Hilal Elver is International Coordinator of POMEAS. She is a Research Professor at the University of California Santa Barbara, an appointment she has held since 2002, and is co-director of the Project on Global Climate Change, Human Security, and Democracy housed at the Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies at UCSB. She has a law degree (1974), a Ph.D. from the University of Ankara Faculty of Law(1985),and a SJD from the UCLA Law School (2006).
She started her teaching career at the University of Ankara Faculty of Law and taught there until 1993. During this period, she was also appointed by the Turkish government as the founding legal advisor of the Ministry of Environment, then she became the General Director of Women's Studies in the Office of the Prime Minister.
In 1994, she was appointed to the UNEP Chair in Environmental Diplomacy by the United Nations Environment Program at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies in Malta. Since 1996 she has been teaching at several Universities in the United States and abroad.
She has been a visiting professor in several universities. In 1993 she was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Michigan Law School in Arbor; between 1996-1998 a visiting fellow at the Center of International Studies at Princeton University; and in 2012 she was a Fulbright professor at the McGill University, Faculty of Law in Canada, and in Fall 2013 she has been a visiting researcher at Dickson Poon School of Law At King's College London.
She teaches Roman law, comparative law, public international law, international environmental law and international human rights law.
Her publications have focused mainly on international environmental law, and international human rights law. Her book, Peaceful Uses of International Rivers: Case of Euphrates and Tigris Rivers, was published by the Transnational Publisher: New York in 2002. Her most recent book, The Headscarf Controversy, Secularism and Freedom of Religionpublished by the Oxford University Press in 2012.
She co-edited Five Volumes International Human Rights: Critical Perspective published by Routledge: U.K. in 2008. She has written numerous chapters in book ranging from Global Justice, New Constitutionalism, Secularism, women's rights, and international environmental law. Her articles have been published in the Middle East Report (MERIP), Third World Quarterly, and various law journals on issues women's rights, water conflict in the Middle East, environmental security and climate change. She as also has written many journalistic articles in Radikal, Today's Zaman, and Al Jezire English.
Currently, she is a member of the Academic Council of the UN Least Developed Countries (2011-2021) established by the Turkish Government, and a member of the official delegation of the Turkey's UN Climate Change Framework Convention. She was appointed Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food by the Human Rights Council in May 20014 and assumed her functions on 2 June 2014.