Professor Smita Narula Appointed Distinguished Haub Chair in International Law

September 27, 2018 Press Release
Smita Narula

Pace University’s Elisabeth Haub School of Law announces that Smita Narula will join the Law School’s faculty as the first Haub Distinguished Professor of International Law. Professor Narula is an award-winning scholar and practitioner with more than two decades of experience in the field of human rights and public policy and is the most recent professor to join the law school’s nationally recognized environmental law faculty. Professor Narula’s tenure was approved yesterday by the Pace University Board of Trustees. She will begin teaching classes in the spring of 2019. 

“The Elisabeth Haub School of Law provides students with a legal education that combines rigorous academics and practical experience,” said Dean Horace Anderson. “Professor Smita Narula’s distinguished career reflects this approach to the study of the law. Her experiences at the intersection of law, public policy and critical issues such as human rights will help give our students new perspectives in international and environmental law.”

“Professor Narula's strong commitment to social and environmental justice issues will be an asset to both the local and global community as well as our students," said Jason J. Czarnezki, Associate Dean and Kerlin Distinguished Professor of Environmental Law. “Her addition further strengthens our world renowned environmental faculty in the field of global and international environmental law.”

“I am honored and thrilled to be joining the Elisabeth Haub School of Law, which has long been at the forefront of developing law and policy to protect the environment and advance social justice,” offers Professor Narula.  “I am deeply inspired by Pace’s faculty, students, alumni and staff and look forward to contributing to their important work. I also thank the Haub family for this opportunity.”

Professor Narula has founded and directed numerous non-profit and higher education initiatives dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights and to social and ecological justice. She comes to the law school from her position as Distinguished Lecturer and Interim Director of the Human Rights Program at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College. 

Prior to Hunter, Professor Narula was an Associate Professor of Clinical Law at NYU School of Law where she taught the International Human Rights Clinic and served as Faculty Director of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice. In these capacities, she helped found and grow the law school’s human rights program—a top-ranked program for international law in the United States.

In 2008 she was appointed legal advisor to the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food and served in this capacity for the duration of the Rapporteur’s six-year mandate. From 1997 to 2003, Professor Narula served as India researcher and Senior Researcher for South Asia at Human Rights Watch, and in 2000, she co-founded the International Dalit Solidarity Network, a transnational advocacy network that helps advance the right to equality for 260 million people affected by caste-based discrimination worldwide.

Professor Narula is author of dozens of widely-cited publications, and has helped formulate policy, legal, and community-led responses to a range of social justice and ecological issues worldwide. She regularly advises the U.N. and briefs government officials, civil society groups, and the media on issues related to human rights, food systems, and the sustainable and equitable management of land and natural resources. Professor Narula graduated with honors from Harvard Law School where she was editor-in-chief of the Harvard Human Rights Journal. Prior to law school, she earned a B.A. and M.A. with honors from Brown University, and worked on HIV and public health issues at UNICEF and the United Nations Development Fund.

Haub Law’s environmental law program is nationally recognized and is ranked fourth in the country by “US News &World Report.” As previously announced, funding for the Distinguished Haub Professor of International Law was made possible by a gift from the Haub family.

The Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University launched its environmental law program in 1978, which has long been ranked among the world’s leading university programs. Pace’s doctoral graduates teach environmental law at universities around the world. Pace’s J.D. alumni are prominent in environmental law firms, agencies and non-profit organizations across the U.S. and abroad. Pace’s multiple environmental law programs with Brazil are the most extensive of any U.S. university. 

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