Penn State
Lewis Katz Building, University Park, PA
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Hari M. Osofsky

Dean of Penn State Law, Hari M. Osofsky

Distinguished Professor of Law
Professor of International Affairs
Professor of Geography

SSRN Profile

(814) 863-1521

Ph.D., University of Oregon
J.D., Yale University
B.A., Yale University

Hari M. Osofsky is dean of Penn State Law and the Penn State School of International Affairs and Distinguished Professor of Law, professor of international affairs, and professor of geography. Prior to joining Penn State, Dean Osofsky was the Robins Kaplan Professor of Law; the faculty director of the Energy Transition Lab; and the director of the Joint Degree Program in Law, Science, and Technology at the University of Minnesota Law School.

In addition to her leadership roles at the University of Minnesota, she has served as president of the Association for Law, Property, and Society; chair of the American Association of Law School’s Section on Property; and a member of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law and the International Law Association’s Committee on the Legal Principles of Climate Change. She also is a member of the Board of Governors of the Society of American Law Teachers, the International Bar Association’s Model Statute on Climate Change Remedies Working Group, and the editorial board of Climate Law. She has been awarded the Association for Law, Property and Society’s Distinguished Service Award.

Dean Osofsky’s over 50 publications focus on improving governance and addressing injustice in energy and climate change regulation. Her scholarship includes books with Cambridge University Press on climate change litigation, textbooks on both energy and climate change law, and articles in leading law and geography journals. Dean Osofsky’s article on governance and the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill was selected for inclusion in Land Use and Environment Law Review’s annual compilation of the top land use and environmental law articles, and she has been awarded the Daniel B. Luten Award for the best paper by a professional geographer by the Energy and Environment Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers. Dean Osofsky also has collaborated extensively with business, government, and nonprofit leaders to make bipartisan progress on these issues through her leadership roles and teaching.

Dean Osofsky received a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Oregon and a J.D. from Yale Law School, where she was honored with the Felix S. Cohen Prize and Khosla Memorial Fund Prize, and also served as book reviews editor for the Yale Law Journal, co-founder and co-editor-in-chief of the Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal, and director of the Lowenstein International Human Rights Project.

After clerking for Judge Dorothy Nelson of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, she worked as a fellow at Center for the Law in the Public Interest in Los Angeles, pursuing public interest impact litigation with a focus on environmental justice. During the 2001-02 academic year, she served as a Yale-China Legal Education Fellow and visiting scholar at Zhongshan University in Guangzhou, China, teaching U.S. civil rights law and working collaboratively with her Chinese colleagues to launch the school’s first legal clinic.

Prior to joining the University of Minnesota, Dean Osofsky served on the faculties of Washington and Lee University School of Law, the University of Oregon School of Law, and Whittier Law School. She also was a nonresidential fellow with the Carnegie Council for Ethics and International Affairs during the 2003-04 academic year.


Climate Change Litigation: Regulatory Pathways to Cleaner Energy (Cambridge University Press, 2015) with Jacqueline Peel

Energy Law and Policy (West Academic Publishing, 2015) with Lincoln L. Davies, Alexandra Klass, Joseph P. Tomain & Elizabeth Wilson

Climate Change Law and Policy (Aspen Elective Series) (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, 2012) with Lesley K. McAllister

Adjudicating Climate Change: State, National, and International Approaches (Cambridge University Press, 2009) (co-editor) with William C.G. Burns

Book Chapters

Polycentrism and Climate Change, in Climate Change Law 325 (Daniel A. Farber & Marjan Peeters, eds., Edward Elgar, 2016)

Preventing and Responding to Arctic Offshore Drilling Disasters: The Role of Hybrid Cooperation, in The Role of International Environmental Law in Disaster Risk Reduction 392 (Jacqueline Peel & David Fisher, eds., Brill, 2016)   with Jessica Shadian & Sara L. Fechtelkotter

Complexities of Addressing the Impacts of Climate Change on Indigenous Peoples through International Law Petitions: A Case Study of the Inuit Petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, in Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples: The Search for Legal Remedies 313 (Randall S. Abate & Elizabeth Ann Kronk, eds., Edward Elgar Publishing, 2013)

