Thomas F. McInerney is an international lawyer and strategist with a background in
international and corporate law, global governance, regulation, development, and
strategy. Currently, he is Executive Director of the Rule of Law for Development
Program at Loyola University Chicago School of Law where he has taught since
2011. His current research focuses on the role of science and technology in
facilitating the implementation of multilateral regulatory treaties.
He has led numerous innovative initiatives to improve international law and advance
global development. Examples include launching the Treaty Effectiveness Initiative
in 2012 to advance research and advise on improvements to multilateral treaty
practice and results, developing the first strategic plan for the Framework Convention
on Tobacco Control (FCTC), developing and drafting the Business Principles for
Countering Bribery, creating a unique online database on global rule of law technical
assistance and national development strategies, and co-developing the curriculum
for the Loyola Rule of Law for Development Program at Loyola University.
In his book, Strategic Treaty Management: Practice and Implications (Cambridge
University Press 2015), he developed an original framework for devising strategies,
managing operations, gathering scientific data, and measuring the performance of
McInerney's legal experience spans anti-corruption, human rights, international
environmental law, international organizations, organizational compliance and ethics,
and public international law.
He has advised international organizations and governments, including the UN Food
and Agriculture Organization (FAO), UN Environment (UNE), Bioversity International,
and the World Health Organization (WHO), on developing and implementing
innovative strategies and solutions to enhance the performance of global regulatory
systems. From 2013-2015 he was outside counsel to the International Union for the
Conservation of Nature (IUCN). From 2015-2016, he was a member of the Expert
Group on Impact Assessment of the FCTC. In 2019-2021, he is serving on the FCTC
Expert Group to evaluate the Implementation Review Mechanism Pilot Project.
From 2009 to 2012 he was Director of Research, Policy, and Strategic Initiatives for
the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) in Rome. In this capacity he
launched the organization’s research function, developed and managed eight
international research projects on topics of protection of traditional knowledge in
agriculture and gender equity (budget US$4 million), drafted and secured unanimous
member state approval for IDLO’s first strategic plan as part of an organizational
change process, and was responsible for creating partnerships with UN agencies
and developing thought leadership products to provide knowledge inputs to UN
From 2002 to 2009 he served as General Counsel and Secretary for IDLO where he
managed global legal affairs and compliance for the organization during a period of
significant international expansion.
From 1999 to 2002, as Program Manager with Social Accountability International, he
conducted research, drafting, and fundraising for the Business Principles for
Countering Bribery, a leading corporate anti-corruption management system and
predecessor to the World Economic Forum Partnering Against Corruption Initiative
(PACI) and the ISO 37001 Anti-Corruption Management System. He also led the
process of revising SA8000 a leading system for auditing labor and human rights
practices throughout international supply chains.
Prior to joining Social Accountability International, he practiced corporate and
securities law with Dorsey & Whitney LLP and Ross & Hardies in New York.
He has trained and worked with hundreds of public officials, regulators, lawyers, and
judges throughout the world on anti-corruption, private sector regulation, corporate
governance, international law, and rule of law development.
McInerney regularly writes and speaks on topics including sustainability, international
law, global governance, regulation, and international development.
Based in Bangkok, Thailand, he is admitted to practice in the State of New York in
the United States. He serves as Vice Chair of the American Society of International
Law’s Transitional Justice and Rule of Law Interest Group.