BS, Cornell University
MPA, JD, Harvard University
Poverty and Rights
“I’m interested in issues that sit at the intersection of poverty, human rights, and the environment.”
“My recent work looks at the idea of water and sanitation as a human right. Based on international covenants — which the United States never ratified, but which are quite salient in other parts of the world — the UN has said that access to safe, good-quality water is a basic right. So at the international level you have these vast norms, but at the national and state level, you often have this morass of conflicting law and regulation.
"I’ve looked at land-tenure issues in Mumbai, a city in which — as in many parts of the world — urbanization has outpaced capacity to develop. You have huge numbers of people living for decades in nonrecognized slums, with no state services or piped drinking water. I’m arguing that we need to separate questions of the legality of where people are living — these complicated land-tenure questions — from the provision of basic services.”
International Law and Sustainability
“At a fundamental level, I hope that the work that I do contributes to a change in the way we think about delivering basic services and providing for the poor. One of the things I bring to the table is thinking about how we can translate these normative ideals that exist at the human rights level into concrete action at the national and local level.
"I write with the law as my central focus, but part of my audience is a policy audience, and I hope that what I’m doing will lead to concrete outcomes in terms of improving people’s lives.”