Faculty & Staff
Katherine Franke is the James L. Dohr Professor of Law at Columbia University, and Director of the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law. She is also on the Executive Committees of Columbia’s Institute for the Study of Sexuality and Gender, and the Center for Palestine Studies. She is among the nation's leading scholars writing on law, sexuality race, and religion drawing from feminist, queer, and critical race theory.
Professor Franke is the founder and faculty director of the Law, Rights, and Religion Project, a think tank based at Columbia Law School that develops policy and thought leadership on the complex ways in which religious liberty rights interact with other fundamental rights. In 2021, Professor Franke launched the ERA Project, a law and policy think tank to develop academically rigorous research, policy papers, expert guidance, and strategic leadership on the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the U.S. Constitution, and on the role of the ERA in advancing the larger cause of gender-based justice.
Professor Franke is currently leading a team that is researching Columbia Law School’s relationship to slavery and its legacies.
Her first book, Wedlocked: The Perils of Marriage Equality (NYU Press 2015), considers the costs of winning marriage rights for same sex couples today and for African Americans at the end of the Civil War. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2011 to undertake research for Wedlocked. Her second book, Repair: Redeeming the Promise of Slavery’s Abolition (Haymarket Press 2019), makes the case for racial reparations in the United States by returning to a time at the end of slavery when many formerly enslaved people were provided land explicitly as a form of reparation, yet after President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated the land was stolen back from freed people and given to former slave owners
Lilia Hadjiivanova, Associate Director
Lilia is the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law's Associate Director, managing the daily operations and finances of the Center, organizing and coordinating programming, and providing project management support for the Law, Rights, and Religion Project and the ERA Project. Lilia comes to the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law with extensive experience with program management in the nonprofit, government, and higher education sectors. Originally from Bulgaria, she completed her undergraduate degree in Communication and Media Studies at Loughborough University, UK. Upon graduation, she immigrated to the United States and attended California State University, Los Angeles, where she received a Master’s degree in Communication Studies with a research focus on representation of gender and sexuality in television and film. She is currently a MPA candidate at Columbia's School for International and Public Affairs.
Previously, she has stepped into a variety of roles, including Student Advisor for international students, Career Coach for LGBTQ immigrants, Communications Director for a patient advocacy nonprofit, Administrative Director for a presidential campaign, and Partnership Manager for a government-funded workforce development program. She was also part of the staff that started the Immigrant Opportunities Program at the historic LGBT Center in New York City. She serves on the Advisory Board of Deystvie, an organization dedicated to changing the lives of LGBTI+ Bulgarians through pro bono legal services, strategic litigation, educational campaigns and direct actions.
- E-mail: [email protected]
Daniela Sweet-Coll, Administrative & Communications Officer
Daniela is the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law's communications and design specialist. She manages the websites and social media presences of the Center as well as the ERA and Law Rights & Religion Projects. Daniela joined the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law in 2023 after working as an independent graphic designer and Spanish-English translator. She completed her undergraduate degree in Wesleyan University’s interdisciplinary Design and Applied Sciences program, receiving honors for her digital design-focused thesis.