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Adrien Katherine Wing

Associate Dean for International and Comparative Law Programs and the Bessie Dutton Murray Professor

Adrien Wing is the Bessie Dutton Murray Professor at the University of Iowa College of Law, where she has taught since 1987. At Iowa Law, she serves as the Director of the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights, as well as Director of the summer abroad program in France. She served as the Associate Dean for Faculty Development 2006-2009 and the on-site Director for the London Law Consortium semester abroad program 2010-12.

After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton with high honors in 1978, Professor Wing earned her Master of Arts degree in African studies from UCLA in 1979. She obtained her Doctorate of Jurisprudence degree in 1982 from Stanford Law School, and was awarded the Stanford African Student Association Prize. While in law school, she served as an editor of the Stanford Journal of International Law, as an intern with the United Nations Council on Namibia, and as Southern Africa Task Force Director of the National Black Law Students Association.

Prior to joining the College of Law faculty in 1987, Professor Wing spent five years in practice in New York City with Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle and with Rabinowitz, Boudin, Standard, Krinsky & Lieberman, specializing in international law issues regarding Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. She also served as a representative to the United Nations for the National Conference of Black Lawyers.

Professor Wing has advised the founding fathers and mothers of three constitutions: South Africa, Palestine, and Rwanda. She organized an election-observer delegation to South Africa, and taught at the University of Western Cape for six summers. She also advised the Eritrean Ministry of Justice on human rights treaties.

Having studied French, Portuguese, and Swahili, she served on delegations to many nations including Angola, Cuba, Egypt, Grenada, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Palestine, Panama, Sudan, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. She has conducted additional research in China, France, Hong Kong, Brazil, London, and Tunisia.

Further, Wing has received numerous honors, and has held leadership positions in various organizations. She has been Vice President of the American Society of International Law. Additionally, she has served as Chair of the International Section of the National Conference of Black Lawyers, as a member of the TransAfrica Forum Scholars Council, and on the Board of Directors of the Iowa Peace Institute and the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council, as well as the Stanford Law School Board of Visitors. Iowa Governor Vilsack appointed Professor Wing to the Commission on the African American Prison Population in 1999. She was the Chair of the Association of American Law Schools Minority Section in 2002. She currently serves on the American Bar Association Accreditation Committee, the ABA Middle East/North Africa Law Initiative, and the Board of Editors of the American Journal of Comparative Law. Her honors include the distinguished alum award from her high school Newark Academy,  the Clyde Ferguson Award from the American Association of Law Schools, and the Regents Award for Faculty Excellence from the State of Iowa. She was elected to membership in the American Law Institute in 2009.

410 Boyd Law Building
Courses Taught: 
International Human Rights, Law in the Muslim World, and Sex Discrimination.
Practice & Teaching: 

Professor Wing presently teaches International Human Rights, & Law in the Muslim World, and Sex Discrimination Law. She has taught US Constitutional Law; Critical Race Theory; Comparative Law; Comparative Constitutional Law; Race, Racism & American Law; Law in Radically Different Cultures; and the International and Domestic Legal Aspects of AIDS. She is, in addition, a member of The University of Iowa's interdisciplinary African Studies faculty and North Africa/Middle East faculty groups. During fall 2002, she was a visiting professor at the University of Michigan Law School. During fall 2011, she was the Bette and Wylie Aitken Distinguished Visiting Professor at Chapman Law School.

In Spring of 2015, she is teaching Human Rights in the World Community


Wing is a life member of the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations and a law school inspector for the American Bar Association and the American Association of Law Schools.

Professor Wing is a member of the New York Bar.


Author of more than 100 publications, Wing is the editor of Critical Race Feminism: A Reader and Global Critical Race Feminism: An International Reader, both from NYU Press, as well as co-editor of the Richard Delgado Reader. Her US-oriented scholarship has focused on race and gender discrimination, including topics such as the impact of Hurricane Katrina, gangs, mothering, affirmative action, the war on terrorism, and polygamy in Black America. Her international scholarship has emphasized two regions: Africa, especially South Africa; and the Middle East, in particular the Palestinian legal system. Constitutionalism, women’s rights, rape in Bosnia, Muslim headscarves in France, Tunisian secularism, Turkish democracy, and the Arab spring; are among the topics of articles.

Speaking Engagements: 

An accomplished public speaker, Wing has lectured all over the world, including New Zealand, Australia, Egypt, and Indonesia.


AB, Princeton University, 1978

MA, University of California at Los Angeles, 1979

JD, Stanford Law School, 1982

Awards & Honors: 

2009 Elected to membership in American Law Institute, 2010-2012 on-site director London Law Consortium, 2012 Regents Award for Faculty Excellence, 2012 Appointed American Bar Association Accreditation Committee, The "Arab Fall": The Future of Women's Righ