Maxine Burkett

Maxine Burkett is a Professor of Law at the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawai‘i, and a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.  She is also a Co-Founder and Senior Advisor at the non-profit Institute for Climate and Peace. Burkett is an international expert in the law and policy of climate change, with a specific focus on climate justice, climate-induced migration, and climate change, peace, and conflict.  Her scholarly work has been cited in numerous news and policy outlets, including BBC Radio, the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Nature Climate Change.  From 2009-2012, Burkett served as the inaugural director of the Center for Island Climate Adaptation and Policy.  In 2015, Burkett was appointed to the Federal Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment and served until it was ultimately disbanded in 2017. Currently, she is a Co-Rapporteur for the International Law Association’s Committee on International Law and Sea Level Rise.  She is also a member scholar of the Center for Progressive Reform, the Lancet Commission on Reparations and Redistributive Justice, and the American Law Institute.  She serves on the boards of the The Climate Museum, ELAW, Elemental Excelerator, the Global Greengrants Fund, and Our Children’s Trust.  Prof. Burkett received her B.A. from Williams College, which awarded her the Bicentennial Medal for Distinguished Achievement in 2016, and Exeter College, Oxford University.  She received her J.D. from Berkeley Law, University of California, and served as a law clerk for The Honorable Susan Illston of the United States District Court, Northern District of California.

  • Maxine Burkett, Behind the Veil: Climate Migration, Regime Shift, and a New Theory of Justice, 53 Harv. C.R.-C.L. Rev. 445 (2018).
  • Maxine Burkett, Jainey Bavishi, and Erin Shew, Climate Displacement, Migration, and Relocation-And the United States, 7 Climate Law 227 (2017).

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