People at ILR

Desiree LeClercq
people / faculty

Desiree LeClercq

Assistant Professor
Global Labor and Work (GLW)


LeClercq is the Proskauer Employment and Labor Law Assistant Professor at Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations in Ithaca, New York, where she teaches international labor law, U.S. labor law, and employment law. She is the author or co-author of several articles (along with book chapter contributions), including those featured in the Fordham Law Review, American University Law Review, and Houston Law Review, as well as leading international journals such as the Virginia Journal of International Law and the American Journal of International Law Unbound. Her work explores the incoherence between international labor law, U.S. trade law, and constitutional law, as well as incoherence between international organizations. Her research places marginalized workers at the center of global and economic policies.

In addition to research, LeClercq is an active member of international law societies and initiatives. She is the Co-Chair of the American Society of International Law International Organizations Interest Group. She also frequently consults with EU and US stakeholders and policymakers concerning trade policy and its effects on formal and informal sector workers. The European Commission has included her in its pool of candidates eligible to Chair disputes arising under the trade and sustainability chapters of EU trade agreements.

Before joining the ILR School, LeClercq was a Director for Labor Affairs at USTR, where she negotiated and enforced labor-rights commitments in U.S. trade instruments. In that capacity, she frequently traveled to SE Asia, and was involved in several U.S. inter-agency task forces on forced labor, gender rights, and capacity building. Prior to joining USTR in 2016, LeClercq was a legal officer for the ILO in Geneva, Switzerland, where she specialized in maritime labor law and trade agreements. She began her legal career as a staff attorney to the Chairman of the NLRB in 2006.

LeClercq is a 2006 honors graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, a 2002 honors graduate of Indiana University, Bloomington, and a member of the New York bar.


Journal Articles

Book Chapters

  • Desiree LeClercq, Karen Curtis. 2021. Strengthening Labor Rights in the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement: A Lost Opportunity? . in THE TRANS PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT: ITS SUBSTANCE AND IMPACT ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE, NAFTA, AND OTHER FTAS . Cambridge University Press, 2021. David A. Gantz & Jorge Huerta Goldman. (30)
  • Desiree LeClercq. 2020. World Trade Organization. in INTERNATIONAL LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAWS. Bloomberg Law, 2020. Ute Krudewagen.
  • Desiree LeClercq, Lewis Karesh. 2020. Labor Provisions in U.S. Free Trade Agreements Under Trade Promotion Authority. in INTERNATIONAL LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT LAWS. USA: Bloomberg Law, 2020. Ute Krudewagen.

Book Reviews


Professional Activities

  • Administering Sanctions. Presented to American Society of International Law. Miami, FL. 2022.
  • U.S. Trade Policy, the WTO and Reframing Trade Priorities. Presented to World Trade Organization. Geneva, Switzerland. 2022.
  • Administering Sanctions. Presented to ASIL. Virtual. 2022.
  • Administering Sanctions. Presented to Cornell Law School. CLS. 2022.
  • How are U.S. and European trade policies changing working conditions and supply chains?. Presented to Cornell's New Conversations Project. ILR Conference Center, 570 Lexington Ave, New York, NY. 2022.
  • Presented to ILR School. Virtual. 2022.
  • Social Sanctions. Presented to ILR School. Virtual. 2022.
  • Concluding roundtable. Presented to European Economic and Social Committee. Virtual. 2022.
  • The Disparate Treatment of Rights in Trade. Presented to LSE Law. online. 2022.
  • Strengthening the ambition of social provisions in trade agreements. Presented to The French Ministry. online / Paris. 2022.
  • Rethinking Gender provisions in trade agreements: should we rethink the current approach?. Presented to World Trade Organization. Virtual. 2021.
  • The Disparate Treatment of Rights in Trade. Presented to U.S. International Trade Commission. 2021.
  • Outsourcing Enforcement: The Crisis at Sea and of Governance. Presented to Cornell University. 2021.
  • Empowering Women through international Trade Agreements. 2021.
  • Outsourcing Enforcement: The Crisis at Sea and of Governance. 2021.
  • Administrating Emergency. 2021.
  • Administrating Emergency. 2021.
  • How do we fix trade policy to help workers?. 2021.
  • The Disparate Treatment of Rights in Trade. 2020.
  • The Disparate Treatment of Rights in Trade. 2020.
  • Labor Rights in the Era of Covid 19. 2020.
  • The USMCA (the new NAFTA): Moving to Effective Enforcement of Labor Rights. 2020.
  • Global Governance During the Pandemic: Implications of Force Majeure and National Emergency for Worker Rights Protections. 2020.
  • Designing International Economic Law: Challenges and Opportunities” presenting on A Rules-Based Approach to Jam’s Restrictive Immunity: Implications for International Organizations. 2020.
  • 2019.

Honors and Awards

  • Global Public Voices Fellow, Einaudi Center. 2022
  • MacIntyre Award for Exemplary Teaching & Advising , ILR School. 2021


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