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Dr. Catherine Tinker

Dr. Catherine Tinker is teaching a course on Brazilian environmental law in 2014 at Pace Law School’s Summer Institute for Environmental Law and working with the Center for Environmental Legal Studies on special projects related to Brazil.  She was the director of the Pace experiential educational exchange program with a consortium of universities in the US and Brazil with funding from a private foundation and the governments of Brazil and the US prior to moving to Brazil to teach international law and international environmental law at UFRGS.

Catherine’s international interests began with study abroad programs in college in Thailand and France as an undergraduate at St. Olaf College in Minnesota, continued with her M.A. in comparative literature from Occidental College in California, and culminated in her LL.M. and J.S.D. degrees from New York University School of Law in international law, with a dissertation on biological diversity and international environmental law. She has been a consultant on projects involving the United Nations and contributed to several publications on the UN. She is the representative to UN headquarters in New York for a non-governmental organization accredited to ECOSOC and concerned with international law and policy.

Catherine's academic career includes full time law school teaching at Chapman University Law School, SUNY Buffalo School of Law and other universities in the US in addition to her work at Pace. Most recently, she was a Visiting Foreign Professor at the law faculty of UFRGS, the federal university in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, where she taught full time courses for undergraduates and graduate law students in international law and international environmental law. She has given guest lectures in universities, bar associations, judicial training seminars and United Nations meetings on sustainable development and international environmental law in many states of Brazil, and taught a summer school course in Moscow for Touro Law School. While living in Brazil, Catherine co-authored an article on Brazilian water law with the Hon. Antonio Herman Benjamin and Profa. Dra. Claudia Lima Marques, which was published in the Texas Law Review and has been cited and used in law school courses in the US and in Brazil.      

A graduate of George Washington University National Law Center, where she earned her J.D. degree, Catherine had extensive litigation experience as a prosecutor in New York City in the Sex Crimes and Special Victims’ Bureau of the Kings County District Attorney’s Office and as the Pro Se Law Clerk/Senior Staff Attorney in Federal Court (USDC-SDNY) before entering academia. Catherine served as an arbitrator in various cases and as a part-time hearing officer/Administrative Law Judge for the New York City Environmental Control Board for many years during her academic career, conducting hearings and writing findings of fact and proposed decisions of law. She has returned to practice in recent years in the growing area of elder law and guardianships. 

Catherine has renewed her membership in the World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL) of the IUCN and in the International Law Association-American Branch (ILA). She has served on the Environmental Law, International Environmental Law and International Law Committees of the New York City Bar Association. She is currently the chair of the European Affairs Committee, where she has hosted speakers including a prime minister, legal advisers to missions to the UN, judges of European courts, and staff members of European Union institutions as well as academics, and will continue to serve as chair for the next two years. She has been a member of various international law associations, including the American Society of International Law and the Academic Council on the UN, where she presented papers at conferences and seminars. Catherine is the author of numerous law review articles, chapters in books, and interviews with fiction writers like Nelida Pinon of Brazil in literary publications.