Nadia B. Ahmad is an Associate Professor at Barry University School of Law and the Coordinator of the Environmental and Earth Law Certificate Program. She has spent her academic career focusing on frontline communities who are the most vulnerable to the externalities of energy production. She has presented her research on the law and policy of advanced biofuels in Abu Dhabi, Cairo, Cambridge, Doha, Denver, New York, and San Francisco. Professor Ahmad’s over 40 scholarly publications focus on the intersections of energy siting, the environment, and sustainable development and draw on international investment law and corporate social responsibility.
She has published articles in the Vermont Law Review, Kansas Law Review, University of Miami Law Review, Virginia Environmental Law Journal, Duke Environmental Law & Policy Forum, Boston College Law Review Electronic Supplement, among others, and she is a co-author of the third edition of the textbook, “Environmental Justice: Law, Policy, and Regulation,” (Carolina Academic Press) with Cliff Villa, Rebecca Bratspies, Roger Lin, Clifford Rechtschaffen, Eileen Gauna, and Catherine O’Neill. She is serves as affiliated faculty at the Harvard Law School’s Institute for Global Law and Policy and Rutgers Law School’s Center for Security, Race, and Rights. She is an official expert for multilateral development organization, International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation (INBAR) Taskforce on Bamboo for Renewable Energy (TFB4RE), which promotes environmentally sustainable development using bamboo and rattan. In 2016, she was recognized by the Orlando Business Journal as a 40 Under 40 honoree for her leadership and community involvement.
Over the past 15 years, Professor Ahmad has held various leadership positions with the American Bar Association and The Florida Bar. In 2020, she was appointed to the Council of the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice (CRSJ), the Advisory Board of the ABA Center for Human Rights’ Dignity Rights Initiative, and The Florida Bar Journal/News Editorial Board. Earlier, she served as Co-Chair, Chair and Vice Chair of the ABA CRSJ Environmental Justice Committee, which was presented with the 2016-2017 Sheila Y. Thomas Committee Excellence Award, as a Vice Chair of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources’ (SEER) Superfund and Natural Resource Damages Litigation Committee, and a Vice Chair of the SEER Water Rights Committee. She serves on the Board of Directors of Sustainable Development Strategies Group and the Nazda Alam Foundation for Muslim Women Civic Engagement and Leadership. She was previously Chair of the Younger Comparativists Committee’s Linkages and Engagement Advisory Group of the American Society of Comparative Law, Regional Chair of Mid-Florida for the Florida Muslim Bar Association, Chair of the Florida Bar’s Media and Communications Law Committee and a Board Member of the City and County of Denver’s Human Rights and Community Partnerships Advisory Board. Professor Ahmad is a member of the state bars of Florida and Colorado.
Prior to joining the Barry Law faculty, Professor Ahmad was the inaugural Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Law at Pace Law School. She also worked as a Legal Fellow with Sustainable Development Strategies Group on tax policy for natural resources, community development agreements, and mineral leasing rights for projects in Afghanistan, Mali, and Mozambique. At the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment at Columbia University, she advised on offshore drilling laws for Sierra Leone. Professor Ahmad’s earlier experience included working for a multinational oil and gas company in the Denver-Julesburg Basin and in private law practice in Florida in the areas of land use, zoning, asset protection, and bad faith insurance litigation defense.
Professor Ahmad earned an undergraduate degree in Comparative Literature with language emphases in Latin and English from the University of California at Berkeley with high honors. She completed her law degree (J.D.) from the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where she was a Virgil Hawkins Fellowship recipient. Later, she earned a masters of law (LL.M.) in Environmental and Natural Resources Law from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. She was a recipient of the Virgil Hawkins Fellowship, Newsweek Scholarship, and a three-time recipient of the Barbara L. Frye Scholarship Award for Student Journalism by the Capitol Press Club of Florida. Prior to law school, she wrote for The Orlando Sentinel, Teen People and The Daily Californian. She is fluent in Urdu, Hindi, and Punjabi, proficient in Arabic, has a reading knowledge of Latin and has studied German, Spanish, Old Norse, Anglo-Saxon, and Middle English.
She is the Secretary of the Seminole County Democratic Party as well as the chair of Muslim Delegates and Allies Coalition, co-director of Immigrants for Biden, and co-director of Muslims for Biden 50 State Voter Mobilization. In 2020, she organized over 120 voter mobilization events, recruiting and training thousands of volunteers, flipping three counties blue (Seminole, Duval, and Pinellas counties) in Florida and working on the Georgia Senate Special Runoff Elections. In 2021, she was elected to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as a committeewoman.
She believes in giving back to the community and paying it forward. Her community leadership and philanthropy activities including supporting the American Cancer Society, March of Dimes, and SafeHouse of Seminole County. She lives in Central Florida with her partner and three children. She enjoys mountain climbing, long distance running, and wildlife photography.