Climate Change and Dispute Resolution Processes, in International Law in the Era of Climate Change 350 (Rosemary Rayfuse & Shirley V. Scott, eds., Edward Elgar, 2012)

Suburban Climate Change Efforts in Minnesota: Implications for Multi-Level Mitigation Strategies, in Local Climate Change Law: Environmental Regulation in Cities and Other Localities 105 (Benjamin J. Richardson, ed., Edward Elgar Publishing, 2012)

Technology Transfer and Climate Change, in Sustainable Technology Transfer: A Guide to Global Aid & Trade Development 177 (Hans Henrik Lidgard, Jeffery Atik & Tu Thanh Nguyen, eds., Aspen Publishers, 2012)

The Creation of the International Law of Climate Change: Complexities of Sub-State Actors, in Non-State Actors, Soft Law and Protective Regimes: From the Margins 179 (Cecilia M. Bailliet, ed., Cambridge University Press, 2012)

The Right to Frozen Water: The Institutional Spaces for Supranational Climate Change Petitions, in Progress in International Law 749 (Russell A. Miller & Rebecca M. Bratspies, eds., Martinus Nijhoff, 2008)

Journal Articles

Regional Energy Governance and U.S. Carbon Emissions, 43 Ecology Law Quarterly 143 (2016) with Hannah Jacobs Wiseman

Arctic Energy Cooperation, 49 UC Davis Law Review 1431 (2016) with Jessica Shadian & Sara L. Fechtelkotter

Energy Partisanship, 65 Emory Law Journal 695 (2016) with Jacqueline Peel

The Grass Is Not Always Greener: Congressional Dysfunction, Executive Action, and Climate Change in Comparative Perspective, 91 Chicago Kent Law Review 139 (2016) with Jacqueline Peel

Rethinking the Geography of Local Climate Action: Multi-Level Network Participation in Metropolitan Regions, 2015 Utah Law Review 173 (2015)

Sue to Adapt?, 99 Minnesota Law Review 2177 (2015) with Jacqueline Peel

Complex Value Choices at the Environment-Energy Interface, 3 Michigan Journal of Environmental & Administrative Law 261 (2014)

Hybrid Energy Governance, 2014 University of Illinois Law Review 1 (2014) with Hannah J. Wiseman

The Geography of Solving Global Environmental Problems: Reflections on Polycentric Efforts to Address Climate Change, 58 New York Law School Law Review 777 (2013-2014)

Climate Change Litigation’s Regulatory Pathways: A Comparative Analysis of the United States and Australia, 35 Law & Policy 150 (2013) with Jacqueline Peel

Dynamic Energy Federalism, 72 Maryland Law Review 773 (2013) with Hannah J. Wiseman

Litigation’s Regulatory Pathways and the Administrative State: Lessons from U.S. and Australian Climate Change Governance, 25 Georgetown International Environmental Law Review 207 (2013) with Jacqueline Peel

The Role of Litigation in Multilevel Climate Change Governance: Possibilities for a Lower Carbon Future?, 30 Environmental and Planning Law Journal 303 (2013) with Jacqueline Peel

Environmental Justice and the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, 20 New York University Environmental Law Journal 99 (2012) with Kate Baxter-Kauf, Bradley Hammer, Ann Mailander, Brett Mares, Amy Pikovsky, Andrew Whitney & Laura Wilson

Litigation’s Role in the Path of U.S. Federal Climate Change Regulation: Implications of AEP v. Connecticut, 46 Valparaiso University Law Review 447 (2012)

Suburban Climate Change Efforts: Possibilities for Small and Nimble Cities Participating in State, Regional, National, and International Networks, 22 Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy 395 (2012)

Climate Change and Crises of International Law: Possibilities for Geographic Reenvisioning, 44 Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law 423 (2011)

Diagonal Federalism and Climate Change: Implications for the Obama Administration, 62 Alabama Law Review 237 (2011) (winner of the Association of American Geographers’ Climate Specialty Group’s Student Paper Competition) (article)

Multidimensional Governance and the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, 63 Florida Law Review 1077 (2011)

The Role of Climate Change Litigation in Establishing the Scale of Energy Regulation, 101 Annals of the Association of American Geographers 775 (2011) (accepted through peer review process for special issue on Energy)

