Legal scholar Muna Ndulo honored with endowed chair


Prof. Muna B. Ndulo delivers a lecture at Cornell Law School. Photo by Luke Walker (UREL).

Muna B. Ndulo, director of Cornell’s Institute for African Development (IAD), has been named the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of International and Comparative Law at Cornell Law School. Provost Michael Kotlikoff and the Cornell Board of Trustees approved the appointment at the November 2018 trustees meeting in Ithaca.

Ndulo is an authority on African legal systems, human rights, constitutions, election monitoring, international development, and legal aspects of foreign investments in developing countries. He has published 21 books, 29 book chapters, and more than 100 articles in academic journals.

On Nov. 15, the University of Johannesburg in South Africa granted Ndulo the 2018 Vice-Chancellor’s Distinguished Award for Global Excellence and Stature. The university cited his “scholarly contributions and leadership” in promoting international scholarship and global collaboration.

“I am humbled by the recognition and thank the University of Johannesburg for the honor,” Ndulo said in an interview. “I dedicate it to all those men and women who dedicate their lives to the struggle for an Africa that respects human rights and human dignity.”

Ndulo joined Cornell’s faculty in 1996. In addition to directing IAD, he serves as the Elizabeth and Arthur Reich Director of the Leo and Arvilla Berger International Legal Studies Program at Cornell Law School.

Ndulo has served as a legal officer or adviser to the International Trade Law Branch of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, the UN Observer Mission in South Africa, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General to South Africa, and UN missions to East Timor, Kosovo, and Afghanistan.

He has consulted for the African Development Bank, World Bank, Economic Commission for Africa, UN Development Program, National Democratic Institute, United States Institute for Peace, and the International Development Law Organization. He has also acted as consultant to constitutional processes in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Somalia, and Sudan.

Ndulo is founder of the Southern African Institute for Public Policy and Research and a member of its board of directors. He is also on the board of the African Association of International Law and the advisory committee of Human Rights Watch Africa. He served as chair for Gender Links, a South African NGO.

After receiving his LLB from University of Zambia and LLM from Harvard Law School, Ndulo was a public prosecutor for the Zambian Ministry of Legal Affairs. After receiving a DPhil from Oxford University, he became a professor of law and dean of the law school at the University of Zambia.

Ndulo has been widely honored in South Africa. He is Honorary Professor of Law at the University of Cape Town, Extraordinary Professor of Law at the University of the Free State, and Extraordinary Professor of Law at the University of the Western Cape.