Sam Szoke-Burke

Sam Szoke-Burke is a Lead Researcher for the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, focusing on land-based investment (including large-scale agriculture, renewable energy, and extractive industries), the just transition, Indigenous peoples, transparency, and human rights. At the Center, he supervises researchers working to uphold human rights and improve sustainable development outcomes in the context of land-based investment, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia. He leads research projects and technical support collaborations with civil society and government on legal and policy issues relating to the governance of land-based investment. He also advances practical resources, develops and leads trainings, and designs and facilitates multi-stakeholder convenings. Prior to joining CCSI, he worked for the Land, Environment and Development project at the Legal Assistance Centre, Namibia, where he collaborated with various Indigenous communities on legal matters relating to mineral exploration, ancestral land claims and forced resettlement, and Indigenous representation, among others. He has also worked with various human rights and public interest organizations in the US and Australia, and clerked for Justice Anthony Cavanough, head of the Judicial Review and Appeals List, at the Supreme Court of Victoria, Australia. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and a Bachelor of Laws with first class honors from Monash University Australia, and a Master of Laws from New York University School of Law, where he was a Rotary Global Scholar, a Transitional Justice Scholar, and an NYU International Law and Human Rights Fellow. He is admitted to practice in Victoria, Australia and works in English and French.