Carolyn Deere Birkbeck is a Senior Researcher at the Graduate Institute’s Global Governance Centre, where she conducts research on the politics and governance of global trade, environment, sustainable development and intellectual property. At the Centre, she leads a research project on the political economy and regulation of the global plastics economy, supported by the Swiss Network of International Studies. She is also the director of the Geneva-based Forum on Trade, Environment and the SDGs, created in partnership with UNEP and the Graduate Institute.
In 2019, she was awarded a joint Associate Fellowship of Chatham House’s Global Economy and Finance departments and its Hoffmann Centre for Sustainable Resource Economy, where her work focuses on a forward-looking agenda on trade and sustainability. She is also a Senior Research Associate at the University of Oxford’s Global Economic Governance Programme. Carolyn is also the founder and Board Chair of Global Policy Reporting, a Geneva-based non-profit organization dedicated to open access, independent and professional news reporting, which houses Intellectual Property Watch (launched in 2004) and Health Policy Watch (launched in 2019).
Before moving to academia, Carolyn served as an Assistant Director at the Rockefeller Foundation in New York where she was responsible for grantmaking on intellectual property, trade and sustainable development. During this time, she also co-founded the Funders Network on Trade and Globalization (FNTG) and served on its Steering Committee. Previously, she worked in Washington, D.C. for the World Conservation Union and as the Manager of the Congressional Staff Forum on International Development at the Overseas Development Council. She has been a consultant to a range of non-governmental and international organizations, including UNDP’s Office of the Human Development Report, the National Wildlife Federation, the Yale Centre for Environmental Law and Policy, the Open Society Institute, the South Centre and the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD).
Carolyn is the author of The Governance of WIPO: A Reference Guide (Edward Elgar Press, 2016) and Governing the World Intellectual Property Organization: The Power Politics of Institutional Crisis and Reform (forthcoming). She is also the editor of Making Global Trade Governance Work for Development: Perspectives and Priorities from Developing Countries (Cambridge University Press 2011), author of The Implementation Game: The TRIPS Agreement and the Global Politics of Intellectual Property Reform in Developing Countries (Oxford University Press 2009, paperback 2011), and the co-editor (with Dan Esty) of Greening the Americas: NAFTA’s Lessons for Hemispheric Trade (MIT Press 2002).
She holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the University College, Oxford, a master’s degree in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, and a first class honors degree in Political Economy from the University of Sydney.