Ayelet Shachar is Canada Research Chair in Citizenship and Multiculturalism, and Professor of Law, Political Science, and Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. She has published and lectured widely on citizenship theory, immigration law, multiculturalism, cultural diversity and women's rights, law and religion in comparative perspective, highly skilled migration and global inequality.
Shachar is the author of Multicultural Jurisdictions: Cultural Differences and Women's Rights (Cambridge University Press, 2001), for which she won the American Political Science Association 2002 Foundations of Political Theory Section Best First Book Award. This work has inspired a new generation of thinking about how to best mitigate the tensions between gender equality and religious diversity. It has also proved influential in the real world, intervening in actual public policy and legislative debates. It has been cited extensively, most recently, by England's Archbishop of Canterbury (who described Shachar's work as "highly original and significant"), Ontario's Ministry of the Attorney General, and the Supreme Court of Canada.
An internationally recognized legal theorist, Shachar's work combines "big ideas" from law and political theory with innovative problem-solving and institutional design. Her latest book, The Birthright Lottery: Citizenship and Global Inequality (Harvard University Press, 2009) was named 2010 International Ethics Notable Book in recognition of its "superior scholarship and contribution to the field of international ethics." It has similarly created a groundswell of interest among policymakers and academics alike. Located at the intersection of law, economics, and political philosophy, The Birthright Lottery crafts new legal concepts and innovative institutional designs to promote global justice, with the aim of ameliorating the most glaring opportunity inequalities that attach to this system of allocation in today's world. This work has been the topic of special-issue symposiums, international workshops and roundtables, and the subject of essays that have appeared in professional and interdisciplinary publications, including the American Journal of Comparative Law, Ethics & International Affairs, Harvard Law Review, Issues in Legal Scholarship, La Revue Nouvelle, Osgoode Hall Law Journal, Political Theory, Rorotoko, Nexus, Edge, Tikkun, and the Literary Review of Canada.
Shachar has received excellence and research awards in three different countries: Canada, Israel, and the United States. She was nominated Member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, Fulbright Fellow, Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Princeton's Law and Public Affairs Program (LAPA), Emile Noël Senior Fellow at NYU School of Law, and the W. M. Keck Fellow in Legal Ethics and Professional Culture at Yale Law School. In recognition of her excellence in research and teaching as a faculty member at Toronto, she has received the University's Provostial Merit Increase Award for five consecutive years. She has published extensively in leading law reviews, social science, and political philosophy journals, including the Yale Law Journal, Theoretical Inquiries in Law, Journal of Political Philosophy, Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review, NYU Law Review, Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities, Philosophy and Social Criticism, Political Theory, and Perspectives on Politics.
Shachar earned her LL.B in law and B.A. in political science, summa cum laude, from Tel Aviv University; LL.M. and J.S.D, both from Yale Law School. Before arriving at Yale, she was law clerk to Chief Justice Aharon Barak of the Supreme Court of Israel. In addition to delivering keynotes and lectures to academic and general audiences on five different continents, Shachar sits on the editorial boards of six peer-reviewed journals in her field and has provided pro-bono expert consultation to judges, governmental commissions and the World Bank, as well as non-governmental organizations specializing in citizenship, immigration and religious toleration. Shachar has held appointments as the Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor in Human Rights at Stanford Law School, and the Jeremiah Smith Jr. Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. Her new book explores the legal and ethical challenges of international migration, focusing on the highly skilled.