Fayetteville law professor elected as lifetime member of Foreign Relations Council

Local News

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The University of Arkansas announced in a Wednesday, Jan. 5 news release Uche Ewelukwa Ofodile, E.J. Ball Professor of Law, has been elected as a lifetime member of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations.

Ofodile becomes one of the few Africans and Arkansans to be elected a member of the esteemed organization.

According to the news release, she hopes to use the opportunity to bring attention to pressing issues, including sustainability and climate change; food, nutrition and water insecurity; corporate social responsibility and accountability; global governance issues and challenges; and the risks and opportunities associated with artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies.

“I am extremely excited by my lifetime election to the Council on Foreign Relations, whose activities I have followed for well over 20 years,” said Ofodile. “I have been inspired by the lives and accomplishments of the council’s esteemed members who are all visionaries and changemakers. I hope that through my involvement in this association, I can impact Africa and the world for the better.”

Ofodile also acknowledged the state’s major and growing role in global affairs, saying Arkansans must “lend their voice to weighty issues of our time from climate change to plastic waste, human trafficking, and artificial intelligence.”

She has numerous achievements on her resume, including being a Senior Fellow at the Harvard School’s Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, as well as an Honorary Fellow of the Asian Institute of International Financial Law in Hong Kong, and an affiliated professor of African and African American Studies, at the University of Arkansas’s J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.

She also researches and writes in the areas of intellectual property law, international trade law, international investment law, and international dispute settlement. She has published numerous articles including in journals at Yale, Michigan and Vanderbilt among others.

Ofodile’s colleagues spoke on her election, giving praise to the decision.

Willam Alford, the Henry L. Stimson Professor of Law and vice dean for the Graduate Program and International Legal Studies at Harvard Law School, said, “I am thrilled that professor Uche Ewelukwa Ofodile has been chosen for membership in the Council on Foreign Relations. She is a worldwide leader in scholarship regarding the China-Africa relationship, and as someone who shares this interest, I can say that her work, which commenced long before this subject achieved prominence, is wonderfully creative while deeply rigorous.”

Shontavia Johnson, an alumnus of the law school and former student of Ofodile said, “Professor Ofodile’s scholarship, talks, and lectures around the world firmly solidify her position as both a leader in global discourse and a facilitator of law and policy change at all levels of governance.” Johnson, who is currently the associate vice president for entrepreurship and innovation at Clemson University, added, “At a time when our world faces complex issues and challenges, it is comforting to know that Professor Ofodile is positioned, through her membership in the council, to lend her voice on critical global issues and provide advice on important foreign policy choices facing the U.S. and countries and communities around the world.”

The release says with her election, Ofodile joins an organization whose members are among the most distinguished and most prominent leaders in the foreign policy arena, including top government officials, renowned scholars, business executives, acclaimed journalists, prominent lawyers, and distinguished nonprofit professionals.

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