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Associate Professor of Human Ecology and Law, Rutgers University

Cymie R. Payne is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Ecology and the Law School at Rutgers University.

She has represented the interests of the international community in the marine environment as legal counsel before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg, on behalf of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and has provided expert advice before the International Court of Justice and other international courts. She previously practiced natural resource and environmental law with the United Nations, the U.S. Department of the Interior and the law firm of Goodwin, Procter. For six years, she participated in landmark decisions on the legal responsibility of aggressor states for the restoration and remediation of damage to the environment from armed conflict as counsel to the United Nations Compensation Commission in Geneva, Switzerland. As Director of the Global Commons Project at University of California Berkeley’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment, she focused on the linkage of state and international climate policy, particularly with respect to emissions trading systems; conflicts of state law with international trade; and regulating risks of new technologies such as carbon sequestration, where she was also a lecturer in residence on international courts and climate change law.

She has served on the Program Committee of the American Society for International Law and the International Law Association Committee on Sustainable Natural Resource Management for Development. She currently serves at the Chair of the Ocean Law Specialist Group of the World Commission on Environmental Law of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. She is a Fellow of the American College of Environmental Lawyers. She holds a Master’s degree from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Berkeley.


  • –present
    Associate Professor of Human Ecology and Law, Rutgers University


  • 1997 
    University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, Juris Doctor, Law