Director, Gender and Public Policy Specialization

Lecturer in the Discipline of International and Public Affairs

Member, Committee on Global Thought

Yasmine Ergas is Director of the Specialization on Gender and Public Policy and Lecturer in Discipline in International and Public Affairs, and a CGT member.

She also directs the program in Gender and Human Rights of Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights, is a member of the Executive Committee of the University’s Institute for Research on Women, Gender and Sexuality, and is the co-convener of the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Council at Columbia University.

A lawyer and sociologist, she has worked on issues regarding gender and women’s rights as a policy analyst and advisor, scholar and advocate. She has served as a consultant to international and domestic policy organizations and NGOs, including the OECD, UNESCO, the Millennium Villages Project, the New York City Commission on Human Rights, Women Strong International and CENSIS, a major applied social research institute in Italy, and been on the staff of the Social Science Research Council. Her recent work has focused on the emergence of an international market in reproductive services, the transformations of ‘motherhood’,  and the integration of gender issues in international affairs. Her previous work centered on feminist movements and their interactions with public policies; the implications of the concept of ‘gender’ for feminist politics; child care policies in international and comparative perspective; educational policies and the social implications of HIV/AIDS.

A graduate of the University of Sussex, the University of Rome and Columbia Law School, Ergas is a former member of the School of Social Science of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton; visiting scholar at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University; and a Pembroke Fellow of Brown University. Among other honors, she has been awarded fellowships and grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Ford Foundation, the Italian Consiglio Nazionale della Ricerca, and the Compton Foundation.  She co-led a working group of the Committee on International Trade of the New York City Bar Association on child labor and international trade and practiced law at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom, and Studio Legale Pedersoli. Ergas has served as a member of the Advisory Committee for the Social Sector of the Millennium Cities Initiative, the editorial board of the Journal of Human Rights Practice, the editorial board of, and the board of New York City Global Partners, among others. Her work has been published widely, including in Italian, French, German, Japanese, Spanish and Portuguese.

Curriculum Vitae


Select Publications

Select Recent Honors and Awards

  • Compton Foundation grant , “To Establish a Network of Scholars Focused on Women, Peace and Security and a New Foreign Policy Agenda,”(2016, renewed 2017)
  • Center for Global Economic Governance, Columbia University,  grant “Women In Finance: Is Gender Equality Smart Finance?” awarded May 2016, (with Ailsa Roell and Patricia Mosser) (2016)
  • INCITE, Columbia University, “Feminist Lives: Forty years on,” (2016)
  • IRWGS, Columbia University faculty curriculum development grant, “Challenging the Boundaries of ‘Work’: Sex, Care, and Procreation,” (2016)
  • Keynote Speaker, Conference of the Consiglio di Stato of the Republic of Italy, “Human Rights and the Challenges of Globalization”, Consiglio di Stato (2015)
  • SIPA “Top 5 course” teaching award (2012)


  • Columbia Law School, J.D.,
  • Laurea in Sociology, University of Rome
  • Honours B.A, University of Sussex