Carmen Gonzalez

Professor of Law



Professor Gonzalez teaches torts, environmental law fundamental, international environmental law, and international trade law. She has published widely in the areas of international environmental law, environmental justice, trade and the environment, and food security, and recently co-edited a book on the experiences of women faculty of color.

Professor Gonzalez was a Fulbright Scholar in Argentina, a Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom, a Visiting Professor at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center in Nanjing, China, and a Fellow at the U.S. Supreme Court. She has created summer study opportunities in Brazil and Guatemala for Seattle University law students, and is part of a consortium of law professors that was awarded a three year grant from Higher Education for Development/U.S. Agency for International Development to conduct environmental law capacity-building workshops for law professors in Central America..

During 2011-2012, Professor Gonzalez served as Chair of the Environmental Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools. She is currently a member of the Board of Trustees of Earthjustice, a member of the Research Committee of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Academy of Environmental Law, and a member scholar of the Center for Progressive Reform, a non-profit research and educational organization of university-affiliated academics that seeks to inform policy debates regarding environmental regulation. She has served as member and vice-chair of the International Subcommittee of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (an advisory body to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on environmental justice issues), and has represented non-governmental organizations in multilateral environmental treaty negotiations.

Professor Gonzalez holds a B.A. from Yale University and a JD from Harvard Law School. Before joining the law school faculty in 1999, she clerked for Judge Thelton E. Henderson of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, and practiced law at Pillsbury, Madison and Sutro, where she specialized in environmental litigation. She later served as an attorney at Pacific Gas and Electric Company and as Assistant Regional Counsel in the San Francisco office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.



Presumed Incompetent: the Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia (with Gabriella Gutierrez y Muhs, Angela P. Harris, and Yolanda Flores-Niemann, eds.). Utah State University Press, 2012.

Democracia, derecho y economía de mercado
, (with Colin Crawford and Daniel Bonilla, coordinators.) Bogotá, Colombia: Editorial Temis, 2010.


Environmental Justice and International Environmental Law in Routledge Handbook of International Environmental Law (Shawkat Alam, et al, eds.)  Routledge, forthcoming 2012, available on SSRN:

China's Engagement with Latin America: Partnership or Plunder? in Natural Resources and the Green Economy: Redefining the Challenges for People, States, and Corporations  (Elena Merino-Blanco & Jona Razzaque, eds.)  Brill Academic Publishers, forthcoming 2012, available on SSRN:

The Global Food System, Environmental Protection, and Human Rights, 26(3) Natural Resources & Environment (Winter 2012), available on SSRN:

Organismos Genéticamente Modificados y Justicia: Implicaciones de la Biotecnología para la Justicia Ambiental, 1 Revista Jurídica Grado Cero 13 (2012) (law journal published by the Mexican National Autonomous University), available on SSRN:

Climate Change, Food Security, and Agrobiodiversity: Toward a Just, Resilient, and Sustainable Food System, 22 Fordham Envtl. L. Rev. __ (2011), available on SSRN:

An Environmental Justice Critique of Comparative Advantage: Indigenous Peoples, Trade Policy, and the Mexican Neoliberal Economic Reforms, 32 U. Penn. J. Int'l L. 723 (2011), available on SSRN:

The Global Food Crisis: Law, Policy, and the Elusive Quest for Justice, 13 Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal 462 (2010), available at SSRN:

 China in Latin America: Law, Economics, and Sustainable Development, 40 Environmental Law Reporter 10171 (2010), available at SSRN:

China en América Latina: Derecho, economía y desarrollo sostenible, 44 Revista de Derecho Privado (2010), available on SSRN:

 Squatters, Pirates, and Entrepreneurs: Is Informality the Solution to the Urban Housing Crisis? 40 U. Miami Inter-Am. L. Rev. 239 (2009), available at SSRN:

 Is NAFTA a Good Model for China?: Lessons from Mexico and the United States, 5 Jiangxi Social Sciences 244 (2009), available on SSRN:

 Environmental Impact Assessment in Post-Colonial Societies: Reflections on the Proposed Expansion of the Panama Canal, 4 Tenn. J. Law & Pol'y 303 (2008), available at SSRN:

