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U.S. Government Support

Professor Sarah H. Cleveland

Vice President Kamala Harris

“I met with Sarah Cleveland, the U.S. nominee to serve on the International Court of Justice.  If elected, Professor Cleveland would strengthen rule of law, promote the peaceful settlement of disputes, and become the sixth female judge ever to serve on the World’s Court.”

vice president harris

U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken

“Professor Cleveland is an outstanding choice for this key position. We ask other UN Member States to vote for her in 2023.”

secretary blinken

Secretary Blinken’s Nomination Letter:

I am pleased to inform you that the U.S. National Group has nominated Professor Sarah Cleveland for election to the International Court of Justice. Professor Cleveland is an esteemed scholar of international law who also has extensive experience in multilateral settings. I seek your support for her election to the Court in Fall 2023.

Professor Cleveland holds the Louis Henkin Chair in Human and Constitutional Rights and is Faculty Co-Director of the Human Rights Institute at Columbia University Law School in New York, where she has been a member of the law faculty since 2007. She has also been a visiting professor at Harvard and Michigan law schools, University Panthéon-Assas (Paris II) and Sciences-Po University in France, the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Switzerland, and the European University Institute in Italy.

Professor Cleveland served as vice chair and member of the UN Human Rights Committee (2015-2018) and as the U.S. member on the European Commission for Democracy Through Law (Venice Commission) of the Council of Europe (2013-2019). She is presently a member of the Ad Hoc Conciliation Commission for Qatar v. United Arab Emirates in the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (since 2020). From 2009 to 2011, Professor Cleveland served as Counselor on International Law in the U.S. Department of State’s Office of the Legal Adviser. She continues to serve as a Commissioner of the International Commission of Jurists, a Council Member of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute, and a member of the U.S. Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on International Law. As a noted expert in U.S. foreign relations law, Professor Cleveland was also the Co-Coordinating Reporter of the American Law Institute’s Restatement (Fourth) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States (2018). 

Cleveland began her career in public interest practice representing migrant farmworkers, and then joined the faculty at the University of Texas School of Law (2001-2007). She earned a Bachelor’s Degree with honors at Brown University; a Master’s Degree at Oxford University, where she studied as a Rhodes Scholar; and a J.D. at Yale University Law School. She clerked for Judge Louis F. Oberdorfer on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and then for Justice Harry A. Blackmun on the United States Supreme Court. She has published widely on international law subjects and has been involved in human rights litigation in the United States and before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

The United States deeply values the work of the International Court of Justice and its contributions to the peaceful settlement of disputes. Professor Cleveland has been an excellent ambassador for international law and possesses the strength, commitment, and vision to help guide the Court in its important work in the years ahead. Her knowledge, experience, and dedication to the rule of law make her an outstanding choice for this important position. I strongly support Professor Cleveland’s election and hope you will vote for her in Fall 2023.


Secretary of State
Washington, DC

Deputy Secretary Wendy Sherman

“I was pleased to speak with Professor Cleveland about her ICJ candidacy and to hear about her commitment to justice and her vision for the ICJ’s future.  As the principal judicial body of the UN, the ICJ plays a vital role in settling disputes and promoting the rule of law.”

deputy secretary sherman

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
Linda Thomas-Greenfield

“I am so proud to endorse the nomination of Professor Sarah Cleveland for election to the International Court of Justice. Professor Cleveland is a distinguished scholar and practitioner of international law who has deep respect for the diversity of the world’s legal systems. She is committed to inclusion, cooperation, and impartiality, and electing her will further contribute to international justice. There is also a longstanding gender imbalance on the ICJ, and it’s up to us, as UN Member States, to do what we can to address this. I believe that means electing highly qualified female candidates like Professor Cleveland. I hope we can count on your support for her in November 2023.”

ambassador thomas-greenfield

Learn More About Professor Cleveland

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U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future