Erika George reclined in a comfortable chair in professional attire

photo credit: Austin Diamond

Erika George

Samuel D. Thurman Professor of Law at the University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law.

Director of the Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah, College of Humanities.

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Reimagining corporate responsibility to respect human rights | TEDxSaltLakeCity

About Me

I am the Samuel D. Thurman Professor of Law and I also direct the Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah. I began my academic career at the University’s S. J. Quinney College of Law. I earned my B.A. with honors from the University of Chicago and my J.D. from Harvard Law School, where I served as an Articles Editor of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. I also hold an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Chicago. Prior to entering the legal academy, I was employed by Human Rights Watch and corporate law firms in Chicago and New York City. I remain inspired and motivated in both my scholarship and teaching by the problems I encountered during my years of human rights advocacy and law practice.

I am a thought leader in a growing area of inquiry at the intersection of human rights, sustainability, and corporate social responsibility. My current research focuses on the obligations of private actors under public international law and policy and efforts by private actors to fill gaps in global governance. I study the responsibility of transnational corporations to respect international human rights and various efforts to hold corporations accountable for alleged rights violations.

I am a sought-after speaker on issues of human rights and corporate social responsibility, the human rights of women and children, trafficking in persons, equity and anti-discrimination, and environmental justice. My scholarship has appeared in prestigious legal journals including the California Law Review, the Michigan Journal of International Law, the New York Journal of International Law and Policy, and the Annual Proceedings of the American Society of International Law.

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Incorporating Rights

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My Research

Currently, my academic research seeks to better understand the role of private non-state actors in public international law. My research also explores the interdependence of civil, political, social, economic, cultural rights, and environmental rights. My research methodology is interdisciplinary. As a sociolegal scholar, I combine qualitative empirical and humanist research methodologies to examine the role of law in society. I aim to produce influential scholarship at the intersection of human rights, sustainability, and corporate social responsibility. My scholarship seeks to introduce human rights considerations into conversations about different issues of contemporary concern such as globalization and economic development, conflict and security, equity, technology, and environmental justice.

Because I remain committed to producing scholarship that is relevant to the contemporary concerns of international human rights and environmental movements, I serve on the advisory boards of non-governmental organizations that work to build a better world.