Catherine Powell

Fordham Law Professor Catherine Powell

Associate Professor of Law

Telephone: 212-636-7433
Office: Room 7-127
SSRN (academic papers)

Research and Teaching Areas

International Law; Global Governance; Constitutional Law; Comparative Constitutional Rights; Human Rights


  • Associate Professor of Law, Fordham Law School (2002-present)

  • Affiliated Faculty, Leitner Center for International Law & Justice, Fordham Law School (

  • Elected to the Board of Editors in 2015 for the American Journal of International Law

  • Visiting Associate Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center (2012-2013)

  • Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Policy Planning Staff Member (2009-2011, 2012)

  • White House National Security Staff, Director for Human Rights (May-November 2011 detail)

  • Associate Clinical Professor and Founding Director, Human Rights Institute and Clinic, Columbia Law School (1998-02)

  • Assistant Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense Fund (1994-98)

  • Law Clerk, Judge Leonard Sand, SDNY (1993-94)

  • Ford Fellow in Public International Law, Harvard Law School (1992-93)

  • Senior Editor,Yale Law Journal

  • Principal Subjects: International Law, Constitutional Law, Human Rights, Comparative Constitutional Law

Selected Publications

  • Gender Indicators as Global Governance: This is Not Your Father's World Bank,forthcoming chapter in Big Data, Big Challenges in Evidenced-Based Policy Making (forthcoming Kumar Jayasuriya ed., 2014) (West Academic Press, Publisher), available at

  • Libya: Indicative of a Multilateral Constitutional Moment? 106 AMERICAN JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 298 (2012)

  • Remarks on Revolution and Intervention in the Middle East panel at the 2011 American Society of International Law (ASIL) Annual Meeting In PROCEEDINGS of the 105th ANNUAL MEETING of the AMERICAN SOCIETY OF INTERNATIONAL LAW on HARMONY AND DISSONANCE IN INTERNATIONAL LAW (2012), pp. 561-63

  • Louis Henkin (1917-2010): The Power of His Ideas Live On (with Anne-Marie Slaughter), Opinio Juris (2010) available at .

  • The Ghost of Senator Bricker, Opinio Juris (2008) available at

  • Scholars’ Statement of Principles for the New President on U.S. Detention Policy: An Agenda for Change 47 COLUMBIA JOURNAL OF TRANSNATIONAL LAW 339 (2009) (served as reporter, with other prominent scholars listed as co-signatories) [earlier versions submitted to then-President-elect Obama’s transition team and as Prepared Testimony to the Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, Committee on the Judiciary, “Restoring the Rule of Law” Hearing (prepared by Catherine Powell on behalf of the Center for American Progress)]

  • International Law and the Constitution: Terms of Engagement: Foreword 77 FORDHAM LAW REVIEW 399-410 (2008)

  • Human Rights in the United States: Forward  (with Sarah Cleveland) 40 COLUMBIA HUMAN RIGHTS LAW REVIEW 1-6 (2008)

  • Tinkering  with Torture in the Aftermath of Hamdan: Testing the Relationship Between Internationalism and Constitutionalism (2008, NYU J. Intl L. & Politics)

  • A Tale of Two Traditions: International Cooperation and American Exceptionalism in U.S. Human Rights Policy, chapter in THE FUTURE OF HUMAN RIGHTS: U.S. POLICY FOR A NEW ERA (William F. Schulz, ed.) University of Pennsylvania Press (forthcoming Spring 2008)

  • Louis Henkin and Human Rights: A New Deal at Home and Abroad (Oral History of Louis Henkin's life), chapter in BRINGING HUMAN RIGHTS HOME (Catherine Albisa, Martha Davis, Cynthia Soohoo, eds.) Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, January 2008.

  • Lifting Our Veil of Ignorance: Culture, Constitutionalism, and Women’s Human Rights in Post-September 11 America, 57 HASTINGS LAW JOURNAL 331 (2005),

  • The Role of Transnational Norm Entrepreneurs in the U.S. "War on Terrorism" 5 Theoretical Inquiries in Law 47 (Jan. 2004)

  • United States Human Rights Policy in the 21st Century in an Age of Multilateralism 46 SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY LAW JOURNAL 421 (Spring 2002)

  • Geographies of Hunger, chapter in TRANSNATIONAL LEGAL PROCESSES: GLOBALISATION AND POWER DISPARITIES (Butterworths Tolley, Michael Likosky,ed., 2002) Dialogic Federalism: Constitutional Possibilities for Incorporation of Human Rights Law in the United States 150 PENNSYLVANIA LAW REVIEW 245 (November 2001)

  • Human Rights and the (Mis)uses of Culture, chapter in RACE, ETHNICITY AND GENDER IN THE AMERICAS (American University Publications, Celina Romany, ed., 2001)

  • Dialogic Federalism: Constitutional Possibilities for Incorporation of Human Rights Law in the United States, 150 Penn L. R. 245. (2001),

  • Locating Culture, Identity and Human Rights, 30 COLUMBIA HUMAN RIGHTS LAW REVIEW 201 (Spring 1999)(Introduction to Symposium Issue Celebrating Fiftieth Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

  • (Dis)assembling Rights of Women Workers Along the Global Assembly Line: Human Rights and the Garment Industry (with Leti Volpp and Laura Ho)31 HARVARD CIVIL RIGHTS and CIVIL LIBERTIES 383 (Summer 1996) reprinted in GLOBAL CRITICAL RACE FEMINISM (Adrien Wing, ed., 2000)
  • "Life" at Guantanamo: The Wrongful Detention of Haitian Refugees 2 RECONSTRUCTION 58 (R. Kennedy, ed., Harvard Law School, 1993)


  • J.D. Yale Law School, (Earl Warren Scholar)
  • M.P.A. Princeton University, (International Development Concentration) Woodrow Wilson School Of Public And International Affairs
  • B.A. Yale College