Sustainable Development Legal Initiative

In the new Millennium, poverty and inequality around the world are still widespread. Over 1 billion people live in extreme poverty on less than $1 a day. Nearly 100 million school-age children are not in school. One billion people do not have access to clean drinking water and 2.6 billion are without adequate sanitation. At the same time, the global environment is deteriorating at an unprecedented rate, threatening to undo the progress made in the fight against global poverty. Reducing poverty and promoting development are, however, not goals beyond humanity's reach.

With the support of his colleagues and the generous contribution of James and Sandra Leitner, Professor Paolo Galizzi has developed the Sustainable Development Legal Initiative (SDLI) to serve as a focal point within the Leitner Center and the Law School for activities in the field of international sustainable development. Through its expertise in international law, legal education, research and practice, SDLI aims to promote the use of law to foster environmentally sound development and poverty eradication. Thanks to the generosity of SDLI supporters, Adam and Brittany Levinson, SDLI employs a full-time Fellow, Alena Herklotz, the Adam and Brittany Levinson Fellow in International Law of Sustainable Development, who supports Professor Galizzi and the entire Leitner Center team in these efforts.

SDLI's work is organized around three themes:

  • With activities in the area of Education, SDLI builds on the Law School's longstanding tradition of public service by providing new opportunities for students to engage in sustainable development projects both here in the U.S. and internationally.
  • In partnership with local institutions and stakeholders, SDLI has launched Capacity Building pilot projects in Ghana (West Africa) to address both human and resource capacity shortages, and aims to expand its efforts throughout Africa and other parts of the developing world.
  • At home, SDLI promotes Research & Scholarship by sponsoring forums, conferences, and a sustainable development lecture series, as well as legal projects and publications.


Leitner Center for International Law and Justice
Fordham University School of Law
33 West 60th Street (2nd Floor)
New York, NY 10023

Telephone: 212.636.6862
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Fordham offers one of the most extensive human rights curricula of any law school in the United States

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Faculty and Staff
Elisabeth Wickeri
Executive Director, Leitner Center for International Law and Justice
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