Ireh Iyioha, PhD
Irehobhude O. Iyioha
Dr. Irehobhude Iyioha, Ph.D. (‘Ireh Iyioha’) is a Nigerian-Canadian writer of literary fiction, Professor, and Organizational Leader. She is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Victoria and has served as a health ethics professor at the John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta since 2012, where she is now a Full Professor with the adjunct faculty. From 2016-2018, she served as an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta on a visiting term - and was the first Black Woman to hold a professorial position at that law school in the university's 110-year history. She has also held professorial and teaching positions at Western University and the University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada, as well as research and senior policy positions with the Governments of Ontario and Alberta, Canada. She is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the PEIF Fund Inc., a non-profit organization that offers a Service-Mentorship Exchange Program (SMEP) for young professionals invested in serving kids-in-need across several countries. In 2021, she founded the Black Professionals Leadership Program at the University of Victoria to provide a comprehensive set of supports to Black students at the university, raising nearly $750k for the administration of the program within the first year and half of its establishment.
Publications and Awards
Trained as an Attorney, her life's work focuses on social justice advocacy through service, creative writing, teaching and research. Dr. Iyioha is co-editor of the book Comparative Health Law and Policy: Critical Perspectives on Nigerian and Global Health Law (Ashgate, 2015) and editor of the new book, Women's Health and the Limits of Law: Domestic and International Perspectives (Routledge, 2020). She has published in leading Canadian and international law journals. Her work has been consulted for policy reform and cited at key platforms, including in multiple Submissions before the Joint Standing Committee on Migration (Inquiry into the Treatment of Disability) in Australia. Her literary works have appeared in several publications in Canada, United Kingdom, Austria, Nigeria and USA, including in Harvard University’s Transition Magazine. One of her stories published in Transition - This Time It Will be All Right - received a Special Commendation from the 2016 judges of the prestigious Caine Prize. Dr. Iyioha has received over sixty national and international academic awards, fellowships and honours, including the World Congress on Medical Law Award from the World Association for Medical Law, the 2016 Canadian Immigrant of Distinction Award – Under-35 category – for outstanding achievements in professional and service capacities, and most recently a 2017 Canadian Association of Law Teachers Award for a scholarly paper that makes a substantial contribution to legal literature. She was named to the Top 40 under 40 List of 2018 by Avenue Magazine (Avenue Edmonton) and named as one of 150 Most Accomplished Immigrant Women in Canada.
Public Speaking & Other Honours
Currently a Visiting Scholar in Philosophy at Harvard University (Spring Semester, 2023), Dr. Iyioha has served as the Jack and Mae Nathanson Visiting Fellow at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Visiting Scholar at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, Visiting Academic at the John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, a Fellow of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Program in Health Law and Policy, and Liu Scholar at the UBC Liu Institute for Global Issues. An engaging speaker and mentor, she has spoken extensively on diverse issues (including those affecting women and children) across North America and in Western and Eastern Europe. She holds law degrees from the University of Benin (LLB with Highest Honours), the University of Toronto (LLM), and the University of British Columbia, Canada (PhD).