The University of Iowa
Return to top

Adrien Katherine Wing

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

Adrien Wing is the Associate Dean for International and Comparative Law Programs and the Bessie Dutton Murray Professor at the University of Iowa College of Law, where she has taught since 1987. Additionally, she serves as the Director of the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights, as well as Director of the France Summer Abroad Program. She has previously served as the Associate Dean for Faculty Development and the on-site Director for the London Law Consortium semester abroad program.

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 held leadership positions in various organizations. She currently serves on the: American Bar Associate Section of Legal Education Accreditation Committee; American Society of International Law Executive Council; American Association of Law Schools Recruitment and Retention of Minority Law Professors Committee; and the American Journal of Comparative Law Board of Editors. She is the Co-Chair of the Blacks of the American Society of International Law Task Force, and a law school inspector for the American Bar Association.

She has been: Vice President of the American Society of International Law; Stanford Law School Board of Visitors member; Association of American Law Schools Minority Section Chair; AALS Membership Review Committee Chair; American Bar Association Middle East/North Africa Law Council member; Human Rights Watch Africa Division Advisory Committee member; American Friends Service Committee, Middle East Programs Board member; Princeton Class of 1978 Foundation President; Princeton African American Studies Advisory Council member; Princeton Alumni Council member; Princeton Board of Trustees nominee; Association of Black Princeton Alumni Board member; UI Center for Human Rights Board member; Iowa Peace Institute Board member; Iowa City Foreign Relations Council Board member; National Conference of Black Lawyers International Section Chair; and TransAfrica Forum Scholars Council member. Iowa Governor Vilsack appointed Professor Wing to the Commission on the African American Prison Population as well. 

Awards & Honors

Counsellor, American Society of International Law; Regents Award for Faculty Excellence (Iowa); American Law Institute member; Clyde Ferguson Award from Association of American Law Schools Minority Section; Lena O. Smith Award from Minnesota Black Women Lawyers Network; Distinguished Achievement Award from University of Iowa; Juliette Gordon Low Award from Mississippi Valley Girls Scouts; Gertrude Rush Award from Iowa National Bar Assn and Iowa Women’s Bar Assn; Newark Academy (NJ) Distinguished Alumni Award; University of Iowa African Student Association Diversity Award; Haywood Burns & Shanara Gilbert Award from Northeastern Law Professors of Color; Vice President, Princeton Class of 1978.

Practice & Teaching: 

Professor Wing presently teaches International Human Rights, Law in the Muslim World, Critical Race Theory, and Sex Discrimination Law. She has taught: US Constitutional Law; 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 2019, she is teaching Critical Race Theory.


Wing is a member of the American Bar Association, the American Law Institute, the American Society of International Law, the Society of American Law Teachers, and life member of both the Association of Black Princeton Alumni and the Council on Foreign Relations.

Professor Wing is a member of the New York Bar.


Author of more than 130 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.


AB, Princeton University, 1978

MA, University of California at Los Angeles, 1979

JD, Stanford Law School, 1982