Eleven months ago, she sat before the United Nations General Assembly to discuss sustainability. On Monday, Kathryn (Kintzele) Gwiazdon, J.D., Esq. (Marquette '98) will share her journey and experiences with the Marquette Catholic student body.
Katy will be joining us on Monday, March 18th at 1 pm inside the Rudy Hart Theatre to talk about her work in international environmental law and ethics and the links between conservation, governance, and values. She is the Executive Director of the Center for Environmental Ethics and Law, a US-based international non-governmental organization (www.environmentalethicsandlaw.org).
Katy will share the stories of the ethical principles for environmental protection that she has learned from communities around the world - from Jordan to South Africa, Australia to South Korea, the Indiana Dunes to Rio State, Brazil - and how they directly inform law and policy. She will also talk about some of her current projects, from her scholarship in re-defining state sovereignty and advancing the African ethical principle of ubuntu to nation-states; to a recently-launched project that will bring together local and global partners for a Citizens Inquiry and Peoples Tribunal in Gary, Indiana, to shed light and move change on social, economic, and environmental injustices.
While at Marquette, Katy was active in academic clubs, ran cross country, and was President of the National Honor Society. After graduation, she received her undergraduate degrees in Political Science and French, with a minor in International Relations, from IUPUI. She then received a certificate in Campaign Management at George Washington University in D.C., while interning for U.S. Senator Evan Bayh. She graduated from Valparaiso University School of Law in 2007. While at law school, she worked for the Lake Michigan Coastal Program of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
She then began work with the Center for Humans and Nature (CHN), a non-profit organization based in Chicago, ultimately leading their global program. While with CHN, she began her work with the Biosphere Ethics Initiative, an international lawprogram that seeks to bear witness to, highlight, and share principles of environmental ethics to guide individual, organizational, and governmental/policy decision-making at the local, regional, state, and international level. She now leads the project, which was adopted in 2012 as a foundational policy to the International Union for theConservation of Nature (1948), the world's oldest and largest international environmental organization.
In 2016, she founded the Center for Environmental Ethics and Law to serve as the permanent home, and advance the work of, the Biosphere Ethics Initiative. To this end, she organizes and leads on-the-ground meetings of local and global experts; provides presentations and presence at international gatherings, including Conferences of the Parties for international treaties, such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity; and develops scholarly research on comparative law, ethics, corruption, and human and environmental rights. The work focuses on real-world practice, and sharing those stories of success and failure on the global scale, to build global solidarity to advance the protection and flourishing of life.
Katy has taught courses at the J.D. and LLM-level, has worked in over 15 countries and serves on several Boards and Steering Committees that advance new frameworks in law, ecological law, climate change justice, ecological integrity, and human health. In April of 2018, Katy spoke before the UN General Assembly on "How Earth ethics can inform local and global law and governance to create sustainable consumption and production patterns."
Her recent publications include: State Global Responsibility for Environmental Crises: the ethical and legal implications of a state's failure to protect human rights (2020); Global Environmental Governance and Human Security (2020); From Stardust to Sacred Sands: Protecting Life on Earth through a Human Story of Ethics, Care, and the Cosmos (2019); Ecological Integrity and Land Abuses: A Legal and Ethical Analysis of Consumption and Production (2019); The State v. The Environment: The Ethical and Legal Implications for State Non-Action in Protecting the Foundations of Life (2018); International Law and Human Security: The Environmental and Geopolitical Impacts of China's Artificial Island-Building at Fiery Cross Reef (2017); and Seeking Justice in a Land without Justice: The Application of Anti-Corruption Principles to Environmental Law (2015).