Dr. Elizabeth Mendenhall earned her Ph.D. in International Relations in 2017 from Johns Hopkins University and is now an assistant professor at the University of Rhode Island's Department of Marine Affairs. She teaches International Ocean Governance in Marine Affairs, and has a (limited) joint appointment with Political Science. Her research centers on the ocean governance regime, especially the Law of the Sea Convention. Recent work addresses maritime nuclear transit, artificial island building, sea level rise, marine plastic debris, the South China Sea, strategic nuclear submarines, COVID-19 and cruise ships, and the ‘Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction’ negotiations.
Dr. Mendenhall is an active member of her community. In 2021, she took over the role of Graduate Program Director in the Department of Marine Affairs. She serves on the Membership Committee of the URI chapter of AAUP and the Executive Committee of the Environmental Studies Section at the International Studies Association, and is the faculty advisor for the URI chapter of The Coastal Society. Since 2018, she has served as an Associate Editor of Frontiers of Marine Science. In addition to these academic service roles, Dr. Mendenhall is a member of the Policy & Programming Committee for Save the Bay, a nonprofit dedicated to protection of the Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island. She is currently engaged in research as a Fulbright US Scholar at the University of Akureyri in Iceland.