Cyra Akila Choudhury
Cyra Akila Choudhury joined the Florida International University’s College of Law in of 2007, the first public law school in South Florida. She is a full professor of law at the law school and has been a visiting professor and adjunct at Georgetown, University of Richmond, University of Kentucky. She has numerous publications in leading law journals on topics ranging from race and gender in legal academia, comparative gender and human rights, and family law. She is the co-editor of Islamophobia and the Law published by Cambridge University Press. In addition she serves as the Founding Executive Director of CLASIC–an independent collective or scholars and academics. CLASIC holds workshops on scholarly topics as well as on academia and legal education including hiring and representation, leadership, and casework. CLASIC has co-sponsored two symposia on the COVID Care Crisis and its impacts on faculty and students. Professor Choudhury is also a trained executive coach through Co-Active Training Institute. She provides academic executive coaching to faculty, aspiring faculty, and administrators.
She was born in Dar-es-Salam, Tanzania and raised in several countries including, India, Pakistan, Great Britain, Canada, and Kenya. She attended Woodstock School in Mussoorie, Uttarkhand, India before coming to the United States to pursue her Bachelors degree at The College of Wooster, Wooster, Ohio. During her time at Wooster, she majored in Political Science and minored in Religion and Women’s Studies. She was awarded the Leslie Gordon Tait scholarship for being the student with the highest GPA with an interest in religion and the Faculty Scholarship. She graduated second in her class and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Her senior independent thesis, Partisans of the Prophet: Islamism in Egypt was awarded honors. At graduation, she was awarded the department’s Frank Miller prize in Comparative Politics and Departmental Honors. She was Wooster’s nominee for the Luce Scholarship and was a finalist for that prize in 1996.
Professor Choudhury pursued a graduate degree in Comparative Politics and Political Theory at Columbia University in New York. After graduating, she worked as a program associate for The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS), a nonprofit organization established by Congress to advise government in all policy matters. At the NAS, she conducted research on K-12 science education, supported the work of the Board on Physics and Astronomy and she was a Research Associate for a project on International Labor Law, researching and writing reports on international labor law and particularly child labor.
In 2000, Professor Choudhury was admitted to Georgetown University Law Center where she focused on business law and legal theory. She graduated from the program with a Juris Doctor cum laude in 2004 and worked for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in their corporate finance practice and the New York Legal Aid Society before returning to Georgetown as the 2005 Future Law Professor Fellow (FLP). Professor Choudhury was selected as the sole FLP fellow from a field of thousands of candidates and was the second Georgetown graduate to receive the fellowship since its inception. Professor Choudhury completed her fellowship in 2008 and was awarded an LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center. During her time as a fellow, Professor Choudhury served as pro bono counsel to a number of small arts and religious not-for-profit corporations. Her practice consisted of advising on incorporation, corporate governance, board structure, and subsidiaries.
During 2005-2007 Professor Choudhury also founded and served as Executive Director for a nonprofit organization, The Foundation for the Advancement of Women in Religion. She participated in national conferences regarding the role of women in religious communities, religious institutions, and also in departments of religion and theology in the academy. FAWR raised and distributed scholarship money to postdoctoral and junior faculty before it was disestablished in 2007 at the start of the financial crisis.
Professor Choudhury joined the FIU College of Law faculty as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in 2007. She was promoted to Associate Professor in 2011 and awarded tenure in 2013 and to Full Professor in 2016. In 2020-2021, she was given an FIU Top Scholar Award for her scholarship and collaborative work.
She has teaches Family Law, Information and Data Privacy Law, Law and Science, Law and Artificial Intelligence: Robots, Algorithms and Justice, Women in the Law, African American and Minority Jurisprudence, Current Topics in Family Law, Sales, Islamic Law, and Law and Exclusion. Her scholarship has placed in peer reviewed journals and leading law reviews including, the University of Colorado Law Review, University of Cincinnati Law Review, Southwestern Law Review, CUNY Law Review, Akron Law Review, Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law, and Justice, Columbia Journal of Gender and the Law, the Michigan Journal of International Law, and Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law. She is co-editor of Islamophobia and the Law, a field-defining book that brings together scholarship on Islamophobia in the United States. She is frequently invited to publish reviews, chapters in books and articles in special issues of peer-edited journals. As an acknowledged expert in South Asia, Comparative and International gender law, Islamic law and Muslims as minorities, she has appeared on television and interviewed by local and national media. She was a writing workshop faculty for the Harvard Institute for Global Law and Policy (IGLP) Workshop for five years.
Professor Choudhury has also been awarded two grants from Harvard and awarded a Fulbright Senior scholarship to research law reform in India.
She is affiliated with the School of International and Public Affairs and Women Studies departments. She holds a cross appointment as faculty member in Middle East Studies department. She is also as Associated member of the Centre for Ottoman Studies at SOAS, and the Cornell and Seattle University India Law Centers. She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in law at the Center for Law and Digital Technologies at Leiden University focusing on technology, family, and inequality.
Catalyst Academic Executive Coaching
In 2022, Professor Choudhury trained at the Co-Active Coaching Institute and launched Catalyst, an academic executive coaching practice. She focuses on higher education faculty, administrators, and aspiring faculty. Her coaching provides clients with support for transitions, managing difficult workplaces, successful completion of projects, and burnout. More information can be found on the Catalyst webpage