The Center’s Staff
David C. Williams, Executive Director
David C. Williams graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School after earning the Sarah Sears Prize for being first in his class. Williams then clerked for Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and taught at Cornell Law School before relocating to Indiana University in 1991.
The School of Law named him the John S. Hastings Professor of Law, and the University named him its Distinguished Faculty Research Lecturer in 2003. Williams has twice won the Wallace Teaching Award, as well as the Fromm Public Interest Faculty Award. He has taught at the University of Paris and lectured around the world. He was a member of the faculty of law at the University of Cambridge and a fellow at that university’s Wolfson College. He was also a fellow at the European University Institute in Fiesole.
Williams has written widely on constitutional design, Native American Law, the constitutional treatment of difference, and the relationship between constitutionalism and political violence. He is the author of The Mythic Meanings of the Second Amendment: Taming Political Violence in a Constitutional Republic (Yale University Press, 2003). He is also co-editor and primary author of Designing Federalism in Burma (UNLD Press 2005), which is widely read in the Burma democracy movement.
As Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Democracy, Williams consults with a number of reform movements abroad. He advises many elements of the Burma democracy movement on the constitutional future of that country. He is a consultant to the government of Liberia on its constitutional revision process and has helped to write Liberia’s law reform and anti-corruption statutes. He is also the primary author of the first treatise on the meaning of the Liberian constitution (forthcoming). More recently, he has become a constitutional advisor to the Democratic Party of Vietnam to help the party find ways to work with the government of Vietnam for peaceful reform.
Susan H. Williams, Director
Susan H. Williams graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where she served as the supervising editor of the Harvard Law Review and earned the John Sears Award for being second in her class. She clerked for Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and taught first at Cornell Law School. She is the Walter W. Foskett Professor of Law at Indiana, where she has taught since 1991. Williams is the recipient of the Office of Women’s Affairs Distinguished Scholar Award (2000), the Wallace Teaching Award (2004), the Fromm Public Interest Faculty Award, and a Presidential Citation for Service to the Profession from the Indiana State Bar Association (2003).
She has taught at the University of Paris and served as a fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge University and at the European University Institute in Fiesole. She has been involved in judicial education on issues of feminist theory and critical race theory, both within Indiana and nationally. She has written two books: Constituting Equality: Gender Equality and Comparative Constitutional Law (Susan H. Williams, ed.) (Cambridge University Press 2009) and Truth, Autonomy, and Speech: Feminist Theory and the First Amendment (New York University Press 2004). She is also the author of numerous articles on constitutional law, particularly concerning freedom of speech and religion, and on feminist theory.
As Director of the Center, Williams has been extensively involved in constitutional education and drafting with the Burmese democracy movement. She serves as a constitutional advisor to the Women’s League of Burma and the Women’s League of Chinland. She has also worked with the Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia on constitutional reform issues in Liberia. And she serves as a constitutional advisor to the Democratic Party of Vietnam.
Judge David F. Hamilton, Associate Director
Judge David Hamilton currently serves on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. He was appointed to the Seventh Circuit by President Obama in 2009. Previously, he was Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, and had been a District Judge on that court since 1994. Judge Hamilton was formerly a partner at Barnes & Thornburg, a private law firm in Indianapolis.
He served as Counsel to the Governor of Indiana from 1989 to 1991. Judge Hamilton served as law clerk to Judge Richard D. Cudahy on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago and is a founding member of the Sagamore Inn of Court in the American Inns of Court. He served as a member of the Indiana State Recount Commission from 1986 to 1987 and as chairman of the Indiana State Ethics Commission from 1991 to 1994.
Amb. Feisal Amin Rasoul Istrabadi, Associate Director
Amb. Feisal Amin Rasoul Istrabadi served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Deputy Permanent Representative of Iraq to the United Nations from 2004-2007. His current research is focused on the processes of building legal and political institutions in countries transitioning from dictatorship to democracy. He is studying the emergence of constitutionalism in such societies, including issues of timing, legitimacy, and transitional justice. Ambassador Istrabadi also served as legal advisor to the Iraqi Minister for Foreign Affairs during the negotiations for U.N. Security Council resolution 1546. He was also principal legal drafter of Iraq’s interim constitution, the Law of Administration of the State of Iraq for the Transitional Period, and principal author of its Bill of Fundamental Rights. He is a Visiting Professor of Law at Indiana University Maurer School of Law and Adjunct Visiting Professor at NELC.
Jallah A. Barbu, Senior Fellow
Jallah A. Barbu is a senior fellow of the Center. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) and Bachelor of Law (LLB) from the University of Liberia and a Master of Law – Thesis (LLM) and a Doctorate of Juridical Science (SJD) from the Maurer School of Law. Dr. Barbu formerly served as the Secretary General of the Liberian National Bar Association and is a Counsellor- At-Law and Member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of Liberia, where he has argued several cases and served as Amicus Curiae of the court. Dr. Barbu is also a professor at the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law, University of Liberia. Dr. Barbu is currently the Chairperson of Liberia’s Law Reform Commission, a position he has held for almost two years, after having served as its first Vice Chairperson.
As senior fellow, Dr. Barbu is responsible for the West Africa program of the CCD. He is a leading constitutionalist in Liberia, having written several articles and papers on Liberia and co-authored (with Professor David Williams) the first and only treatise on the meaning of the Liberian constitution. He is also the author of Liberia’s first casebook on constitutional law, which is currently the primary constitutional textbook used in the country’s only law school.