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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.

Timothy William Waters, Associate Director


Professor Timothy William Waters received his JD (cum laude) from Harvard Law School, and his M.I.A. from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, with an Advanced Certificate in the study of East Central Europe from the Harriman Institute. He returned to Harvard as a Human Rights Program Visiting Fellow (2002), Reginald F. Lewis Fellow for Law Teaching (2003), and East Asian Legal Studies Visiting Scholar (2005). He was the recipient of an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Experienced Researcher Fellowship, which he spent at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg (2012-13). He has also taught at Boston University, the University of Mississippi, Bard College, and Central European University.

Waters’ scholarly interests include the structure of the formation of states, ethnic conflict, and transitional justice. His principal research involves re-defining self-determination to devise an effective right of peaceful secession. He also writes on international criminal law, and is the editor of The Milošević Trial – An Autopsy (Oxford University Press 2013). Waters has also worked in Bosnia for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Open Society Institute on judicial and prosecutorial reform, and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in Hungary, where he first developed his interest in regulation of minority-majority relationships.

Elizabeth Adams, Assistant Director


Elizabeth Adams attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for her undergraduate studies, where she double-majored in Earth Systems, Environment, and Society, as well as in Global Studies: governance, conflict, and resolution. She minored in modern standard Arabic. She also studied colloquial Levantine Arabic, Jordanian history, and Diplomacy at the Jordanian Institute of Diplomacy in Amman, Jordan. She then began her MA studies at Columbia University’s Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies Department, where her research was primarily focused on the connections between proxy warfare, the Kurds, and conflict over the water of the Tigris and Euphrates river basin.

Adams has worked in a variety of non-profit organizations, notably the Arab American Institute, EcoPeace Middle East (Amman office), and AmeriCorps VISTA. She has served on the board of directors of the Prairie Land Conflict Mediation Center, where she also volunteered as a community mediator. In addition, she has worked in research at APL Engineered Materials, the Energy Biosciences Institute, the University of Illinois, and Columbia University.