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Yasmin Ergas; Faculty Affiliate and Advisory Board Member

Adjunct Professor of International and Public Affairs; Associate Director, Institute for the Study of Human Rights

Yasmin Ergas is currently engaged in a study of the Transnationalization of Everyday Life, Human Rights and the Dilemmas of International Law, which examines such issues as international commercial surrogacy, and in a broader study of the regulation of the market in reproduction, as well as other aspects of the transformation of family-based identities and statuses. Her previous work includes many published essays, and Nelle maglie della politica: femminismo, istituzioni e politiche sociali nell’Italia degli anni settanta (Milan, 1986).

She is a co-convener of a workshop on "Deconstructing and Reconstructing 'Mother'," and of an international symposium on "Religion, Legal Pluralism, and Human Rights: European and Transatlantic Perspectives." Ergas has lectured widely, including recent addresses on "Forty Years of Research on Women and Gender" to the Institut Emilie du Chatelet in Paris, and on the international market in baby-making to the University of Rotterdam.

Ergas is a former member of the School of Social Science of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton; fellow of the Center for European Studies at Harvard University; and a Pembroke Fellow of Brown University. Among other honors, she has been awarded fellowships and grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Ford Foundation and the Italian Consiglio Nazionale della Ricerca.

Ergas has served on the staff of the Social Science Research Council and as a consultant to leading international organizations, including the OECD and UNESCO. She led a working group of the Committee on International Trade of the New York City Bar Association on child labor and international trade. She practiced law at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom, and Studio Legale Pedersoli.

More recently, she served as the coordinator of, and an adviser to, the gender program of the Millennium Villages Project, as an advisor to the Human Rights Commission of the City of New York, and on the Human Rights Program Education and Information Resources Working Group of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is currently a member of the Advisory Committee for the Social Sector of the Millennium Cities Initiative, the editorial board of the Journal of Human Rights Practice, the Scientific Council of the Centro di Ricerca sul Sistema Sud e il Mediterrraneo Allargato of Universita’ Cattolica di Milano, the board of New York City Global Partners, and the advisory board of the Institute for the Study of Human Rights of Columbia University. Her work has been published in English, Italian, French, German, Japanese, Spanish and Portuguese.


  • J.D., Columbia University
  • Laurea (M.S. equivalent), University of Rome
  • B.A, University of Sussex