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Health and Human Rights in India and the World During COVID-19 (May 11, 2020)

Anand Grover Eminent Human Rights Advocate and UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health (2008-2014) As we stand on the cusp of enormous change, Anand Grover calls in from India to speak with Associate Dean Rangita de Silva de Alwis on human rights issues intersecting responses to COVID-19.  Anand Grover is one of the world’s foremost health rights advocates and one of India’s preeminent lawyers. At a time of unprecedented crisis, Anand Grover is in the ...

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Agnes Callamard

Human Rights in the Time of COVID-19 (April 22, 2020)

Agnes Callamard UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions Rangita de Silva de Alwis, Associate Dean for International Affairs engages Agnes Callamard on the critical human rights consequences and questions we are facing in the COVID-19 crisis.

Sandie Okoro

The Impact of Women’s Leadership on the Global Economy (November 13, 2019)

Sandie Okoro Senior Vice President and General Counsel for the World Bank Group The 2019 Leon C. & June W. Holt Lecture in International Law Sandie Okoro is the principal advisor and spokesperson on all legal matters for the world’s leading development finance institution; she is the first British national and the first black woman to hold the role. She heads the Legal Vice Presidency Unit where international development legal experts provide legal services es...

Sisi Khampepe

25 Years After Apartheid: Lessons Learned on Nation-Building, Democracy, and Reconciliation (October 16, 2019)

Justice Sisi Virginia Khampepe, Constitutional Court of South Africa Appointed by President Nelson Mandela as Commissioner of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu Justice Sisi Khampepe shares her personal and political narrative as a leader in the journey to end apartheid and in building a nation and its democratic institutions through justice and reconciliation. She looks back on the lessons learned from the TRC Commission and ...

Crystal Nix-Hines

Women in Leadership on the Global Stage (October 3, 2019)

Ambassador Crystal Nix-Hines Partner, Quinn Emanuel & U.S. Ambassador to UNESCO (2014-2016) Crystal Nix-Hines reflects on the challenges facing women in crisis management in the law and in a new global order. Few women in law have seamlessly straddled private and public leadership in the way Nix- Hines has. As a Counselor to the State Department, she helped establish the International War Crimes Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda which have changed t...

Roza Otunbayeva

Governing Like a Woman: A Charge Leveled Against her by her Oponents (September 24, 2019)

Dr. Roza Otunbayeva Former President of Kyrgyzstan (Central Asia’s first woman leader) This discussion shines a light on Otunbayeva’s remarkable leadership in building peace in post-conflict and advances the importance of women’s leadership in resolving conflict. Otunbayeva is the only woman head of state to steer her country through a peaceful transition of power and, fearlessly step down from power after the transition.  As president, she led a constit...

Moushira Khattab

Women’s Security as National Security (November 9, 2018)

Ambassador Moushira Khattab Egypt’s Minister for Family and Population; Former Egyptian Ambassador to South Africa and Italy; Egypt’s nominee to head UNESCO in 2017 Ambassador Khattab coordinated national efforts to combat gender-based violence–including female genital mutilation–and child marriage. She spearheaded the development and inauguration of 1,167 girl-friendly schools which provide quality learning to thousands of girls in the poorest quintile of E...

Mohamed Orabi

Foreign Policy, Middle East Security, and Negotiations (November 9, 2018)

Hon. Mohamed Orabi Egypt’s former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador to Israel The Hon. Mohamed Orabi is an Egyptian diplomat and former Foreign Minister of Egypt. Mr. Orabi joined the Egyptian Foreign Service in 1976, having formerly served in the army. Throughout his career, Mr. Orabi has held a variety of important posts. He served as Deputy Ambassador at the Egyptian Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel from 1994 to 1998 and was Chief of the Cabinet of the Fore...

kai sauer

Ethical Leadership in Diplomacy (November 9, 2018)

Ambassador Kai Sauer Finland’s Ambassador to the United Nations Ambassador Sauer speaks on the trials and triumphs of diplomacy in the 21st century in his keynote remarks at the Penn Law Institute on Law and Diplomacy.

