Back to About us

Margaret L. Satterthwaite

CHRGJ Faculty Director
Director, Global Justice Clinic
Professor of Clinical Law


Margaret (Meg) Satterthwaite is a director of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) and faculty director of the Robert L. Bernstein Institute for Human Rights. She is a Professor of Clinical Law and director of the Global Justice Clinic.


Meg’s recent scholarship has involved cross-disciplinary work aimed at advancing the evidence base for human rights advocacy. This collaborative work includes A Social Science of Human Rights? A Conceptual Roadmap for Social Science Methods in Human Rights Fact-Finding (co-authored with Justin Simeone); Measuring What We Treasure and Treasuring What We Measure: The Promise and Perils of Global Monitoring for the Promotion of Equality in the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Sector (co-authored with Inga Winkler and Catarina de Albuquerque); and Persuasive Visualization: Can Visualized Data Change Users’ Opinions? (co-authored with Enrico Bertini, Oded Nov, Anshul Pandey, and Anjali Manivannan), as well as a series of articles on trauma and resilience in human rights work.


She has published two books, Gender, National Security, and Counter-Terrorism: Human Rights Perspectives (co-edited with Jayne Huckerby, 2013; paperback, 2014) and Human Rights Advocacy Stories (co-edited with Deena Hurwitz and Douglas Ford, 2009), a volume in the Law Stories series. Her past scholarship focused on indicators and metrics, human rights in Haiti, and the human rights impacts of counter-terrorism measures.


Meg joined the NYU faculty in 2006 after many years in the human rights field. Her human rights career began before law school: between 1990 and 1996, she co-founded and then directed Amnesty International USA’s program on the human rights of those persecuted on the basis of their sexual orientation. Meg also completed a Master’s Degree and served as International Programs Coordinator for the human rights education organization Street Law, where she helped develop curriculum in human rights and legal literacy, as well as conducting workshops and training sessions for human rights advocates and legal professionals. In 1995, she was employed as a human rights investigator by the Haitian National Truth and Justice Commission.


After receiving her law degree magna cum laude from NYU Law in 1999, Meg clerked for Judge Betty Fletcher of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The following year she was the Furman Fellow at Human Rights First (then the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights), where she focused on emergency law and collusion in Northern Ireland. In 2002, Meg clerked at the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Between 2002 and 2003, she was a human rights consultant for the United Nations, working with the human rights section of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). In 2003, Meg was hired as research director of NYU’s Center for Human Rights and Global Justice. She joined the full-time faculty in January 2006.


Meg has served as a consultant to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism, the World Health Organization, and the World Bank. In 2009, she received the Pioneer of Justice and Equality for Women and the Law; in 2011 she was awarded the Podell Distinguished Teaching Award; and in 2014, she received the NYU School of Law Alumni Association’s Legal Teaching Award.


She has served as an adviser or member of the board of directors of a range of human rights organizations, including Amnesty International USA, Digital Democracy, the Global Initiative for Economic and Social Rights, Haiti Corps, and the International Justice Resource Center. She is a member of the Human Rights Reference Group of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.