Yasmine Ergas Headshot

Yasmine Ergas

Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of International and Public Affairs

Yasmine Ergas Headshot

International Affairs Building, Room 826


Personal Details

Focus areas: Globalization, gender equality, and human rights

Yasmine Ergas is Director of the Specialization on Gender and Public Policy and Senior Lecturer in Discipline in International and Public Affairs. 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, including the OECD, UNESCO, the Millennium Villages Project, the New York City Commission on Human Rights, 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 impacts of human rights programs and policies. Previous relevant 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 Universities of Sussex and 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 and the Italian Consiglio Nazionale della Ricerca. She was recognized by SIPA for teaching a “top 5” course (out of approximately 200) in Spring 2012. 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 ingenere.it, the Human Rights Program Education and Information Resources Working Group of the American Association for the Advancement of Science 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.


  • JD, Columbia Law School


  • Human Rights Commission of the City of New York
  • Social Sector of the Millennium Cities Initiative
  • Journal of Human Rights Practice
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Scientific Council of the Centro di Ricerca sul Sistema Sud e il Mediterrraneo Allargato of Universita’ Cattolica di Milano
  • New York City Global Partners

Honors and Awards

  • Speaker, The Global Social Agenda from a Gender Perspective: Conceptual and institutional Landscape, Keynote Speaker, El Colegio de Mexico International Seminar, “Mexico´s Social Agenda and International Relations,” El Colegio de Mexico, Mexico City, October 26, 2016

Research And Publications

Women’s Rights and Women’s Freedoms: A View from the Present

Sep 2017

Present and Future Memory: Holocaust Studies at the Italian Academy (2008-2016)

Yasmine Ergas

Barbara Faedda

In The Media

Yasmine Ergas wrote: “The best way to truly protect life is to make it easier and safer for people to have children, and to ensure that those who do not want to have them can choose not to.”

Mar 08 2024
The Hill
Geopolitical Stability

Experts, scholars, policymakers, and activists discussed the use of rape, torture, and other forms of gender-based violence as weapons of war, and the policies and international frameworks that can help prevent it.

Feb 16 2024
Institute of Global Politics

Yasmine Ergas joins Gloria Steinem and dozens of women's rights advocates in cosigning a letter expressing deep concern about a proposed New York Senate bill on reproductive commercial surrogacy.


May 25 2023
PR Newswire

In this Italian-language interview, Yasmine Ergas speaks at length about the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and what it means for abortion rights in the United States.

Jul 20 2022
in Genere

Ergas is one of three recipients of the inaugural IIE-SRF Vartan Gregorian Research Grants.

Apr 13 2022