© Fred Cattroll, 2011.
© Fred Cattroll, 2011.

The Intellectual Property and the Governance of Traditional Knowledge, Genetic Resources and Traditional Cultural Expressions: Fostering Innovation and Improving Lives project seeks to establish a leading research hub at CIGI offering policy analysis, technical assistance, capacity building and intellectual leadership for the governance of traditional knowledge, genetic resources and traditional cultural expressions.

The project has three main expected outcomes:

  • a defined traditional knowledge research project agenda focusing on comparative case studies over the next 18 months;
  • capacity building and awareness raising initiatives for Canadian Indigenous communities initiatives;
  • and a structured dissemination plan, including an outreach strategy for policy makers and indigenous communities.

A Traditional Knowledge Expert Group (TKEG), convened by CIGI for the project, brings together five internationally renowned thinkers in the field who will offer strategic guidance:

  • Ruth Okediji, TKEG Chair, William L Prosser Professor & McKnight Presidential Professor, University of Minnesota Law School
  • Margo Bagley, CIGI Senior Fellow, and Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law
  • Graham Dutfield, Professor of International Governance, Faculty of Law, Leeds University
  • Kathy Hodgson Smith, Canadian Indigenous Lawyer, Métis Communities
  • Jerome Reichman, CIGI Senior Fellow, and Bunyan S Womble Professor of Law, Duke Law School

For more information, read the project summary or contact the CIGI-ILRP project members: Bassem Awad, Deputy Director for Intellectual Property and Innovation; Oluwatobiloba Moody, Post-Doctoral Fellow. 

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Photographer, Fred Cattroll, is a Swampy Cree from South Indian Lake. Cattroll took the photograph of the headdress on May ‎27, ‎2011, at an event in Gatineau Quebec that celebrated Indigenous employees of the Government of Canada and the lead up to summer solstice.

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Photo of Bassem Awad

Bassem Awad

Deputy Director, International Intellectual Property Law and Innovation

Bassem Awad is deputy director of international intellectual property (IP) law and innovation, with CIGI's International Law Research Program. In this role, Bassem provides strategic guidance and operations coordination and management of the thematic area. Previously, he was CIGI research fellow from September 2014 to January 2016.

Margo A. Bagley

Margo A. Bagley 

CIGI Senior Fellow

Margo A. Bagley is a senior fellow with CIGI’s International Law Research Program, where she serves as a member of the traditional knowledge expert working group. At CIGI, she will be researching the intersection of the World Intellectual Property Organization’s draft Design Law Treaty with disclosure of origin requirements for traditional knowledge, genetic resources and traditional cultural expressions and the promise and peril of defensive protection for traditional knowledge. Margo also leads a number of case studies analyzing the instituted governance regime for traditional knowledge and genetic resources in Colombia and Ecuador.


Oluwatobiloba (Tobi) Moody

Post-doctoral Fellow

Oluwatobiloba (Tobi) Moody is a post-doctoral fellow with CIGI’s International Law Research Program (ILRP). In this role, Tobi researches international law and governance pertaining to intellectual property with a specific focus on the protection of traditional knowledge and genetic resources.  

Chidi Oguamanam

Chidi Oguamanam

Senior Fellow

Chidi Oguamanam is a CIGI senior fellow and an expert in global intellectual property (IP) law and policy frameworks.

Ruth Okediji

Ruth Okediji

CIGI Senior Fellow

Ruth Okediji is chair of the ILRP’s expert working group on international intellectual property, traditional knowledge and genetic resources. She is the Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and serves as co-director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society.