Florencia Librizzi LLM ’12 combines her interests in international law and sustainable development with her work at the UN Global Compact

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Florencia Librizzi LLM ’12 first developed her interest in international law as a high school student when she participated in Model UN. Through the process of representing first Armenia, then Germany, Librizzi became passionate about political science, international relations, and human rights. Now, five years after receiving her LLM degree from NYU Law, Librizzi is bringing her passions to the United Nations itself. As the senior manager and legal and policy advisor of the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), an initiative of the UN Global Compact, Librizzi works to provide a framework for management education institutions across the world to incorporate social responsibility and sustainable development into their programs.

Florencia Librizzi LLM '12

Librizzi earned her first law degree from the National University of Cordoba (UNC) in Argentina, where she grew up. But it was during her LLM studies at NYU Law that she developed a particular interest in sustainability issues. She notes that studying Environmental Law with Lawrence King Professor of Law and then-Dean Richard Revesz was particularly important to her. In his class, Revesz says, Librizzi demonstrated “infectious enthusiasm, intelligence and determination, and extraordinary people skills,” and he later hired her as a research assistant. For her part, Librizzi says, “I got more exposure to the economic analysis and cost-benefit analysis of the law, which is not very common in Argentina. We have a more normative approach there, so that was a remarkable tool to learn.”

Although she was especially drawn to the sustainability issues raised in Revesz’s Environmental Law seminar, Librizzi is also grateful for the broad variety of courses she was able to take as an LLM student. She points to Rule of Law, taught by University Professor Jeremy Waldron,  Human Rights, taught by John Norton Pomeroy Professor of Law Philip Alston, and Transitional Justice, taught by Professor Paul van Zyl, as courses that she found particularly enriching. “NYU offered a really wide perspective in terms of learning to be a more creative and well-rounded lawyer—I appreciated that a lot,” she says.

While still in the LLM program, Librizzi also had the chance to get hands-on experience in international law as an intern at the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), an NGO that works in countries suffering from serious human rights abuses to seek redress for victims of violence and repression and to re-establish trust in the rule of law. Following her graduation from NYU Law, Librizzi was hired by the ICTJ, where she contributed to a UN expert report on the rights of indigenous peoples and authored a book chapters, including one on “Specific Challenges of Truth Commissions to Deal with Injustice against Indigenous Peoples.”

Librizzi’s work at the ICTJ constituted her first experience engaging with the international issues that first inspired her as a teenager in Model UN. When she moved to the UN Global Compact—the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative—she was able to incorporate her interest in environmental law into her work. She started on the group’s human rights team, whose mission is to help businesses to meet their responsibilities under the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact with respect to human rights. Now, at PRME, Librizzi leads a small team focused on helping to create and implement curricula to promote sustainable development within business education across the globe. 

In her latest role, she says, she wears several hats: She is a manager, working on the strategies as well as the legal and governance policies of the initiative; and she also facilitates the creation of 15 regional networks around the world that are working to help incorporate sustainability and human rights goals into business and academia. In that capacity, she gets to travel extensively, speaking about sustainable development internationally and gaining exposure to different sustainability practices. “Even though we might now—with the recent launch of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals—have a common view in terms of where we want to go, and what type of world we want, the actions taken to reach these goals might happen differently around the world, since implementation largely depends on the context. In addition, global-local collaboration and multi-stakeholder partnerships are crucial to advance sustainability” Librizzi says.

In the midst of her work at the PRME, Librizzi is also continuing her education, pursuing a PhD at UNC. She is writing her dissertation, which is focused on rethinking unjust enrichment laws in Argentina in order to effectively addresses issues such as corruption, human rights violations, and environmental damage. “On the one hand, with my dissertation, I am looking at the regulatory aspects of sustainability. On the other hand, on my day to day job at the UN Global Compact, I work on voluntary initiatives,” Librizzi says. “I feel like ideally, then, my contribution lays on providing legal frameworks, incentives and voluntary platforms for sharing and learning—hoping to help agencies and societies make the right decisions and do the right things because it is also convenient for them.”

Posted October 24, 2017