Soledad García Muñoz Joins Georgetown Law as the Drinan Chair in Human Rights
October 25, 2023
WASHINGTON — Ecofeminist human rights and environmental lawyer and former Special Rapporteur on Economic, Social, Cultural, and Environmental Rights at the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights Soledad García Muñoz will join Georgetown Law as the 2023-2024 Robert F. Drinan, S.J., Chair in Human Rights.
“Georgetown Law is thrilled to welcome Soledad García Muñoz as our Drinan Chair in Human Rights for the academic year,” said Dean William M. Treanor. “Fresh from her groundbreaking service with the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights at the Organization of American States, Soledad brings a wealth of experience on cutting-edge human rights issues to the Georgetown community. Our students will benefit tremendously from her expertise in economic, social, cultural, and environmental rights, and her leadership in advocating for women, indigenous communities, unhoused people and other historically marginalized populations.”
García Muñoz has a distinguished record of research, education, and advocacy on the rights of women, LGBTQ people, Afro descendent and indigenous communities, as well as extensive human rights experience in the European, Inter-American and United Nations systems. In 2017, she was elected as the first ever Special Rapporteur on Economic, Social, Cultural, and Environmental Rights for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (REDESCA), a position she held for six years. During those years, she was also part of the Working Group of the Protocol of San Salvador of the Organization of American States, which she chaired between 2021 and 2023. Her creative and energetic advocacy during that inaugural tenure put these rights and issues, such as business and human rights and the climate emergency, at the center of the agenda of the American States and the Inter-American System to advance justice and equality for the most vulnerable and historically marginalized people throughout the Americas.
Prior to her appointment as Special Rapporteur on Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Rights (ESCER), García Muñoz led the South America regional office of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights (IIHR), an international academic institution established jointly by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Republic of Costa Rica. Based in Montevideo, Uruguay, García Muñoz managed numerous human rights education and promotion projects in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. Previously, as coordinator of IIHR’s CEDAW-Argentina project, García Muñoz’s efforts were key to securing Argentina’s ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and in broadly promoting women’s rights in the country.
Previously, García Muñoz served as the President of Amnesty International Argentina and she was a member and vice-president of the International Executive Committee of Amnesty International (global board) and the Chair of its Working Group on Gender and Diversity. She has consulted for numerous national and international organizations, including the United Nations, the Organization of American States, the Ibero-American Organization for Youth and others. García Muñoz has taught courses on Public International Law, ESCER, gender, sexual diversity and women’s human rights, including at the La Plata National University and the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina, Rafael Landívar University in Guatemala and the School of Latin American Social Sciences (FLACSO) in Uruguay.
As Drinan Chair, García Muñoz will teach a course in the spring semester focusing on economic, social, cultural and environmental rights with a special focus on climate emergency and business and human rights, serve as a mentor to students and participate in the Human Rights Institute’s programming. She will deliver the annual Drinan Lecture on Human Rights on Tuesday, March 5, 2024.
HRI Executive Director and former (2019–2021) Drinan Chair Elisa Massimino expressed enthusiasm for García Muñoz’s appointment. “Soledad is an innovative leader on some of the most pressing human rights challenges in the world today,” Massimino said. “As we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights this year, we are especially thrilled to welcome to the Human Rights Institute and the broader Georgetown community someone whose work exemplifies the interdependence of all human rights – economic, cultural, social, environmental, civil and political – and the impact that climate change has on the rights of the people in the most vulnerable situations.”
“I am truly honored by the opportunity to join the distinguished faculty at Georgetown Law and to be part of the exciting work of the Human Rights Institute following the legacy of Professor Drinan and those who preceded me in this position,” said García Muñoz. “I look forward to my interactions with Georgetown students and to using my tenure as Drinan Chair to strengthen Georgetown Law’s academic agenda in relation to economic, social, cultural and environmental rights, reaffirming the universality and indivisibility of all human rights. I will also actively work to build bridges between Georgetown Law and the Inter-American system.”
The Drinan Chair was established in 2006 in honor of Professor Robert F. Drinan, S.J. Father Drinan was a professor at Georgetown Law for over 25 years, where he taught international human rights and constitutional law, among other topics. He was a priest, scholar, lawyer, politician, activist, ethicist and one of the nation’s leading advocates for international human rights. He dedicated his life to humanitarian causes and to improving the legal profession. The Human Rights Institute at Georgetown Law honors his legacy through its mission of being a premier training ground for future human rights lawyers and advocates.