Affiliated Professor Receives the Highest Honor From the University


The Raoul Wallemberg Institute congratulates Professor Martha F. Davis to the title University Distinguished Professor at Northeastern University.

In 2015-2016, she held the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute. She continued her work with RWI in 2017-2018, where she received a Fulbright Specialist Award. She is now an Affiliated Professor of the institute.

Distinguished Professor

The title of University Distinguished Professor is the highest honor the university can give to a faculty member. It is conferred at the behest of Northeastern’s president, Joseph E. Aoun, and provost, Ken Henderson, upon faculty members who have earned international recognition and distinction for their transformative educational and scholarly contributions.

I am particularly pleased to receive this recognition because of the increased visibility it will give to the law school’s human rights work—particularly critical given the COVID-19 crisis, she says.

Professor Davis teaches Constitutional Law, US Human Rights Advocacy and Professional Responsibility. She is associate dean for experiential education and is a faculty director for the law school’s Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy and the NuLawLab. Also, she is also a member of the expert pool for WaterLex, a Geneva-based development organization that advocates for water and human rights.

She has written widely on human rights, federalism, and women’s rights. Her co-edited volume Global Urban Justice: The Rise of Human Rights Cities (with Barbara Oomen and Michele Grigolo) was published by Cambridge University Press in 2016.  She co-edited the award-winning Bringing Human Rights Home, a three-volume work chronicling the U.S. human rights movement. She authored the prize-winning book Brutal Need: Lawyers and the Welfare Rights Movement, 1960-1973.

In addition, Professor Davis has testified numerous times before the U.S. Congress and state legislatures, and has appeared on national TV and radio.  She is a frequent blogger and op-ed author on issues relating to economic and social rights and women’s rights, and she co-edits the Law Profs Blog, Human Rights at Home.

Read more about the award here