 Genetically Modified Organisms and Justice: the International Environmental Justice Implications of Biotechnology, 19 Geo. Int'l Envtl. L. Rev. 580 (2007), excerpted in Stephen McCaffrey & Rachael Salcido, Global Issues in Environmental Law (West Group 2009), available at SSRN:

 Deconstructing the Mythology of Free Trade: Critical Reflections on Comparative Advantage, 17 Berkeley La Raza L.J. 65 (2006), available at SSRN:

 Markets, Monocultures and Malnutrition: Agricultural Trade Policy through an Environmental Justice Lens, 14 Mich. St. J. Int'l L. 345 (2006), reprinted in L. Lakshmi, Environment and Health: Issues and Implications (Amicus Books, ICFAI University Press, 2008), available at SSRN:

 Trade Liberalization, Food Security and the Environment: the Neoliberal Threat to Sustainable Rural Development, 14 J. Transnat'l L. and Contemp. Problems 419 (2004), available at SSRN:

 Seasons of Resistance: Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security in Cuba, 16 Tul. Envtl L.J. 685 (2003), reprinted at,available at SSRN:

 Institutionalizing Inequality: The WTO Agreement on Agriculture, Food Security, and Developing Countries, 27 Colum. J. Envtl L. 433 (2002), available at SSRN:

 Beyond Eco-imperialism: An Environmental Justice Critique of Free Trade, 78 Denv. U. L. Rev. 979 (2001), excerpted in James Kushner, Comparative Urban Planning Law: An Introduction to Urban Land Development in the United States through the Lens of Comparing the Experience of Other Nations (Carolina Academic Press, 2003), available at SSRN:

Book Reviews and Introductions

Book Review: Environmental Protection and Human Rights,  3(2) Journal of Human Rights and the Environment (forthcoming 2012)  (reviewing the environmental human rights textbook authored by Donald K. Anton and Dinah L. Shelton)

Presumed Incompetent: Introduction (with Angela P. Harris) in Presumed Incompetent: the Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia (Utah State University Press, 2012), available on SSRN:

The Global Politics of Food: Introduction to the Theoretical Perspectives Cluster, 42 U. Miami Inter-Am. L. Rev. 77 (2011) (symposium introduction), available on SSRN:

El Liberalismo neoclásico, el libre mercado y sus críticos (with Daniel Bonilla Maldonado and Colin Crawford) in Democracia, derecho y economía de mercado (Bogotá, Colombia: Editorial Temis S.A., 2010) (book introduction), available on SSRN:

 Reality, Theory and a Make-Believe World: the Fundamentalism of the "Free" Market (with Daniel Bonilla Maldonado and Colin Crawford), 5 Seattle J. for Social Justice 499 (2007) (symposium introduction).

Book Review: Global Agricultural Trade and Developing Countries, 5 World Trade Review 308 (2006). (reviewing the edited volume by economists M. Ataman Aksoy and John C. Beghin on the impacts in developing countries of domestic and international agricultural policy reforms)

Other Publications

Op-ed, Setting the Record Straight about Latino Immigrants (with Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic), Seattle Times, May 20, 2011, available at:

Markets, Monocultures and Malnutrition: Agricultural Trade Policy through an Environmental Justice Lens (2007) (Center for Progressive Reform White Paper), available at:

Environmental Justice (with Member Scholars of the Center for Progressive Reform) (2006) (Center for Progressive Reform Perspectives Series), available at:

An Unnatural Disaster: The Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (2005). White paper co-authored with Member Scholars of the Center for Progressive Reform. Contributed to the section of the white paper entitled "The Two Americas," discussing issues of race, class and justice. The white paper is available at:


Seattle University School of Law
Location: SLLH-457
Phone: (206) 398.4067

Curriculum Vitae


  • B.A., magna cum laude, Yale University, 1985
  • J.D., cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1988
  • Clerk to Judge Thelton E. Henderson, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California


  • Administrative Law
  • Environmental Law
  • Hazardous Waste and Toxics Regulation
  • International Environmental Law
  • International Trade
  • Torts

External Links