Cornell University: August Zambia conference celebrated “intellectual giant” Ndulo

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The Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies and the Southern African Institute for Policy and Research (SAIPAR) honored Muna Ndulo, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of International and Comparative Law, Cornell Law School, at an August conference celebrating his influence as a legal scholar, constitutional advisor, academic leader and expert in international law and development.

The conference, “Democracy, Law and Higher Education in Zambia,” was held in Lusaka on August 4–5 and recognized Ndulo’s contribution to the legal scholarship of Zambia with the book launch of An Intellectual Giant: Essays in Honour of Muna Ndulo.

Attendees included many faculty from the Einaudi Center’s Institute for African Development (IAD) and the University of Zambia (UNZA), a Cornell Global Hubs partner university with long-standing connections to Ndulo, IAD and the Einaudi Center. As past director of IAD and former law school dean and professor at UNZA, Ndulo led and strengthened faculty research partnerships between the universities, cooperative events and internships for Cornell students across 20 years.


From 2001–20, Ndulo’s leadership helped to define IAD’s research and applied policy focus on African governance, access to justice and human rights.

“I was truly overwhelmed to be honored in this manner,” said Ndulo. “I express my heartfelt gratitude to all those who have travelled with me on this academic journey. I could not have done this on my own.”

An internationally recognized scholar, Ndulo’s work in constitution making, governance and institution building, international criminal law, African legal systems and human rights have greatly influenced the African continent and the world. He has shaped constitutions in countries across the continent, including post-apartheid South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe, and consulted at several international organizations within the UN system and World Bank and currently serves on the UN Secretary General’s Civil Society Advisory Board.

Ndulo also holds appointments at many universities in southern Africa and has taught generations of Cornell law students about international human rights and comparative law in Africa.

Rachel Beatty Riedl, director of the Einaudi Center, and N’Dri Thérèse Assié-Lumumba, current IAD director, represented Cornell at the conference, joining many distinguished African legal scholars.


“The University of Zambia is an incredible partner,” said Riedl. “The Einaudi Center’s internships offered through UNZA and the Southern African Institute for Policy and Research connect Cornell students and faculty to major stakeholders across Zambia—from government policy advisors, to leading NGOs, to regional and continental organizations.”

Like the Hub in Zambia, most Global Hubs locations build upon existing partnerships to increase access and expand opportunities. At Hubs, faculty, staff, students and international alumni will find opportunities for sustained interdisciplinary collaborations that combine research, learning and engagement.

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