Biography About Nadia

Nadia B. Ahmad, JD, LLM, is a distinguished attorney, law professor, and environmental justice advocate with a wealth of expertise in energy, environmental, and sustainable development issues.

As an Associate Professor at Barry University School of Law, she teaches property, business organizations, and environmental law and leads the Environmental and Earth Law Honors Certificate Program. Her groundbreaking research, including the development of the "climate cages" concept, addresses the nexus between climate policy and carcerality, making her a sought-after thought leader in the field.  Professor Ahmad has spent her academic career focusing on frontline communities that are the most vulnerable to energy production. She is a co-author of the casebook, Environmental Justice: Law, Policy & Regulation (Carolina Academic Press, third edition) and has published over 45 scholarly articles and book chapters.

She is an official expert for the International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation (INBAR) Taskforce on Bamboo for Renewable Energy (TFB4RE), promoting sustainable development with bamboo and rattan. Additionally, she is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a Kerry Fellow at the Yale Jackson School of Global Affairs. She serves as a Council Member of the American Bar Association’s Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice and is a member of the Academic Advisory Group for the International Bar Association's Section of Energy, Environment, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure Law. Previously, she served as a visiting professor at Yale Law School and Pace Haub School of Law.

A frequent media commentator and three-time recipient of the Barbara L. Frye award from the Florida Capitol Press Corps, Professor Ahmad has been featured in numerous outlets, including CBS, PBS, CNN, Washington Post, TIME, The Hill, Politico, The Nation, Common Dreams, and Axios.

Before academia, she served as a Legal Fellow with the Sustainable Development Strategies Group, where she worked on tax policy for natural resources, community development agreements, and mineral leasing rights as a consultant to the World Bank and AusAID. Her work spanned projects in Afghanistan, Mali, and Mozambique, focusing on enhancing sustainable practices in these regions. At the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment at Columbia University, she advised on legal frameworks for 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.

She earned degrees from UC Berkeley, the University of Florida, and the University of Denver. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Environmental Science at the Yale School of Environment.  A political strategist, she is an elected DNC member and co-founder of the Muslim Delegates and Allies Coalition. A native of Orlando, she is married and has three children.

Selected Academic Talks


Southeastern Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting, Boca Raton, Florida (July 25)  

Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, San Juan, Puerto Rico (June 1-4)

University of Houston, Curie Energy Transition Governance and Law Project, Transnational Energy Law Regimes and Systems Dynamics (March 23)

International Bar Association, Academic Advisory Group Mid-Term Meeting and Workshop, Hamid Bin Khalifa University, Doha, Qatar (March 14)

Environmental Law Institute,  Community Lawyering for Environmental Justice Part 5: Recap of Federal Environmental Justice Legislation and Regulations from 2022 (February 27)

University of Miami, The Right to a Healthy Environment: From Recognition to Practice (February 23)

Southwestern Journal of International Law, Responses to Against White Feminism, Southwestern Law School (January 20)


Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, Evacuation Waves (July 13-16)

Tulane Law School, Evacuation Waves, Association for Law, Property, and Society Annual Meeting (May 20)

Arizona State University College of Law, Evacuation Waves, SRP Sustainability Conference of American Legal Educators (May 13)

UNITAR, Looking Towards COP 27: Housing Crisis, Food Shortages, and Energy Poverty, UNITAR-Yale Lecture Series, Part 3 (May 10)

ClassCrits, Against White Feminism Symposium (February 24)

Yale University, Bridging Issues & Optimizing Methods in Environmental Studies (BIOMES), Environmental Justice at Yale (February 16)

American Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting, Pandemic Responsiveness, Capacity Building and Renewable Energy Generation, Law and South Asian Studies (January 5-9)


Yale Law School, Social Justice in National Security Forum, Belonging at Yale (October 28)

UNITAR, Looking Towards COP 26: The Role of International Organizations, International Financial Institutions, and Governments in Energy Efficiency, Food Security, and Just Transitions in Rural Areas, UNITAR-Yale Lecture Series, Part 2 (October 26)

UNITAR, Looking Towards COP 26: Sustainable Agriculture, Labor Rights and Just Transitions in SDG Implementation, UNITAR-Yale Lecture Series, Part 1 (October 12)

Yale Law School, American Constitution Society (ASC) Progressive Scholarship Workshop, The Dialogic of Environmentalism: The Health Environment Advocacy Rhetoric (HEAR) Nexus (September 14)

Inaugural Workshop for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Women in the Legal Academy, The Dialogic of Environmentalism: The Health Environment Advocacy Rhetoric (HEAR) Nexus (August 5-6)

Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, The Dialogic of Environmentalism: The Health Environment Advocacy Rhetoric (HEAR) Nexus, (June 28 – July 1)

Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, Islamic Environmental Law: Praxis, Paradigms, and New Modalities (May 27-30)

American Bar Association Section on Civil Rights and Social Justice, Dignity Rights in Asia: Humanitarian Toll of Economic Sanctions (May 24)

