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Faculty Profile: Tawia Ansah


This is the first article in a series highlighting some of the 124 faculty members who were hired during the 2011-2012 academic year

Born in Ghana, raised in the United Kingdom, and educated in the United States and Canada, Tawia Ansah fits right into a College of Law whose faculty has been ranked among the most diverse in the country.

But even in a college – and university – teeming with diversity, Ansah comes with a unique world view.

As a legal expert for several international organizations, including the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the United Nations Centre for Human Rights, Ansah helped emerging nations adopt democratic laws. In Rwanda, he helped train law enforcement in how to conduct investigations; in Bosnia, he trained officials on how to run elections, and monitored them to ensure fairness.

It is that international experience in Europe and Africa that he hopes will add a new dimension to an already international law school.

“The really interesting thing about FIU Law is how new and very forward-looking it is,” said Ansah, who is also the college’s associate dean for academic affairs. “Somebody with my background can really contribute and make a difference here.”

Before coming to FIU, Ansah was a visiting professor of law at Case Western Reserve School of Law. Prior to that, he served on the New England Law-Boston faculty for eight years and was a visiting assistant professor at Syracuse University College of Law. Previously, he was a legal consultant with JPMorgan Chase; a contract attorney for Cravath, Swaine & Moore; and an assistant prosecutor for the Ministry of the Attorney General in Toronto, Canada.

At FIU, Ansah teaches conflict of laws, contracts, international business transactions, professional responsibility, and jurisprudence and legal theory.

Ansah received a bachelor’s and master’s degree, as well as a Ph.D., from Columbia University and a law degree from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.

“Dean Ansah’s background will expose our students to experiences that I hope will inspire them in their careers,” said College of Law Dean R. Alexander Acosta. “FIU College of Law is dedicated to graduating responsible attorneys who will choose the path of public service and give back to their community. With Dean Ansah onboard, we have added yet another example of the many forms public service can take—and how enriching it can be.”