Jonathan Liljeblad is Senior Lecturer at the Australian National University (ANU) College of Law (CoL), with a professional background spanning engineering, social science, and law and a personal background spanning Myanmar, Sweden, the United States, and Australia. He holds a JD and PhD (Politics & International Relations) from the University of Southern California (USC) and a BS (Engineering & Applied Science) from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). He is a member of the Pa'oh peoples of Myanmar. Prior to academia, his career was in the information technology sector. His expertise is in the transnational spread of international norms, with particular focus on the promotion of rule-of-law principles in developing countries. His research centres on case studies involving human rights and environmental issues, with much of his field work in Myanmar. The broad questions that drive his studies relate to the local challenges facing international aid efforts to advance international human rights and environmental standards in transition countries like Myanmar. The overarching aim of his work is to improve the effectiveness of international aid efforts through greater understanding and engagement with contextual issues.
Jonathan is an interdisciplinary scholar, with more than 30 publications in law and social sciences. His work has relevance beyond academia, with international aid organisations such as the Danish Institute of Human Rights (DIHR), International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), International Development Law Organization (IDLO), Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) using his expertise to further their respective Asia programs with governments and civil society organisations despite the technical, infrastructural, political-legal, and socio-cultural issues of the Asia region. He is the Acting General Editor of the Federal Law Review, and is on the Board of Directors for the ANU Myanmar Research Centre and the Board of Trustees for the Asian Law & Society Association.
For the ANU Council, Jonathan seeks to provide his awareness of the concerns facing scholars in engineering, social science, and law under the current higher education crisis. He also offers his comparative experiences regarding the innovations and transformations occurring in universities in the US and Asia.