Obi Aginam was educated in Nigeria and Canada. He holds a Bachelor of Laws (magna cum laude) from the University of Nigeria; Master of Laws from Queen’s University at Kingston, Canada, and a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia, Canada. Before joining the UNU Institute for Sustainability and Peace (UNU-ISP), he held a tenured academic position as Associate Professor of Law at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, where he taught and researched emerging global issues that cut across globalization, global governance of health and environmental issues, South-North relations, international organizations, and Third World Approaches to International Law.
Regulatory and governance approaches to emerging and re-emerging global environmental and health issues are the major focus of Dr. Aginam’s research. He has held numerous research fellowships and won major competitive research grants on global environmental and health governance topics focusing on the impact of these global issues on “Third World” peoples and societies. He researches natural resource management and conflicts in developing countries focusing on the role of Transnational Corporations in the pursuit of sustainable development, governance and transparency in the extractive industry sectors of resource-rich African and Latin American countries.
He has been a consultant for many international organizations including the World Health Organization on aspects of trade and global health, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) on the regulatory framework for food safety, food security, biotechnology and biodiversity in developing countries. In the latter capacity, he worked as a member of the FAO Expert Legal and Policy Group on the review of intellectual property rights, food safety laws, and sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures in Bangladesh and other developing and least-developed country Member-States of the FAO.