Lisa Sachs

Director; Research Scholar, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI), Columbia Law School

Affiliated with: M.P.A. in Development Practice

School of International and Public Affairs



Lisa Sachs is the Director of the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment. Since joining CCSI in 2008, she established and oversees CCSI’s robust and interdisciplinary research portfolio and advisory work on the alignment of investment law, investment practice, and investment policy with the sustainable development goals. She is a globally recognized expert in the ways that laws, policies and business practices shape global investment flows and affect sustainable development. She works with governments around the world, regional and international development organizations, financial institutions, companies, civil society organizations and academic centers to understand the inter-relations of investment flows and sustainable development, and to influence investment policies and practices to promote the SDGs and the Paris Agreement. 

She has developed and teaches highly acclaimed courses on Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development and on Investment Law and Policy at Columbia and lectures at Universities and other global institutions. Her course has twice been ranked among the top 5 courses at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). She has served on World Economic Forum Global Future Councils and currently serves on several advisory boards, including of the Investor Alliance for Human Rights and the SDG Academy.

Before joining CCSI, she worked at the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and at Amnesty USA, in both cases on shareholder engagement. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Harvard University, a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, and a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia Law School, where she was a James Kent Scholar and recipient of the Parker School Certificate in International and Comparative Law.


Only select projects listed below
Name Start Date End Date
Strategic Environmental Assessment 1/2/12 1/3/13


Only select publications listed below
Name Published Date
Antitrust and Sustainability: A Landscape Analysis 2023
Finance For Zero: Redefining Financial-Sector Action to Achieve Global Climate Goals 2023
International Investment Governance and Achieving a Just Zero-Carbon Future 2022
International Investment Law and the Extractive Industries 2022
Fixing the Business of Food: Aligning Food Company Practices with the SDGs 2021
Handbook for SDG-Aligned Food Companies: Four Pillar Framework Standards 2021
Investor-State Dispute Prevention: A Critical Reflection 2021
Briefing Note: Aligning International Investment Agreements with the Sustainable Development Goals 2020
Environmental Injustice: How Treaties Undermine Human Rights Related to the Environment 2020
Health Priorities for Sustainable Development 2020
Aligning International Investment Agreements with the Sustainable Development Goals 2019
Alternatives to Investor-State Dispute Settlement 2019
Investment Treaties, Investor-State Dispute Settlement and Inequality: How International Rules and Institutions Can Exacerbate Domestic Disparities 2019
The Business and Human Rights Arbitration Rule Project: Falling Short of its Access to Justice Objectives 2019
Clearing the Path: Withdrawal of Consent and Termination as Next Steps for Reforming International Investment Law 2018
Costs and Benefits of Investment Treaties: Practical Considerations for States 2018
Inconsistency’s Many Forms in Investor-State Dispute Settlement and Implications for Reform 2018
企业不应该唯利是图 2017
Corporations need to look beyond profits 2017
Investor-State Dispute Settlement, Public Interest and U.S. Domestic Law 2015
Memo to the Obama Administration on the U.S. National Action Plan on Responsible Business Conduct 2015
The TPP’s Investment Chapter: Entrenching, Rather Than Reforming, a Flawed System 2015
Memo to the Obama Administration on the Burma Responsible Investment Reporting Requirements 2013