Climate Change and Environmental Justice: Reflections on Litigation over Oil Extraction and Rights Violations in Nigeria, 1 Journal of Human Rights and the Environment 189 (2010) (solicited; accepted through peer review process) (essay)

Multiscalar Governance and Climate Change: Reflections on the Role of States and Cities at Copenhagen, 25 Maryland Journal of International Law 64 (2010) (symposium essay)

The Continuing Importance of Climate Change Litigation, 1 Climate Law 3 (2010) (solicited; accepted through peer review process as lead article of inaugural journal issue) (essay)

The Future of Environmental Law and Complexities of Scale: Federalism Experiments with Climate Change under the Clean Air Act, 32 Washington University Journal of Law and Policy 79 (2010) (symposium essay)

Is Climate Change “International”?: Litigation’s Diagonal Regulatory Role, 49 Virginia Journal of International Law 585 (2009) (article)

Scaling “Local”: The Implications of Greenhouse Gas Regulation in San Bernardino County, 30 Michigan Journal of International Law 689 (2009) (symposium essay)

The Geography of Climate Change Litigation Part II: Narratives of Massachusetts v. EPA, 8 Chicago Journal of International Law 573 (2008) (awarded the Daniel B. Luten Award for the best paper by a professional geographer by the Energy and Environment Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers) (selected for the AALS-ASIL 2007 Joint Conference on International Law, Works-in-Progress Session) (article)

The Geography of Justice Wormholes: Dilemmas from Property and Criminal Law, 53 Villanova Law Review 117 (2008) (article)

The Scale of Networks: Local Climate Change Coalitions, 8 Chicago Journal of International Law 409 (2008) (essay) with Janet Koven Levit

A Law and Geography Perspective on the New Haven School, 32 Yale Journal of International Law 421 (2007) (selected for Yale Journal of International Law Young Scholars Conference) (essay)

Climate Change Litigation as Pluralist Legal Dialogue?, 26A Stanford Environmental Law Journal & 43A Stanford Journal of International Law 181 (2007) (joint issue) (selected for Stanford Climate Symposium) (runner-up for Land Use and Environment Law Review’s compilation of the top land use and environmental law articles of 2007) (article)

Local Approaches to Transnational Corporate Responsibility: Mapping the Role of Subnational Climate Change Litigation, 20 Pacific McGeorge Global Business & Development Law Journal 143 (2007) (symposium essay)

The Intersection of Scale, Science, and Law in Massachusetts v. EPA, 9 Oregon Review of International Law 233 (2007) (symposium essay), reprinted in Adjudicating Climate Change: State, National, and International Approaches (William C.G. Burns & Hari M. Osofsky, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2009)

The Inuit Petition as a Bridge?: Beyond Dialectics of Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, 31 American Indian Law Review 675 (2007) (symposium essay), reprinted in Adjudicating Climate Change: State, National, and International Approaches (William C.G. Burns & Hari M. Osofsky, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2009)

The Geography of the CEC’s Citizen Submissions Process: Mapping the State-Corporate Regulatory Dynamic, 14 Michigan State Journal of International Law 463 (2006) (symposium essay)

Learning from Environmental Justice: A New Model for International Environmental Rights, 24 Stanford Environmental Law Journal 71 (2005) (article), reprinted in Human Rights and the Environment 219 (Dinah L. Shelton, ed., Edward Elgar Publishing, 2011)

The Geography of Climate Change Litigation: Implications for Transnational Regulatory Governance, 83 Washington University Law Quarterly 1789 (2005) (runner-up for Land Use and Environment Law Review’s compilation of the top land use and environmental law articles of 2006) (article)

Defining Sustainable Development After Earth Summit 2002, 26 Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review 111 (2003) (essay)

Domesticating International Criminal Law: Bringing Human Rights Violators to Justice, 107 Yale Law Journal 191 (1997) (note), reprinted in Jurisdiction in International Law (W. Michael Reisman, ed., Ashgate/Dartmouth, 1999)

Environmental Human Rights Under the Alien Tort Statute: Redress for Indigenous Victims of Multinational Corporations, 20 Suffolk Transnational Law Review 335 (1997) (student publication)

Foreign Sovereign Immunity from Severe Human Rights Violations: New Directions for Common Law Based Approaches, 11 New York International Law Review 35 (1997) (student publication)