matthew nimetz

What’s in a Name? The Naming Dispute between Greece and Macedonia (November 9, 2018)

Matthew Nimetz Advisory Director for General Atlantic; Former Chairperson of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP US/UN Diplomat and legendary lawyer, Matt Nimetz unpacks one of the most intractable challenges of 21st century diplomacy: the longstanding naming dispute between Greece and Macedonia. Nimetz served as President Bill Clinton’s Special Envoy to mediate the resolution of the Macedonian Issue and later as UN Special Representative for the nami...

Alain Berset

Democracy and Distrust: Threats to Democracy in the 21st Century (September 27, 2018)

President Alain Berset President of the Swiss Confederation In an age of rampant populism and nativism, how can politics embrace the ideals of international cooperation and equity at the heart of democratic idealism? When the liberal world order and a rules-based international system is being questioned, how can respect for international law and mutualism be restored? President Berset, President of the Swiss Confederation, addresses ways in which the Swiss democrati...

gitanjali swamy

Interventions for Diversity and Inclusion: Law, Incentives and Culture Reboots in Tech (September 21, 2018)

Gitanjali Swamy Managing Partner at IoTask, an “Innovation of Things” (IoT) company. In a topical discussion for diversity and inclusion, Gitanjali Swamy will discuss the effectiveness and relevance of three types of interventions. The discussion will illustrate with examples from practices around tech and tech investing. In the entrepreneurial private capital industry, women form 50 percent of new businesses but receive less than 2 percent of financing. As Swam...

Carolyn Edgar

Women of Color in Law and Business (September 21, 2018)

Carolyn Edgar Managing Counsel, Technology and Intellectual Property at BNY Mellon Carolyn Edgar delivers a luncheon keynote for the Penn Law Institute on Law and Global Development. Ms. Edgar insightfully shares her personal experiences navigating and advancing in law and business as a woman of color. Catalyst research finds that a majority of women (and men) of color experience an “emotional tax” in the workplace, affecting their overall health, well-being and...

Craig Newmark

Transforming the World through Business and Public Leadership (September 21, 2018)

Craig Newmark Founder of Craigslist In his opening keynote to Penn Law’s Institute for Law & Global Development, Newmark inspired the participants by sharing his principles of fairness, opportunity and respect, his minimal profit business model, efforts to to empower women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), and investments in support of veterans and journalism. Craig Newmark is a Web pioneer, philanthropist, and a leading advocate on b...

Donald Verrilli

Serving the Public in Challenging Times (September 19, 2018)

Hon. Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. 46th Solicitor General of the United States A keynote followed by a panel discussion led by Professor Tobias Wolff with Honorable Verrilli and Joseph Wayland on public service in times of crisis and insights on representing the United States before the U.S. Supreme Court, including landmark cases such as: Obergefell v. Hodges; Arizona v. US; Shelby County v. Holder; National Federation of Business v. Sebelius; and Fisher v. University of...

   Maina Kiai

The Battle over Kenya’s Democracy: A Flawed Election, A Rerun, and the Supreme Court (February 28, 2018)

Maina Kiai United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association (2011–2017) In a triumphant moment for democracy, the Kenyan Supreme Court nullified the presidential election of August, 2017. However, just when Kenyans hopes of a strong and independent Supreme Court were on the rise, only one of the six Justices turned up to hear a petition on the rerun, ending a battle over Kenya’s democratic institutions and plunging ...

Macharia Kamau

How Our Future Depends on the Sustainable Development Goals: Climate Change and Food Security (November 2, 2016)

Ambassador Macharia Kamau Principal Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; former Permanent Representative of Kenya to the United Nations (2010-2018) One year after the UN adopted the momentous Development Agenda, Ambassador Kamau spoke on the historic process leading to the adoption of the goals and the threats facing the achievement of the goals.  Ambassador Macharia Kamau of Kenya was one of the primary architects of the Sustainable Development Goals ...

