Michael Eastman

Researcher, Special Projects

Michael Eastman is a new American, an immigrant from South Africa. He holds an M.A. in Global Affairs from Yale University, where he was also a Fox Fellow, as well as undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Cape Town in South Africa. At Stanford, Michael’s efforts are dedicated to the Center’s digital archival projects, including collection development, descriptive metadata creation, and digital exhibit design for the Virtual Tribunals initiative. This ongoing collaborative initiative with the Stanford University Libraries includes historical collections from post-WWII trials as well as contemporary international criminal tribunals. The aim of the project is to make these historically vital records more easily accessible to scholarly researchers, while also welcoming the general public with a rich and engaging discovery environment.

Prior to coming to Stanford, Michael clerked for Chief Justice Pius Langa at the Constitutional Court of South Africa, before entering private practice as a corporate litigation lawyer in Johannesburg. He used the income from his practice to create a high-impact, pro bono human rights clinic, in which he led and won numerous precedent-setting court case victories for access to healthcare, international adoptions, and the right to protest, among others. He later served as a senior legal advisor in the South African government in Cape Town, guiding human rights-oriented policy development. In parallel with his legal career, he ran four non-profit organizations, all focused on access to education, and currently sits on the board of a non-profit building the world’s first 3D-printed schools. Before moving to California, he worked in leadership consulting in Washington D.C. and in civics education in New York City. Michael finds great joy in writing both literary fiction and creative non-fiction, and is presently working on a trilogy of novels set in post-apartheid South Africa.


Encina Hall, Suite 030