BY: Communications | DATE: Oct 30, 2023

Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee serves as Executive Director of international hub for cross-movement and transnational organizing, research, and scholarship

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Leymah Gbowee

Executive Director and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Leymah Gbowee

NEW YORK, NY – The City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law and Brooklyn College announce today the launch of the Institute on Gender, Law, and Transformative Peace (the Institute), led by Executive Director, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Leymah Gbowee with Advisory Board Co-Chairs Lisa Davis, CUNY Law Professor and Director of the Human Rights and Gender Justice Clinic; and Paisley Currah, Professor at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

The Institute will serve as a hub for cross-sectoral, cross-movement, and transnational organizing, research, and scholarship focused on movement-building and policy development from the perspective of those most impacted by crisis and conflict, particularly women and LGBTQI+ persons facing interlocking forms of discrimination.

“I look forward to the work of this new Institute and to centering the voices of grassroots leaders from around the world in advancing public policy and human rights agendas,” said Executive Director Leymah Gbowee.

Its work will inform the development of gender justice in emerging national and global laws and policies, treaties, tribunals, other peace and transitional justice processes, and human rights mechanisms. The Institute brings a wealth of experience to bear in its intersectional framing of gender analysis from a social justice lens, which will be highlighted at this year’s Global Forum Event, happening at the Law School November 16-17, exploring transformative peace and justice in an event open to the public, as well as hosting a closed workshop with grassroots activists, organizers, and scholars from around the globe.

“The Institute will be an important platform to promote movement-building and legal mobilization from a gender and racial justice lens. With CUNY Law’s long history and dedication to social justice, it is the perfect home for the Institute,” said Professor Lisa Davis.

“CUNY has a long history of Institutes and Centers that promote leadership, advocacy, and research together in important fields. We are proud that the Institute will lead in the area of human rights and gender justice, not only within CUNY and New York City, but with an impact that reaches around the globe,” said CUNY Law Dean Sudha Setty.

Professor Lisa Davis speaks on a panel

Professor Lisa Davis speaking into the microphone at G7 Germany in 2022

“Brooklyn College is proud to help lead this critically important Institute, which is being established at a time of great need,” Brooklyn College President Michelle J. Anderson said. “We are excited to partner with the leaders of the Institute to make positive social change.” Anderson is a scholar on rape law and sexual assault who serves on the Advisory Board of the Institute.

Co-founded by Professor Davis and Executive Director Leymah Gbowee; Institute Senior Director Mikaela Luttrell-Rowland, Ph.D.; Madeleine Rees, Secretary-General of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom; and Yifat Susskind, MADRE Executive Director as a collaborative platform through which to create and deepen gender justice, the Institute is a joint partnership between CUNY Law and Brooklyn College. It will connect students, faculty, alumni, and scholars across the University with lectures, panel discussions, and workshops on a broad range of issues. Based at CUNY Law, the Institute will have an Advisory Board led by co-chairs and Professors Davis and Currah, Rees, and Susskind.

Executive Director Leymah Gbowee meets with members of the AVEGA Association of Widows of Genocide in Rwanda in 2023.

Executive Director Leymah Gbowee meets with members of the AVEGA Association of Widows of Genocide in Rwanda in 2023.
Photo Credit: Nobel Women’s Initiative


More about the Institute’s mission and work can be found on their website.


The City University of New York School of Law
 is the nation’s leading public interest law school; its dual mission is to train lawyers dedicated to the practice of law in service of human needs and to make the learning, teaching, and practice of law accessible to those historically excluded from the legal profession.