Doctor of Laws

Oleksandra Matviichuk

May 28, 2023

Listen to an audio recording of Matviichuk’s talk, below.

Lawyer and activist Oleksandra Matviichuk is a defender of human rights and democracy in Ukraine and other nations in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). She leads the Center for Civil Liberties (CCL), a Ukrainian human rights organization where she has worked since its founding in 2007, and which was a co-recipient of the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize. The CCL promotes human rights legislation, exercises public oversight of law enforcement agencies and the judiciary, conducts educational activities for young people, implements international solidarity programs, and works to foster democracy in Ukraine and the OSCE region.

Matviichuk also coordinates the work of Euromaidan SOS, a grassroots legal assistance initiative created in response to the violent dispersal of a peaceful student demonstration in Maidan Square in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Nov. 30, 2013. During the subsequent three months of mass protests that were called the Revolution of Dignity, several thousand volunteers provided round-the- clock legal and other aid to persecuted people throughout the country. Since the end of the protests and the beginning of Russian aggression in Ukraine, the initiative has monitored political persecution in occupied Crimea, documenting war crimes and crimes against humanity during the hybrid war in the Donbas and conducting the #LetMyPeopleGo and #SaveOlegSentsov international campaigns calling for the release of political prisoners detained by the Russian authorities.

President Elliott at podium presenting honorary degree to Matviichuk

President Elliott presented an honorary Doctor of Laws degree to Oleksandra Matviichuk at Commencement. (Photo: Matthew Cavanaugh)

Most recently, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Matviichuk created, with many partners, the Tribunal for Putin, an initiative to document international crimes, under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, in all regions of Ukraine that have been targeted by Russian attacks.

For her visionary and committed leadership, Matviichuk has received many international recognitions, including the 2016 Democracy Defender Award from 17 delegations to the OSCE and the 2022 Right Livelihood Award. In 2017, she became the first woman to participate in the Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program at Stanford University, and in 2022 the Financial Times recognized her as one of the 25 most influential women in the world.


Oleksandra Matviichuk speaking at a podium in Johnson Chapel

Listen to Oleksandra Matviichuk’s talk, “No Peace Without Justice”

Audio file