Lisa Davis is an Associate Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Human Rights and Gender Justice Clinic (formerly named International Women's Human Rights Clinic). Professor Davis has written and reported extensively on international human rights and gender issues, including women's rights and LGBTIQ rights, with a focus on peace building and security issues in conflict and disaster settings. Lisa has testified before U.S. Congress, U.K. Parliament, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and various international human rights bodies. Lisa is also a member of the JRR-UN Women SGBV Justice Experts Roster. In 2016, Professor Davis was elected by their peers to deliver the civil society statement for the U.N. Security Council's open debate on the use of sexual violence in conflict situations.

In the case of Karen Atala and Daughters v Chile, Professor Davis co-authored the only amicus curiae brief to argue that sexual orientation and gender identity are protected classes under international law. Among others, the brief was also co-authored by attorneys at the law firm Morrison & Foerster, who focused on the custody issue at hand, arguing that sexual orientation and gender identity should not be factors in custody determinations. In 2012, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights issued a groundbreaking decision, providing for an explicit prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

In 2010, Professor Davis served as lead counsel for the Inter-American Commission petition on behalf of displaced Haitian women and girls, which resulted in the Commission's first-ever precautionary measures decision recognizing state responsibility to prevent third-party gender-based violence. Lisa was subsequently awarded the 2011 People's Choice Gavel Award by her peers for the decision.

Professor Davis is an alumna of CUNY Law School and joined the faculty in 2010. Lisa currently serves as a board member of the LGBT Social Science and Public Policy Center at Roosevelt House. Lisa is a faculty advisor for the Sorensen Center for International Peace and Justice, and a faculty advisor to the CUNY Law Review. Prior to joining CUNY Law, Professor Davis established the advocacy department at MADRE, an international women's human rights organization, and developed the legal advocacy platform to advance women's human rights in peace-building and security issues. Lisa currently serves as MADRE's Senior Legal Advisor.

In the News


Book & Volume Chapters

  • WPS and LGBTI Rights, chapter in, THE OXFORD HANDBOOK OF WOMEN, PEACE AND SECURITY, Oxford Univ. Press (2019) (with Jessica Stern)
  • Grassroots Women's Participation in Addressing Conflict and Genocide: Case Studies from the MENA Region and Latin America, chapter in, WOMEN AND GENOCIDE, Indiana Univ. (2018) (with Cassandra Atlas)
  • The Gendered Dimensions of Torture: Rape and other Forms of Gender-Based Violence as Torture under International Law, chapter in, TORTURE AND ITS DEFINITION IN INTERNATIONAL LAW: AN INTER-DISCIPLINARY APPROACH, Oxford Univ. Press (2017)
  • MADRE, Lisa Davis, et al, Our Bodies Are Still Trembling, chapter in, TECTONIC SHIFTS: HAITI SINCE THE EARTHQUAKE, Kumarian Press, North Am. Congress on Latin America (2012)

Law Review Articles


Journal Essays

  • Countering Iraq's Anti-Shelter Policy in the Era of ISIS , Columbia Univ. J. Int'l. Affairs, 70, 2 (2017)
  • The Global Struggle for LGBTQ Rights: Legal, Political, and Social Dimensions, 37 Women's Rts. L. Rep. 229, 270 (2016)
  • Legacy in Action: Honoring the Life Work of Rhonda Copelon, 14 N.Y. City L. Rev. 2 (2012)
  • Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Responds to Demand for Action to End Sexual Violence in Haiti, Los Andes Univ. Law Sch., Periodico Al Derecho (Mar. 2012)
  • Fanm Ayisyen Pap Kase: Respecting the Right to Health of Haitian Women and Girls, Harv. Health & Hum. Rts. J., 13.1 (2011) (with Blaine Bookey)



Lisa Davis

SSRN Author Page



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