Matiangai Sirleaf joins the Pitt Law faculty as an assistant professor of law, teaching courses in the areas of criminal law and international law. Sirleaf previously served as a Sharswood Teaching Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, as an assistant professor of law at the University of Baltimore School of Law, and as a lecturer at Bard College and University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, teaching courses in international law, criminal law, comparative law, and human rights. Her scholarship addresses post-conflict justice and how legal institutions can best systematically address the challenges of providing full redress to survivors of mass violence. 

From 2010 to 2012, Sirleaf served as a litigation associate in private practice with Cohen, Milstein, Sellers & Toll in Washington, D.C., where she represented plaintiffs in numerous international human rights cases litigated in federal courts. Prior to that, she served as an attorney with the International Center for Transitional Justice, as law clerk to Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, as a summer associate with Debevoise & Plimpton in New York City, and as a law clerk with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia. She received her JD from Yale Law School in 2008 and her MA from the University of Ghana (Legon) in International Affairs in 2005. In 2014, she received the Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award from New York University.

Education
Degree: 
JD, Yale Law School, 2008
Degree: 
MA, International Affairs, University of Ghana -Legon, 2005
Degree: 
BA, New York University, 2003

Publications

Selected Publications

Selected Presentations

  • Pennsylvania State University Law School, University Park, PA Jan. 2017 Faculty Workshop, presented draft of Ebola Does Not Fall from the Sky: Global Structural Violence and International Responsibility

  • American Society for International Law (ASIL) Mid-Year Research Forum, University of Washington School of Law, Seattle, WA Nov. 2016 presented draft of Ebola Does Not Fall from the Sky:  Global Structural Violence and International Responsibility

  • Osgoode Law School, York University Toronto, Canada Oct. 2016 International Law in the Global South Research Seminar Series presented draft book chapter Malabo Protocol and International Criminal Justice in Africa

  • Duke Law School, Durham, NC Sep. 2016 Center for International and Comparative Law’s Women in International Law Research Workshop, presented draft of Ebola Does Not Just Fall from the Sky: Global Structural Violence and International Responsibility.

  • African Court Research Initiative Conference, Arusha, Tanzania July 2016 presented draft book chapter on the Criminalization of Trafficking in Hazardous Waste in Africa

  • University of Iowa College of Law, Iowa City, IA July 2016 10th Annual Lutie Lytle Black Women Law Faculty Writing Workshop presented draft of Ebola Does Not Just Fall from the Sky:  Global Structural Violence and International Responsibility

  • Law & Society Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA June 2016 Panel: International Criminal Justice in Comparative Perspective presented the Malabo Protocol and Transitional Justice in Africa

  • Duke Law School, Durham, NC May 2016 Culp Colloquium presented early stage idea on Global Structural Violence and International Responsibility: From Ebola to Zika

  • Loyola University Chicago Law School, Chicago, IL Apr. 2016, Workshop for book project on Africa’s International Courts, presented Malabo Protocol and Transitional Justice in Africa

  • Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Cleveland, OH Feb. 2016 Faculty Workshop presented Regionalism, Regime Complexes, & International Criminal Justice in Africa

  • Duke University, Durham, NC Feb. 2016 Conversations in Human Rights Panel: Debating Trials & Truth Commissions Responding to Violence in Africa.

  • Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC Feb. 2016 International Law Colloquium presented Regionalism, Regime Complexes, & International Criminal Justice in Africa

  • World Social Sciences Forum, Durban, South Africa Sept. 2015 Panel: The African Court and the Fight Against Gross Human Rights Abuses in Africa

  • Southeastern Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting, Boca Raton, FL Aug. 2015 Panel: International Responses to Cross-Border Crises: Ebola, ISIS, and Late-Breaking Events

  • Duke Law School, Durham, NC May 2015 Culp Colloquium presented Regionalism, Regime Complexes, & International Criminal Justice in Africa 

  • American Society of International Law (ASIL) Annual Meeting Washington, D.C. Apr. 2015 Panel: International Criminal Law New Voices presenting Regionalism, Regime Complexes & International Criminal Justice

  • Temple Law School, Philadelphia, PA Mar. 2015 Panel:  Is the Proposed African Criminal Court A Good Idea?

Awards and Honors