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Chidi Anselm Odinkalu

  • Visiting Senior Fellow

CAO 2015-2A lawyer and advocate from Nigeria, Chidi Anselm Odinkalu is Senior Managing Legal Officer with the Open Society Justice Initiative. From 2011 to the end of 2015, Odinkalu also chaired the Governing Council of Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission.

Odinkalu received his Ph.D. in law from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Prior to joining the staff of Open Society Justice Initiative, Odinkalu was senior legal officer responsible for Africa and Middle East at the International Centre for the Legal Protection of Human Rights in London, Human Rights Advisor to the United Nations Observer Mission in Sierra Leone, and Brandeis International Fellow at the Centre for Ethics, Justice and Public Life of the Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts.

Odinkalu is widely published on diverse subjects of international law, international economic and human rights law, public policy, and political economy affecting African countries and has previously consulted for or advised multilateral and bilateral institutions on Africa-related policy, including the World Bank, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, and the World Economic Forum.

Odinkalu is the founder of the Coalition for an Effective African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights based in Arusha, Tanzania. He is also the founder and Interim Chairperson of the Section on Public Interest and Development Law (SPIDEL) at the Nigerian Bar. Among other affiliations, he currently chairs the Board of Directors of the International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) and is also a member of the Human Rights Advisory Council of the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs.