Global Reach U-M professor knows scope of international agreements

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By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

When Kristina Daugirdas, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan Law School, steps before Wolverine students to teach International Organizations and Environmental Law, she brings a wealth of expertise to the subject. Before joining the Michigan faculty, she was an attorney at the U.S. State Department Office of the Legal Adviser, where her portfolios included providing legal guidance on the negotiation and implementation of U.N. Security Council sanctions.

Daugirdas, who earned her bachelor’s degree in public policy with honors from Brown University, and a postgraduate diploma in economics with distinction from the London School of Economics, enjoys sharing her expertise with students.

“The students I’ve taught have been terrific,” she says. “Not only are they smart and capable, but they engage deeply with the issues we cover in the classroom.”

Daugirdas has always had wide-ranging interests in public affairs, and over the course of her academic and professional life, has had the opportunity to focus on environmental policy, poverty policy, and foreign affairs.

“Studying law appealed to me because it’s central to all of these substantive areas,” she says. “The classes that I teach raise recurring, thorny, and important questions about how to structure regulatory institutions to effectively address pressing policy problems.”

Her writing focuses on the relationships between U.S. laws and regulations and negotiating and implementing international agreements and obligations. One of her articles, published in The Maryland Law Review, evaluated constitutional challenges to legislation and regulations implementing international agreements, and earned an award from the American Constitution Society’s 2008 Richard D. Cudahy Writing Competition on Regulatory and Administrative Law. Daugirdas clerked for Judge Stephen F. Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and Judge Williams presided over her marriage to Nicholas Bagley – also a law professor at U-M – at the Newberry Library in Chicago.

The couple met at NYU where as a Furman Scholar Daugirdas earned her J.D., magna cum laude, served as the Senior Articles Editor for The NYU Law Review, and received numerous honors including the Maurice Goodman Memorial Prize for outstanding scholarship and character and the Paul D. Kaufman Memorial Award for the most outstanding note published in The NYU Law Review, a note that has been cited in four D.C. Circuit opinions.
Daugirdas, a native of Wilmette, Ill., near Chicago, enjoys life in Ann Arbor, where she lives with her husband and their two young children.

“I love the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market – I’ve been lucky to have access to wonderful farmer’s markets everywhere I’ve lived recently,” she says. “Shortly before leaving D.C., one of our favorite vendors invited us to visit his farm and share a meal with his family; it was a real treat. In London, the Borough Hall Market was just down the street from my dorm, and I went just about every Saturday morning.”

Although she has had little spare time for hobbies, Daugirdas enjoys cooking.
“I find taking the extra step to make a meal something more than a necessary refueling quite satisfying, if not always possible,” she says. “I’ve also grown increasingly interested in photography – my kids make great subjects.”

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