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March 17 | 9:00 – 10:00AM CT

Daniel Magraw
Professor of Law, Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)  

Speaker's Slides

On behalf of the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources (EENR) Center at the University of Houston Law Center, we are delighted to announce the forthcoming events we’ll host in the frame of our virtual lecture series on Energy Transition and Climate Governance, sponsored by the EU’s Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, and spearheaded by Dr. Aubin Nzaou.  

Topic: The Right to a Healthy Environment.

Speaker's name: Daniel Magraw 
Professor of Law, Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) 


In October 2021, the UN Human Rights Council recognized the human right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment (R2HE), thus adding an environmental right to the pantheon of human rights.  This paradigm-changing accomplishment occurred despite active opposition by Russia and the United States.  A similar resolution will be introduced soon in the UN General Assembly. Professor Daniel Magraw will briefly describe the integration of human rights and the environment leading to the Human Rights Council's historic action, examine the United States' opposition to R2HE in relation to President Biden's prioritization of environmental justice, and discuss the meaning and importance of R2HE and how it relates to the environmental crisis facing humanity of biodiversity loss, climate change, toxification, and water scarcity. 

Daniel Magraw  

Daniel Magraw is an international lawyer with experience in international law, institutions, processes and policies, particularly relating to environmental protection, dispute settlement, investment and human rights, including climate change and environmental justice.  He is Professorial Lecturer and Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and President Emeritus of the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL).  Professor Magraw teaches international environmental law and policy at SAIS, as well as human rights and environment at the University of Miami School of Law.  He has worked in government, nongovernmental organizations, intergovernmental organizations, business, and academia, in the U.S. and abroad.   

Magraw serves as a consultant to the United Nations regarding environment, human rights and investment.  He served on the National Academies of Sciences committees on genetically engineered crops and on biologic confinement of genetically engineered organisms.  He is on the boards of directors/trustees of Lightbridge Corporation (a publicly traded nuclear energy company) and the Universal Rights Group (a human rights think tank in Geneva, of which he is a co-founder).  He is co-chair of Human Rights Watch’s Advisory Committee on Environment and Human Rights.  He served on the Advisory Committee to the Law Library of Congress.   

Magraw was the Director of the Environmental Protection Agency’s International Environmental Law Office (1992-2001) and Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator of EPA’s Office of International Activities (2001).  He was a member of the U.S. government’s Trade and Environment Policy Advisory Committee (TEPAC) during the Administrations of George W. Bush and Barrack Obama (2002-2011), and co-chaired the White House assessment of the regulation of genetically engineered organisms (2000).  He has served on many U.S. delegations to international negotiations and other meetings, often as a lead negotiator. 

Magraw worked as an economist and business consultant in South India as a Peace Corps Volunteer from 1968-1972.  He developed the largest co-operative of its kind in India and, at the government of Tamil Nadu’s request, extended his stay for a third year to conduct an economic survey of rural markets.   

Magraw was Chair of the ABA Section of International Law (2000-2001) and has served in other leadership capacities in the ABA and other professional organizations, including chairing that Section’s Task Forces on Magna Carta and on Carta de Foresta (Charter of the Forest or Charter of the Commons).  He was a member of the United Kingdom’s Magna Carta 800th Commemoration Committee.  

He has taught at the Universities of California (Berkeley) and Colorado and at Georgetown University Law Center.  He has authored many books and articles, lectured widely, and won local, national and international awards, including the Elizabeth Haub Prize, the world’s premier environmental law award, presented in Stockholm by the Speaker of the Swedish Parliament.   

Magraw practiced international and civil liberties law at Covington & Burling in Washington, DC, where he also worked for six months doing poverty law at the Neighborhood Legal Service Program (1978-1983).  Among other counseling work, he was Counsel for India in the Kishenganga Arbitration over water in Kashmir brought by Pakistan under the Indus Waters Treaty (2011-13).  

Magraw has a J.D. degree from the University of California, Berkeley (1976), where he was Editor-in-Chief of the California Law Review and a co-founder of the Berkeley Law Foundation, which funds legal work for disadvantaged individuals and communities and has been replicated at other law schools.  He has a B.A. Magna Cum Laude in Economics from Harvard University (1968), where he was student body president and a varsity swimmer and did volunteer work with low-income youth.  He has studied both Carnatic music (veena) and western music (guitar). 


We have a remarkable series planned for the rest of the year featuring domestic and international speakers.

Apr. 2022, 10-11 am ET, Daniel E. Walters (Penn State Law).         

Apr. 14, 10-11 am ET, Michele Okoh (Duke University School of Law).    

    Apr. 2022, 10-11 am ET, Smita Narula (Pace University Elisabeth Haub School of Law).   

May 12, 2022, 10-11 am ET, Katrina Wyman (New York University School of Law).  

May 19, 2022, 10-11 am ET, Deepa Badrinarayana (Chapman University School of Law).   

May 2022, 10-11 am ET, Don Elliot (Yale Law School).     

Jun. 2022, 10-11 am ET Cary Coglianese (University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School).   

You can also access the recordings of our past events.

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