Skip Navigation

OU Law Professor Receives David L. Boren Award for Global Engagement

OU Law Professor Receives David L. Boren Award for Global Engagement

Professor of Law at the University of Oklahoma, Evelyn Aswad, received OU’s 2016 David L. Boren Award for Outstanding Global Engagement at the university’s annual “A Tribute to the Faculty.”

The award was established to recognize faculty who have exhibited outstanding commitment to and support for the university’s international mission.

“Professor Aswad is a remarkable example of global engagement within the OU community,” said OU College of Law Dean Joseph Harroz Jr. “Her background in international law is unrivaled and the countless opportunities she provides students because of her continued presence in the international law community enhances their academic experience in meaningful ways. Because of her important work, our students are exposed to global issues, and are challenged to participate and engage in a diverse world that they will one day lead. We are grateful for and proud of Professor Aswad’s leadership in her field.”  

Aswad is the Herman G. Kaiser Chair in International Law at the OU College of Law where she teaches courses on International Human Rights Law, International Law Foundations, International Business & Human Rights and Arab Spring & Legal Reform. She joined the OU Law faculty in 2013 after serving for 14 years as an attorney in the Legal Bureau at the U.S. Department of State, most recently as the head of the Office of Human Rights and Refugees. Her research focuses on the fundamental freedoms of expression, religion, and assembly.

In her time at the OU College of Law, Aswad has developed an innovative international curriculum that combines international law and practice, current events and a focus on vulnerable communities abroad. Through her many connections with the U.S. Department of State, OU Law has been host to a number of leading voices on international human rights law issues and OU Law students have had numerous opportunities to brief State Department officials on human rights issues. Aswad also played a pivotal role in partnering with the U.S. Department of State for its pilot launch of the Diplomacy Lab program, of which OU serves as Secretariat helping manage one of the largest partnerships the State Department has with the academic sector.

In 2013, she was appointed by the U.S. Government as the U.S. Substitute Member to the Council of Europe’s Commission on Democracy Through Law, better known as the Venice Commission. The prestigious international body of legal experts convenes several times a year to develop numerous legal opinions on human rights issues arising in Europe. Aswad brought her participation in this distinguished group to OU Law through a course titled The Venice Commission: Democracy Through Law.

In 2014, the U.S. Department of State asked Aswad and the OU College of Law to host consultations among the business community, NGOs, and U.S. Government officials about the upcoming White House National Action Plan. Following the successful consultations, the U.S. Department of State requested Aswad serve on its Stakeholder Advisory Board, which consists of professionals who provide counsel on issues at the intersection of international business and human rights.

As a testament to her commitment to the university’s international mission, Aswad consistently uses her countless service positions within the international community as learning opportunities for her students. Whether by crafting courses, creating programs or taking students with her to U.S. Department of State advisory council meetings, Aswad exposes her students to real-world applications of international law.

Founded in 1909, the OU College of Law is Oklahoma’s premier law school. OU Law offers small sections and class sizes that encourage a strong sense of community; accomplished faculty with international expertise; and a state-of-the-art facility equipped with the latest technology. The OU College of Law is the academic home of more than 500 students enrolled in the juris doctor program, the John B. Turner Master of Laws Program, the master of legal studies program and various dual degree programs. For more information about OU Law, visit