security’s final rule on job flexibility for foreign workers. The article notes the two-month grace period between jobs and ways to maintain one’s priority date in the line for work visas.

The Confused, Cloudy Future of DACA

November 16, 2016 | http://www.lxbn.com/2016/11/16/confused-cloudy-future-daca/ The Lexblog Network

Susan Cohen, Member and Chair of Mintz’s Immigration Practice, is quoted in this piece discussing the uncertain future for immigrants residing in the U.S. under the Deferred for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative once President-Elect Trump’s administration takes office.  
Susan Cohen, Chair of Mintz’s Immigration Practice, is quoted in this Law360 article on the future of immigration in the U.S. following Donald Trump’s presidential election win. The article notes deportations and disputes over his proposed border wall can be expected.
Susan Cohen, Member and Chair of Mintz’s Immigration Practice, is quoted in this Law360 article on an Oregon judge’s refusal to throw out a class action seeking to eliminate the lottery process for picking H-1B visa petitions.

Draft Immigration Rule Would Ease Foreign Entrepreneurs’ Entry

August 29, 2016 | Bloomberg BNA Daily Labor Report

Susan Cohen, Chair of Mintz’s Immigration Practice, provides commentary in this Bloomberg BNA Daily Labor Report article on how the immigration regulations proposed by the Department of Homeland Security would ease the entry of foreign entrepreneurs starting businesses in the U.S.
Member and Chair of Mintz’s Immigration Practice Susan Cohen is quoted in this Law360 article about the release of a long-awaited immigration rule by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that would act as a stopgap for foreign entrepreneurs with limited visa options.
Best Lawyers named 73 Mintz attorneys to its 2017 list of The Best Lawyers in America. Mintz attorneys selected for inclusion in this year’s list span 44 practice areas. 
Susan Cohen, Member and Chair of Mintz’s Immigration Practice, is quoted in this Law360 article highlighting which immigration regulations attorneys ought to keep an eye on as the Obama presidency nears its end.
Member and Chair of Mintz’s Immigration Practice Susan Cohen is quoted in this Law360 article covering three different government agencies’ announcements to increase penalties and fees related to immigration.
Susan Cohen, Chair of Mintz’s Immigration Practice, is quoted in this Quartz article discussing the U.S. State Department’s announcement that it will soon cease accepting applications for the EB-1 visa from Indian and Chinese nationals.
Firm’s National Healthcare Practice, NY Corporate/M&A and Litigation: General Commercial Among Newest Rankings
Member Susan Cohen is quoted in this Law360 article on a new regulation that will allow “certain foreign students with science and technology degrees…to extend their work authorization by several months” should they undergo optional practice training.
The 2015 Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business guide names 52 Mintz, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.  attorneys as “Leaders in Their Fields.”

Events

Speaker
Dec
6
2018

Immigration Compliance & Risk Management Webinar Series

Part II: Creating Compliance Policies for a New Era

Speaker
Oct
25
2018

Immigration Compliance & Risk Management Webinar Series

Part I: Keeping DHS in Your Sights: Site Visits & Record Keeping

Speaker
Jan
22
2018

Uniting for Refugees: Marking One Year Since President Trump's Travel Ban

Oxfam

District Hall, 75 Northern Avenue, Boston, MA

Speaker
Jul
12
2017

Supreme Court & the Travel Ban

World Boston: A World Affairs Council

Teleconference

Panelist
Jun
12
2017

2017 Europe Forum

ABA Section of International Law

Barcelona, Spain

Speaker
Apr
11
2017
Speaker
Mar
29
2017

Immigration Today: A Closer Look

Brandeis University

Mandel Center for the Humanities, Brandeis University

Speaker
Speaker
Speaker
Jun
3
2016

TechHUB

iRobot