Dr. Catherine Tinker is the first Distinguished Fellow of the Center for United Nations and Global Governance Studies, appointed by the faculty through 2023, and a former Visiting Associate Professor at the School of Diplomacy and International Relations. In addition, she has taught international law, international environmental law, human rights and United Nations courses in the School of Diplomacy as an Adjunct Professor. She is the founder and president of an NGO accredited to ECOSOC at the United Nations, the Tinker Institute on International Law and Organizations, and regularly participates in summits, preparatory committees and working groups on sustainable development and international law at the UN. She is a consultant and frequent speaker for conferences and professional meetings. Tinker has published widely in her field of expertise in International Environmental Law and Sustainable Development, International Law and International Organizations.
In the early years of the School of Diplomacy, Tinker served as Project Director for the research and writing of a book published in 2001, Crossing the Divide: Dialogue among Civilizations, for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan with a Group of Eminent Persons, and taught an international law course as an adjunct professor at Seton Hall University Law School. After years of practicing law in New York City and teaching at law schools in New York, Brazil and elsewhere, she returned to the School of Diplomacy and International Relations in 2014.
Dr. Tinker serves on the IUCN's World Council on Environmental Law (WCEL), based in Switzerland, as an expert. She contributed archival and historical research for a study of the selection of the UN Secretary-General by Sir Brian Urquhart in the 1990s, published by the Dag Hammarskjold Foundation, that recommended a single seven-year term and no campaigning for office. She has received foundation grants throughout her career for her work as a researcher and teacher, and was honored with the 2016 National Conservation Award from the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution in recognition of her lifetime contributions to environmental education and international environmental advocacy.
- J.S.D., and LL.M., New York University Law School (doctorate and masters in law)
- J.D., George Washington University Law School
- M.A., Occidental College, English and Comparative Literature
- B.A., St. Olaf College, Minnesota, History and Asian Studies
- “Gender Equality in Climate Finance: Progress and Aspirations,” co-authored with Renata Koch Alvarenga. Diplomacy: The Future is Female - Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations, Spring/Summer 2019
- "The Guarani Aquifer Accord: Cooperation in South America towards Prevention of Harm and Sustainable, Equitable Use of Underground Transboundary Water," in vol. 15:2, Law and Practice in International Courts and Tribunals (Brill/Martinus Nijhoff, 2016) now in print.
- "Saving Lives and Building Society: The European Migration Agenda," 22 ILSA Journal of International and Comparative Law 393-414 (Winter 2016)
- "New Trends in Migratory and Refugee Law in Brazil: The Expanded Definition," co-authored with Laura Madrid Sartoretto, Panorama of Brazilian Law, vol. 3, nos. 3-4 (2015), pp. 143-169.
- "The Water Giant Awakes: An Overview of Brazilian Water Law," 83 Texas Law Review 2185 (June 2005); co-authored with Antonio Benjamin and Claudia Lima Marques; published in Portuguese translation by Revista de Tribunais, Brazil, 2010
- "Creation of International 'Soft Law': Formation and Effect of the 'Sustainable Development Goals' in the post-2015 Development Agenda at the United Nations," in Globalização e as Novas Perspectivas no Direito Ambiental Econômico, Cristiane Derani and Mariana Caroline Stolz, org., Curitiba, Brazil, Multideia Ed., 2015, pp. 81-93 (based on symposium presentation at UFSC, Florianopolis, March, 2014); also available as an e-book.
- "Environmental Security: Finding the Balance" in Adapting The United Nations to a Post-Modern Era: Lessons Learned, ed. W. Andy Knight, Palgrave, 2001, pp. 202-218.
- "Parallel Centers of Power: The View of Non-Governmental Organizations at the United Nations," in Conscious Acts And The Politics of Social Change: Feminist Approaches to Social Movements, Community, And Power, ed. Robin L.Teske and Mary Ann Tetreault, University of South Carolina Press, 2000, pp. 219-229.
- "Responsibility for Biological Diversity Conservation under International Law," in International Law: An Anthology, ed. Charlotte Ku and Paul F. Diehl, Lynne Reiner, 1998, pp. 415-442.
- "State Responsibility and the Precautionary Principle," in The Precautionary Principle And Changes in International Environmental Law And Policy, ed. David Freestone and Ellen Hey, Kluwer, 1996, pp. 53-71. * "Non-Governmental Organizations and the United Nations Decade of International Law," Proceedings of The Annual Meeting of The American Society of International Law, 1995.
- "Domestic Violence in Brazil: Documents of International Human Rights Law and the New Brazilian Constitution," with S. Pimentel, in Family Law And Gender Issues: Comparative Perspectives, ed. Barbara Stark, University of New Orleans, 1993.
- "The Changing Role of the U.N. Secretary General," Proceedings of The Annual Meeting of The American Society of International Law, 1992.
- Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant, 2019-2020
- NYC Bar Association: Chair, European Affairs Committee, 2013-2016; Council on International Affairs
- Brazilian government awards from the Ministry of Education (CAPES) and National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) for teaching and research (2004-2005; 2015)
- Tinker Foundation planning grant as director of Pace University project for environmental education in Brazil, leading to US Department of Education multi-year grant for new consortium (FIPSE-CAPES)
- UNA-USA senior policy analyst, New York City, during graduate law studies
- Ford Foundation Fellow, Center for International Legal Studies, NYU Law School, and consultant to the Ford Foundation on international affairs
- Rockefeller Foundation award in the humanities for research on human rights in South America