The Universities

Northeastern University School of Law is located in Boston and is recognized as the top public interest law school in the United States. Its educational mission combines a rigorous legal training with legal practice (co-operative education where students are placed in legal jobs as part of their curriculum). Its objective is to foster in faculty and students an engagement with the policy interests relating to the law.

Northeastern University has extensive expertise in the science of nanotechnologies, particularly with respect to engineering and medical applications. See for example:

Nanotechnology and Society Research Group

Center for High-Rate Nanomanufacturing

Electronic Materials Research Institute (eMRI)

The University of Geneva and the Graduate Studies Institute in Geneva are premier institutions where global issues are at the core of the educational mission. Reflecting its location, both the faculty and the student body are internationally minded and experienced.

The Conveners

Dr. Mbengue and Dr. Rolland are international lawyers and scholars who are particularly interested in global governance issues pertaining to health and the environment. They combine their experience in international trade regulation with specific work on risk regulation, science and the environment. Against this backdrop, they wish to bring together nanotech experts, scientists, government officials, practitioners and researchers to explore the challenges of global regulatory co-ordination in that particular field.

Sonia Elise Rolland brings a European and American legal perspective to the analysis of public international and trade law questions. Dr. Rolland is an Assistant Professor at Northeastern University School of Law. She currently researches biofuels policy to provide an understanding of the global implications of domestic biofuel regulations and to propose a better co-ordination framework to mitigate the effects of conflicting policies. Her work on international environmental law, trade law and development issues has been published amongst others in the Journal of International Economic Law, the Harvard International Law Journal and the European Journal of International Law. Her research on environmental law has been reproduced in part in United Nations General Assembly Resolution UN Doc. A/CN.4/566 (March 2006).

Makane Moïse Mbengue is a Lecturer at the Geneva Master in International Dispute Settlement (Geneva University Law Faculty/IHEID). Previously he was a Fellow in the Global Visitors Program of the New York University Law School. His doctoral research was entitled "Anticipation in International Law: A Legal Theory on the Regulation of Environmental and Sanitary Risk". The thesis explores new avenues such as e.g. the distinction between scientific uncertainty and the insufficiency of scientific evidence. Dr. Mbengue is also the author of a number of articles in scientific journals and books on trade and environment, on international dispute-settlement, on the law of treaties, on the law of international watercourses and on WTO law. He has been a consultant for the World Bank, the World Health Organization, the Nile Basin Initiative and the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health.

Sonia E. Rolland
Assistant Professor
Northeastern University School of Law
400 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115, USA
+1 617.373.7331

Makane M. Mbengue
University of Geneva Faculty of Law
Bd du Pont-d'Arve 40