Sue Biniaz has been in the Legal Adviser’s Office at the State Department since 1984. She worked on legal issues related to the Middle East, diplomatic law, and outer space before turning to oceans, environmental, and scientific affairs–which has remained her specialization. After heading the legal office for European Affairs, she headed the oceans and environment legal office for many years before becoming a Deputy Legal Adviser. As Deputy, a position she held through 2013, she also supervised the Treaty Office and issues related to human rights, the Western Hemisphere, law enforcement, and private international law. She has been the principal lawyer on the climate change negotiations since 1989 and that is now her main focus. She attended Yale College and Columbia Law School and clerked for Dorothy Nelson on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
“I’m really looking forward to spending time at Chicago,” said Biniaz. “I do a lot of speaking at universities, but the day I spent at Chicago left a huge impression on me. I remember telling everyone back in D.C. how intellectually stimulating it was.”