Sarah H. Cleveland

Louis Henkin Professor of Human and Constitutional Rights, Faculty Co-Director, Human Rights Institute, Columbia Law School and US nominee for judge of the International Court of Justice

Professor Cleveland is a noted expert in the areas of international law, human rights, U.S. foreign relations law, and national security. In addition to teaching, researching, and writing about these issues, she is a leading figure in these fields through her longstanding work domestically and with international legal organizations.

Professor Cleveland was vice chair and a member of the U.N. Human Rights Committee (2015–2018) and was the U.S. observer member and member on the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe (2010–2019). From 2009 to 2011, she served as the counselor on international law to the legal adviser at the U.S. Department of State and she remains a member of the Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on International Law.

Professor Cleveland is a member of the Ad Hoc Conciliation Commission for Qatar v. United Arab Emirates (CERD Committee), a Council Member of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute and was a member of the High Level Panel on Media Freedom. She is faculty co-director of the Law School’s Human Rights Institute, is a member of the American Law Institute, and served as co-coordinating reporter of the American Law Institute’s Restatement (Fourth) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States (2012–2018).

Professor Cleveland began her legal career as a Skadden Fellow, representing migrant farmworkers in south Florida. She previously served as a member of the board of editors of the International Review of the Red Cross and the Journal of International Economic Law.

She has written widely on issues of international law, foreign relations law, national security and human rights, including the casebook Human Rights (2nd ed. 2009 and update 2013) and The Restatement and Beyond: The Past, Present, and Future of U.S. Foreign Relations Law, Paul Stephen and Sarah Cleveland, eds. (Oxford University Press, 2020).

Professor Cleveland is a former Rhodes Scholar and served as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun. Before arriving at Columbia in 2007, she was the Marrs McLean Professor in Law at the University of Texas School of Law. She has held visiting professorships at Harvard and Michigan law schools, the University Panthéon-Assas (Paris II) and Sciences-Po University in Paris, and the European University Institute, Fiesole, among other institutions.