Faculty Directory

Odette Lienau

Marianne D. Short, Esq., Dean & Professor


Odette Lienau joined Boston College Law School in January 2023 as the inaugural Marianne D. Short, Esq., Dean. She previously served as a professor of law and former associate dean for faculty research and intellectual life at Cornell University Law School. Her research and teaching interests center around international economic law, international law and international relations, and political and legal theory.

Dean Lienau’s first book, Rethinking Sovereign Debt: Politics, Reputation, and Legitimacy in Modern Finance, won an American Society of International Law Book Award. Her research and related articles have appeared in many distinguished publications, including the Harvard International Law Journal, Yale Journal of International Law and Oxford University Press, among others. She has served as a consultant and expert for the United Nations Conference on Trade & Development (UNCTAD), the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank, among other organizations, and is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

As associate dean at Cornell, Dean Lienau focused on raising the scholarly profile of the faculty, launching new research workshops and an annual report highlighting faculty scholarly activity, among other initiatives. As chair of the Academic Programs & Planning Committee (2020–2021), she spearheaded development of a new concentration in Law, Inequity, and Structural Exclusion. As chair of the Upper-Level Curriculum & Transition Committee during the COVID-19 pandemic, she facilitated effective hybrid and remote learning. Dean Lienau also worked closely with school leadership on rankings and reputation initiatives, remote work policies and procedures, academic certification, global exchanges, and developing online programming.

Dean Lienau practiced with the Financial Restructuring and Insolvency group at Shearman & Sterling in New York City prior to joining Cornell Law School and has taught at Harvard and Yale Law Schools. 

She received her A.B. from Harvard College and J.D. from NYU School of Law. She earned a Ph.D. in political science at Harvard University, where her dissertation received the University's Charles Sumner Prize.


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