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Last modified: Monday, May 21, 2007

Iraq ambassador to serve as visiting law professor

May 21, 2007

Photo by: Gary Post-Tribune

Feisal Istrabadi

Print-Quality Photo

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — The principal drafter of Iraq's interim constitution, Feisal Amin Istrabadi, will lend his expertise to the Indiana University School of Law -- Bloomington for the 2007-2008 academic year. A 1988 alumnus of IU, Istrabadi will teach courses on transitional justice in Iraq and on the trial of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

Ambassador Istrabadi, deputy permanent representative of Iraq to the United Nations in New York with the rank of ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary, joins the IU School of Law -- Bloomington as a visiting professor. While the law school will be his primary academic home, he also will work with the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and with the Center for Global Change and World Peace.

"Ambassador Istrabadi brings to our students a unique perspective on issues of justice in transitional and post-conflict societies," said Lauren Robel, dean of the IU School of Law -- Bloomington. "His experiences will strengthen and broaden our Center on Constitutional Democracy in Plural Societies, which focuses on rule of law and constitutional issues in fragile states. We are delighted to welcome him back to his alma mater."

Istrabadi is also connected to IU Bloomington through his sister, Zaineb Istrabadi, who teaches in the department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures and works with the Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Program. The two spent much of their childhood in Bloomington. Their mother is also an IU alumna.

Prior to the liberation of Iraq, Istrabadi worked for nearly a decade in opposition to the previous regime. He spent 33 years in exile, returning to Iraq in 2003 to represent Adnan Pachachi, the former foreign minister of Iraq and head of the Iraqi Independent Democrats political party. Istrabadi served as a member of the IID Steering Committee, senior advisor for constitutional reform and legal affairs to Pachachi, a member the Iraqi Governing Council. He also was principal legal drafter of the interim constitution and Bill of Fundamental Rights that guided Iraq through the transitional period, two elections and a referendum for a permanent constitution.

Among the first ambassadors appointed after the fall of the previous Iraqi regime, he served in 2004 as an advisor to Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, actively negotiating for the U.N. Security Council resolution 1546, which recognized the transfer of authority from the Coalition Provisional Authority to a sovereign Interim Iraqi Government.

Istrabadi frequently appears as an analyst for national and international media, such as CNN and CNN International, MSNBC, the BBC and Australian Broadcasting. His articles have appeared internationally, in leading academic journals and in popular media outlets. He has also been profiled in the Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune and Washington Post.

His most recent scholarship includes "Rebuilding a Nation: Myths, Realities, and Solutions in Iraq," Harvard International Review (2007). He recently earned his L.L.M., with honors, from Northwestern University, specializing in international human rights law.

Istrabadi's accomplishments have garnered many awards including a 2006 Distinguished Service Award from the Law School, the 2005 IU Foundation's President's Award, and the Crystal Global Award for humanitarian service from the Asian-American Medical Association in 2004.

For more information or to speak with Istrabadi, contact Debbie O'Leary, 812-855-2426 or