Environmental Law Association of South Africa, Uniontown Screening and Movie Panel (February 26)

American Society of International Law, Climate Cages, COVID-19, Climate Change, and International Law (February 16)

American Bar Association Section on Civil Rights and Social Justice, Climate Cages, When Race and the Environment Collide: The Impact of Systemic Racism on Environmental Justice (February 3)


Stockholm University, The Dialogic of Environmentalism, The Climate Crisis: Legal Safeguards for Justice and Security Workshop (December 2-3)

Vermont Law School, The Dialogic of Environmentalism, Vermont Environmental Law Colloquium (September 26)

Southeastern Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting, The Dialogic of Environmentalism, New Scholars Workshop, Energy, the Environment, and Technology (July 30 – August 4)  

Law & Society Association Annual Meeting, Environmental Justice 2020: Before and After the Pandemic (May 28)

Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, Climate Cages, The Moral & Legal Imperatives of the Climate Crisis (March 6)


University of San Diego School of Law, Lesley K. McAllister Symposium on Climate and Energy Law, The Future of Energy in a Changing Planet (November 8)  

Southeastern Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting, New & Established Voices in Property Law: Property Beyond Boundaries, Boca Raton, (July 28 – August 3)   

Southeastern Environmental Law Scholars Workshop, Silencing Environmentalism, Nashville, Tennessee (July 17-19)  

American Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting, Strategies for Deploying Critical Perspectives, Critical Pedagogy in the Era of Diversity, New Orleans, Louisiana (January 2-6) 


Harvard Law School, Faith-Based Approaches to Environmental Stewardship, Institute for Global Law and Policy Conference (June 1)

American Bar Association, Meta-Regulation for Environmental Reporting,Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources Spring Conference, Orlando, Florida (April 18-20)

University of South Carolina School of Law, Biofuels: Hidden Costs and Lost Potential, Just Transitions and the Law Workshop (March 29-30)

Yale Law School, Water Hazards and Environmental Justice, New Directions in Environmental Law (March 3)


University of Florida College of Law, Urban Systems for Advanced Biofuels, Public Interest Environmental Conference (February 10-11)

American Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting, Atmospheric Trust Litigation, Hot Topic, San Francisco, California (January 7, 2017)


Southeastern Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting, The Baseline Bar, Energy Infrastructure in Transition: Environmental, Economic, and Justice-Based Issues in Modern Energy Law, Amelia Island, Florida (August 3-9)

Columbia Law School, Balking at Biofuels, Sabin Colloquium on Innovative Environmental Law Scholarship (May 26-27)

University of Florida Levin College of Law, Sustainable Development and Oil and Gas Drilling, Drilling for Oil off of Florida’s Coast, Public Interest Environmental Conference (February 19)

World Future Energy Summit, Incentivizing Second Generation Biofuels: Legal and Policy Mechanisms for Sustainable Energy Innovation and Investment, Abu Dhabi (January 19) 

American Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting, Analysis of India’s Sirsa River Valley, Environmental Futures: South Asia’s Law & Policy Challenges, New York (January 8)


Vermont Law School, Tribes and Pipelines, Environmental Law Colloquium (October 3)

University of Washington School of Law, Tribes and Pipelines, Junior Environmental Law Scholars Workshop, (July 9-10)

Harvard Law School, Islamic Environmental Law, Institute for Global Law and Policy Conference (June 1)

Columbia Law School, Tribes and Pipelines, Sabin Colloquium on Innovative Environmental Law Scholarship (May 22)

University of Georgia School of Law, Tribes and Pipelines, Association for Law, Property, and Society Sixth Annual Meeting (May 2)

Yale University, Climate & Energy Institute, Monsoon Preparedness, Hydropower, and Environmental Planning: Tropical Extremes in Monsoon Regions Workshop (April 16)

The American University in Cairo, The Genesis of Islamic Environmental Law, Third World Approaches to International Law: On Praxis and the Intellectual (February 23)


Columbia University, Balking at Biofuels in the Middle East, Second International Conference on Sustainable Development Practice (September 17)

Yale University, Meta-Regulation for Sustainability Reporting, UNITAR-Yale Conference on Environmental Governance & Democracy (September 5-7)

Harvard Law School, Balking at Biofuels, Institute for Global Law & Policy Collaborative Research Conference (June 2-3)


Harvard Law School, Sustainability as a Waqf: Biofuels in the Middle East, New Directions in Global Thought: Institute for Global Law & Policy at Five (June 3, 2013)

Texas A&M School of Law, Issues in Long Distance Energy Transmission, Fifth Annual Energy Symposium (March 22, 2013)

Hamad bin Khalifa University, Charting the Hydrokinetic Path in Pakistan, Harvard Law School Institute for Global Law and Policy Workshop, Doha, Qatar (January 5 – 13)


George Washington University Law School, Media and Stakeholder Analysis in Sustainability Reporting: Corporate Self-Regulation and Community Based Monitoring in India and Colorado, Next Generation Environmental Compliance Workshop (December 11)  

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