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Matiangai Sirleaf

Matiangai Sirleaf

Assistant Professor of Law
412-648-1364
matiangai.sirleaf@pitt.edu
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Matiangai Sirleaf is an Assistant Professor of Law at the University Pittsburgh Law School. Sirleaf writes and teaches courses in the areas of criminal law and international law. Sirleaf previously served as a Sharswood Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, as an assistant professor of law at the University of Baltimore School of Law, 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 scholarship focuses on the challenges institutions face in providing redress to survivors of human rights violations. Her current research agenda analyzes the disproportionate distribution of highly-infectious diseases and the role of law in facilitating this result.

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 an attorney with the International Center for Transitional Justice, as law clerk to Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, 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 and her MA from the University of Ghana (Legon) in International Affairs in 2005. In 2014, she received the Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award from New York University.

Education
Degree: 
JD, Yale Law School, 2008
Degree: 
MA, International Affairs, University of Ghana -Legon, 2005
Degree: 
BA, New York University, 2003

Publications

Selected Publications

Selected Presentations

  • 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

  • Ohio State University Law School Columbus, OH (Nov. 2017), Faculty Workshop presented draft of Ebola Does Not Fall from the Sky:  Global Structural Violence and International Responsibility

  • Marquette Law School, Milwaukee, WI. (Sept. 2017) Fifth Annual Junior Faculty Works-In Progress Symposium, (one of eight invited participants nationally) presented draft of Ebola Does Not Fall from the Sky:  Global Structural Violence and International Responsibility

  • American Society for International Law (ASIL) Mid-West Works in Progress Conference, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland, OH (Sept. 2017) presented draft article Ebola Does Not Fall from the Sky: Global Structural Violence and International Responsibility

  • University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, MI. (July 2017) 11th Annual Lutie Lytle Black Women Law Faculty Writing Workshop, presented emerging idea Responsibility for Epidemics

  • Duke Law School, Durham, NC (May 2017) Culp Colloquium presented draft of Ebola Does Not Fall from the Sky: Global Structural Violence and International Responsibility

  • University of Richmond Law School, Richmond, VA (May 2017) presented  Responsibility for Epidemics

  • University of Wisconsin Law School, Madison, WI. (Mar. 2017) Wisconsin International Law Journal Symposium, presented draft book chapter on the Criminalization of Trafficking in Hazardous Waste in Africa

  • Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, PA. (Feb. 2017) International Law Colloquium, presented draft article Ebola Does Not Fall from the Sky: Global Structural Violence and International Responsibility

  • Pennsylvania State University Law School, University Park, PA Jan. 2017 Faculty Workshop, presented draft of Ebola Does Not Fall from the Sky: Global Structural Violence and International Responsibility

Awards and Honors

  • The University Center for International Studies (UCIS) at the University of Pittsburgh awarded Professor Sirleaf a Faculty Fellowship for AY 2018-19. The purpose of the UCIS Faculty Fellowship is to enable faculty members to undertake projects or acquire skills that enhance the University’s capabilities in some branch of international studies. Prof. Sirleaf will use the fellowship to organize a workshop that will bring together a multidisciplinary group of scholars and students at the University of Pittsburgh and beyond to examine global health inequities in the distribution of infectious diseases as well as prepare a scholarly journal article for publication. Read more here.

  • The University of Pittsburgh awarded Professor Matiangai Sirleaf, Assistant Professor of History Mari K. Webel, and Professor of History and Philosophy of Science, Michael R. Dietrich the Social Science Research Initiative (SSRI) grant for AY 2018 - AY 2019. Their proposal, “Understanding the Development and Impact of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) – 1950 to Present,” interrogates the concept of NTDs, a category used to describe a set of diseases that highlight health inequities. Read more here.

  • The African Studies Program, at the University of Pittsburgh awarded Professor Sirleaf a Faculty Research Grant for AY 2018 – 2019. The competitive grants are awarded to Pitt faculty affiliated with the African Studies Program to fund research related to Africa. The research grant will be used to fund Professor Sirleaf’s research investigating whether experimental clinical trials during the Ebola epidemic comported with international guidelines. Read more here.

  • The Ford Institute for Human Security at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Public Affairs awarded Professor Sirleaf a research grant for AY 2016 - AY2018 to support her work on global health inequities and the distribution of infectious diseases. The annual competition supports the work of full-time or core non-tenured faculty for research and publication on a human security topic. Read more here.

  • New York University Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award 2014, presented annually to an NYU alum, faculty, or staff member who embodies and exemplifies the characteristics promoted by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.