International Disability Rights Expert to Join Burton Blatt Institute at Syracuse University

September 10, 2013

International disability law and policy expert Janet Lord will join the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University in August. Based in BBI’s Washington, D.C. office, Lord will manage a portfolio of international disability rights projects. She comes to BBI from BlueLaw International, where she was senior partner and director of human rights and inclusive development for eight years.  She also held positions in the past as an attorney at the World Bank Group and Legal Counsel and Director of Advocacy for an international landmine survivor assistance organization.

“We’re very fortunate to have a scholar and international advocate such as Janet join our team,” says University Professor Peter Blanck, chairman of BBI.

 Among the international disability rights work that Lord will focus on at BBI is the drafting of a treaty commentary as part of a collaborative effort with National University Ireland (Galway). This project is being spearheaded by longtime collaborator of Blanck and BBI and leading European disability law expert, Professor Gerard Quinn.  Lord is also expected to continue program implementation in the area of election access for persons with disabilities and other aspects of disability inclusive development.

“I have had the pleasure of collaborating with BBI for several years and have admired the great disability rights work being undertaken there from afar.  The opportunity to join such a talented and productive team is very exciting to me and certainly an honor.    BBI is very well positioned to continue to expand its international disability rights research and programming and I look forward to focusing on that effort with the team in the coming years,” says Lord.

An international human rights lawyer, Lord is a leading expert in international disability rights law, policy, and programming. She has worked with governments and disabled peoples organizations in more than 30 developing, transitioning and post-conflict countries.

An expert in human rights treaty negotiations, Lord participated in all of the negotiations for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, serving as legal advisor to several lead governments, expert to the UN and legal advocacy advisor to Disabled Peoples International.

She has published journal articles, book chapters, and monographs on a variety of international public law, human rights and disability issues and holds adjunct teaching appointments at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law and the American University Washington College of Law.  She is also senior research associate with the Harvard Law School Project on Disability. In past collaborations with BBI, Lord was lead author of an article appearing in the World Bank Legal Review, together with Blanck and Deepti Samant Raja, BBI director of international programs.  Blanck, Lord and Raja have a second publication on international disability rights due out in the fall.

Lord holds an LL.B. and LL.M. in law from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland), an LL.M. in international and comparative law from the George Washington University Law School, and a B.A. in History from Kenyon College.

About the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University

The Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University reaches around the globe in its efforts to advance the civic, economic, and social participation of people with disabilities. BBI builds on the legacy of Burton Blatt, a pioneering disability rights scholar, to better the lives of people with disabilities. Through its program development, research, and public policy efforts, BBI helps to advance the full and equal inclusion of people with disabilities. BBI has offices in Syracuse, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta. For more information, visit