John H. Knox is the Henry C. Lauerman Professor of International Law at Wake Forest University. Between 2012 and 2018, he served as the first UN independent expert, then the first special rapporteur, on the human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. His mandate culminated with the presentation to the United Nations of Framework Principles on Human Rights and the Environment in March 2018, and a report later that year urging the UN to recognize the human right to a healthy environment.
Professor Knox graduated from Stanford Law School in 1987. He worked at the U.S. Department of State and a private law firm before he joined academia in 1998. Between 1999 and 2005, he chaired a national advisory committee to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and from 2008 to 2012, he was special counsel to the Center for International Environmental Law. He is on the board of the Universal Rights Group and on the board of editors of the American Journal of International Law.