Navi Pillay and Hina Jalani

The Role of Women Human Rights Defenders: Challenges and Opportunities (September 20, 2016)

In this special conversation moderated by Rangita de Silva de Alwis, Navi Pillay and Hina Jilani discuss the challenges faced by women human rights defenders and the opportunities they could take advantage of to advance human rights. Both Jilani and Pillay chronicled their struggles. Pillay’s husband was detained under the apartheid in South Africa, and Jilani was a witness to many of her clients being shot in front of her in Pakistan for charges of blasphemy. Pillay and Jilani describe the cases they had covered throughout the years, and express the need for individuals, countries, and the U.N. to do more to prevent human rights violations.

Miguel de Serpa Soares

Law at the UN: What Difference Does it Make (January 21, 2016)

Miguel de Serpa Soares UN Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and United Nations Legal Counsel This talk and the conversation that followed examined the extraordinary range of legal issues that the UN confronts. As the UN’s top legal adviser, Under-Secretary-General Serpa Soares addressed the UN’s responsibility to uphold the rule of law and the complex role of administering international law in the face of some of the most intractable challenges of the da...

Hawa Bangura

Invisible Wounds of War - CERL Conference Keynote by Zainab Hawa Bangura (December 3, 2015)

Zainab Hawa Bangura Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zainab Bangura addressed wartime rape and other forms of conflict-related sexual violence as a “cost- free” and devastating weapon of war. She focused on her UN mandate challenging impunity in the DRC and South Sudan and the psycho-social support needed for survivors of violence in countries ranging from Iraq, Syria, Bosnia, DRC, Somalia...

David O?Sullivan

Free Trade Agreements and Multilateralism: The Next Frontier for the EU and the US (October 29, 2015)

Ambassador David O’Sullivan Ambassador of the European Union to the United States  This discussion was moderated by Professor Jill Fisch and Professor William Burke-White.  With the multilateral Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and U.S.-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) currently at the forefront of economic dialogue, O’Sullivan emphasized the importance of international accountability in trade relations.

Akua Kuenyehia

The Challenges Facing the ICC: The Africa Question (October 28, 2015)

A Critical Global Conversation with Akua Kuenyehia, former Judge of the International Criminal Court, and the former Law Dean of University of Ghana. The International Criminal Court (ICC) has been criticized for what is deemed to be “selective” targeting of poor, African, or “third world” states. Is this a legitimate criticism? What impact has the ICC had on conflict resolution, peacebuilding, the rule of law, and the struggle to end impunity? Does ICC’s retr...

Ivan Simonovic, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights

Implementing the UN Human Rights Agenda: Challenges and Opportunities (October 5, 2015)

A Critical Global Conversation with Ivan Šimonović, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights at the United Nations. Dean Ruger hosted Šimonović for a discussion of critical new developments and challenges in human rights including Responsibility to Protect(R2P), the new ‘Human Rights Due Diligence Policy’ (HRDDP) and the Human Rights Up Front (HRUF) initiative. Before joining the United Nations, ASG Simonovic held the position of Minister of Justice of Croat...


Licit and Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: Are Lawyers Heroes or Villains? (September 30, 2015)

The 2015 The Leon C. & June W. Holt Lecture in International Law was delivered by Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Former Minister of Finance for the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Okonjo-Iweala helped grow her country’s economy, the largest in Africa, an average of 6% (per annum) over three years. She is credited with developing reform programs that helped improve governmental transparency and stabilizing the economy. Okonjo-Iweala was the first woman to be the finance mini...


The UN Sustainable Development Goals: Leaving No One Behind (July 22, 2015)

In July 2015, Penn Law joined with the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) to rededicate our commitment to the SDGs. Penn Law convened a high-level panel discussion in the United Nations Delegate’s Dining Room to discuss how efforts to promote the rule of law may best address problems of equity and social justice confronting the international community. Keynote remarks were provided by Ambassador Michele J. Sison, United States Deputy Representative to t...