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Marcella David

Professor of Law & International Studies and Associate Dean

 Professor David joined the law faculty in 1995. From 1991-92, she studied Human Rights and Comparative Law as a Ford Foundation Fellow in Public International Law at the Harvard Law School. In that capacity, she participated in an investigatory mission to Iraq, traveled through South Africa, and researched the impact of economic sanctions in both countries. Her research interests include the use of economic and other sanctions, international criminal law, and questions related to international organizations. In addition to serving as a Ford Foundation Fellow at Harvard, before coming to Iowa Professor David clerked for Judge Louis H. Pollak of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, was a litigation associate at the New York law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, and visited at the University of Chicago School of Law where she taught Contracts and Equal Protection. She has also visited at The University of Pennsylvania.

Professor David is a past member and past chair of the Governing Board of the Worker Rights Consortium, a non-governmental organization that assists in ensuring that university-logoed goods are manufactured under conditions that respect the rights of workers; she currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors for Diversity Focus, a non-profit organization that seeks to promote diversity and inclusion in the Iowa City-Cedar Rapids corridor.

Her international destinations include Iraq, South Africa, Europe, India, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, Cambodia, Uganda, Antarctica, the Arctic, and Cuba, and her hobbies include travel, photography, and knitting.

Professor David is Professor of Law & International Studies and Associate Dean for the College of Law. She returned to the law school faculty in January 2010 after serving over five years in central administration, most recently as the university’s first Special Assistant to the President for Equal Opportunity and Diversity and Associate Provost for Diversity (from 2006-2009).

451 Boyd Law Building
Practice & Teaching: 

At Iowa, Professor David teaches, among other subjects, Introduction to Public International Law, International Humanitarian Law, US Foreign Relations Law, and Human Rights.


Professor David is a member of the New York Bar.


Her publications include a chapter on "The US Government and Women" in a multi-volume sourcebook on The International Rights of Women (Transnational Press), and articles published in Harvard International Law Journal, Michigan Journal of International Law and Human Rights Quarterly. She served as guest editor to a symposium edition of Transnational Law and Contemporary Problems addressing economic sanctions on Iraq.


BS, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1986

JD, University of Michigan School of Law, 1989