Matiangai Sirleaf is an Assistant Professor of Law at the University Pittsburgh Law School. She previously served as an assistant professor of law at the University of Baltimore School of Law, a Sharswood Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and as a lecturer for the International Human Rights Exchange Programme run by Bard College and University of the Witwatersrand, teaching courses in international law, criminal law, human rights and transitional justice. Her work focuses on remedying the accountability and responsibility gaps that exist in international law. Her current research agenda analyzes the disproportionate distribution of highly-infectious diseases and the role of law in facilitating this result. Her scholarship has appeared in well regarded general and international law reviews. Her most recent publication is the Responsibility for Epidemics, 97 Tex. L. Rev. 285-351 (2018). The University of Pittsburgh awarded Professor Sirleaf the Chancellor's Distinguished Research Award in 2019. She served as a visiting associate professor of law at the University of Maryland School of Law during the fall semester of 2019.
From 2010 to 2012, Sirleaf worked in private practice with Cohen, Milstein, Sellers & Toll in Washington, D.C., where she represented plaintiffs in numerous international human rights cases litigated in federal courts. Prior to that, she served as a law clerk to Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, as a fellow with the International Center for Transitional Justice, as a summer associate with Debevoise & Plimpton in New York City, and as a law clerk with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia. She received her JD from Yale Law School in 2008, her MA from the University of Ghana (Legon) in International Affairs in 2005 while on a Fulbright Fellowship and her BA from New York University in 2003. In 2014, she received the Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award from New York University.
- Lawrence O. Gostin, Matiangai V. S. Sirleaf and Eric Friedman, Global Health Law: Legal Foundations for Social Justice in Public Health, in Foundation of Global Health and Human Rights (Lawrence O. Gostin and Benjamin Mason Meier eds., forthcoming 2020).
- Racial Valuation of Diseases, 68 UCLA L. Rev. __ (forthcoming 2020).
- Responsibility for Epidemics, 97 Tex. L. Rev. 285 (2018).
- Not Your Dumping Ground: Criminalization of Trafficking in Hazardous Waste in Africa, 35 Wisc. J. Int'l L. 326-366 (2018) (symposium issue). Also available as
Prosecuting Dirty Dumping in Africa, in The African Court of Justice and Human and Peoples' Rights in Context, 553 (Charles C. Jalloh and Kamari Clarke eds., 2019).
- Ebola Does Not Fall from the Sky: Global Structural Violence and International Responsibility, 51 Vand. J. Transnat’l L. 477-554 (2018).
- The African Justice Cascade and the Malabo Protocol, 11 Int’l. J. Transitional Just. 71-91 (2017) (peer-review).
- Regionalism, Regime Complexes and International Criminal Justice in Africa, 54 Col. J. Transnat’l L. 699 (2016).
- The Truth About Truth Commissions: Why They Do Not Function Optimally in Post-Conflict Societies, 35 Cardozo L. Rev. 2263-2348 (August 2014).
- Beyond Truth & Punishment in Transitional Justice, 54 Va. J. Int'l L. 195, 223-294 (Spring 2014).
- Regional Approach to Transitional Justice? Examining the Special Court for Sierra Leone and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Liberia, 21 Fl. J. Int'l L. 209 (2009).
- Saint Louis University School of Law, St. Louis, MO (Sept. 2019), selected speaker for Health Law Scholars Workshop, presented draft of Disposable Bodies & Experimental Trials.
- Chapman University School of Law, Orange, CA (Sept. 2019), one of eight invited participants nationally to Third Annual Junior Faculty Works-in-Progress Conference, presented draft of Racial Valuation of Diseases.
- Penn State Law School, University Park, PA (June 2019), selected for intensive workshop at 13th Annual Lutie Lytle Black Women Law Faculty Workshop, presented draft of Racial Valuation of Diseases (paper selected for edit-letter review by Yale Law Journal).
- Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Chicago, IL (June 2019), selected for panel at 42nd Annual Health Law Professors Conference, presented draft of Racial Valuation of Diseases.
- Duke Law School, Durham, NC (May 2019), Culp Colloquium, presented draft of Racial Valuation of Diseases.
- Duke Law School, Durham, NC (May 2019), Center for International and Comparative Law’s Women in International Law Research Workshop, presented draft of Racial Valuation of Diseases.
- Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Chicago, IL (April 2019), International Law Colloquium, presented draft of Racial Valuation of Diseases.
- University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA (April 2019), Global Health Inequities & Infectious Diseases Workshop, presented draft of Racial Valuation of Diseases.
- University of Colorado Law School, Boulder, CO (April 2019), Faculty Colloquium Series, presented draft of Racial Valuation of Diseases.
- University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT (April 2019), panelist on Transitional Justice and Accountability After Mass Crimes at conference on Human Rights and the Politics of Solidarity.
- University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA (April 2019), interdisciplinary workshop sponsored by the Global Studies Center on Defining the Neglected Tropical Diseases, presented draft of Racial Valuation of Diseases.
- McGill University, Montreal, Canada (Mar. 2019), Margins of Accountability Workshop prior to International Studies Association 2019 conference held in Toronto, Canada discussed next steps for Responsibility for Epidemics project.
- University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA (Mar. 2019), panelist on Race, Socio-economic Inequality & Human Rights at conference on Critical Perspectives on Race and Human Rights: Transnational Re-Imaginings, presented draft of Racial Valuation of Diseases.
- University of Dayton School of Law, Dayton, OH (Mar. 2019), panelist on Global Governance – Reconstruction or Falling Through the Cracks? 2019 Gilvary Symposium, Things Fall Apart or Creative Destruction?: The Future of the Rule of Law in International Governance.
- Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya (Sept. 2018), keynote speech on Regionalizing International Criminal Law presented at conference on 20 Years Since the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court – the Status of International Rule of Law, and Access to International Criminal Justice in Africa.
- University of Colorado Law School, Boulder, CO (Aug. 2018), International Law & Racial Justice Workshop, presented emerging idea on Disposable Bodies of Color: Experimental Trials & the Racial Economy of Treatment.
- National University of Singapore Faculty of Law, Singapore (July 2018), Third World Approaches to International Law Conference, presented draft of Responsibility for Epidemics.
- SMU Dedman School of Law, Dallas, TX (July 2018), Lutie Lytle Black Women Law Faculty Workshop and Writing Retreat, presented draft of Responsibility for Epidemics.
- Stanford Law School, Stanford, CA (June 2018), Culp Colloquium, presented draft of Responsibility for Epidemics.
- University of Richmond Law School, Richmond, VA (May 2018), Mid-Atlantic Junior Faculty Forum, presented emerging idea on Disposable Bodies of Color: Experimental Trials & the Racial Economy of Treatment.
- Yale Law School, New Haven, CT (Apr. 2018), speaker at a conference on Solidarity: Sustaining the Struggle for Human Rights in a Fractured World, panelist on The Ethics and Politics of Finding Facts and Making Truth.
- University of Illinois College of Law, Champaign, IL (Mar. 2018), Women in International Law Research Workshop held at the Illinois Center, presented draft of Responsibility for Epidemics.