Group Director, Economic Law & Policy

Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder is a senior international lawyer and heads the Economic Law & Policy work of the International Institute on Sustainable Development (IISD). In this role, she has advised over 20 developing country governments across Africa, Asia and Latin America in relation to bilateral and regional investment treaty negotiations, investor-state contracts, model investment treaties and foreign investment laws. Ms Bernasconi has extensive legal, policy, and training experience in the area of international trade, investment, sustainable development, human rights, international environmental law and arbitration.

She previously worked as an attorney at the Center for International Environmental Law in Washington and Geneva, where she also managed the office. For several years Ms Bernasconi worked in Hanoi, Vietnam, for a legal reform project of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and for the Australian law firm Phillips Fox. In Switzerland Ms. Bernasconi is admitted to the Bar of Basel and has worked for the Justice Department, Berne, in the Section for International Law.




  • Master of Laws: Georgetown University Law Centre, Washington. D.C.
  • LL.B. (lic. iur.): Universite de Neuchatel, Switzerland.
Investment Contracts for Agriculture: Maximizing gains and minimizing risks
Paper: Carin Smaller, William Speller, Hafiz Mirza, Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, Grahame Dixie (June 23, 2015)
Investment Treaty News Quarterly, Volume 6, Issue 2, May 2015
Newsletter: Martin Dietrich Brauch, Levent Sabanogullari, Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, James Zhan, Diana Rosert, Howard Mann, Joe Zhang, Matthew Levine, Marquita Davis (May 20, 2015)
The State of Play in Vattenfall v. Germany II: Leaving the German public in the dark
Paper: Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, Martin Dietrich Brauch (December 24, 2014)
The IISD Guide to Negotiating Investment Contracts for Farmland and Water
Paper: Carin Smaller, Howard Mann, Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, László Pintér, Matthew McCandless, Jo-Ellen Parry (October 29, 2014)
Investment Treaty News Quarterly, Volume 5, Issue 2, May 2014
Newsletter: Hafiz Mirza, William Speller, Simon Lester, Carin Smaller, Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, Eric De Brabandere, Matthew Levine, Diana Rosert, Yalan Liu, Oleksandra Brovko (May 13, 2014)
Investment Treaty Arbitration: Opportunities to reform arbitral rules and processes
Paper: Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, Diana Rosert (March 12, 2014)
Investment Treaty News Quarterly, Volume 4, Issue 4, September 2013
Newsletter: Maria Merino Antonieta, Damon Vis-Dunbar, Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, Lise Johnson, Juan Boue Carlos, Brook Baker, Makane Mbengue Moise, Deepak Raju, Diana Rosert, Yalan Liu, Oleksandra Brovko (September 17, 2013)
Investment Treaty News Quarterly, Volume 3, Issue 4, June 2013
Newsletter: Damon Vis-Dunbar, Carin Smaller, Qiu Wei, Liu Yalan, Axel Berger, Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, Catharine Titi, Diana Rosert, Margaret Devaney (June 24, 2013)
Registration and Approval Requirements in Investment Treaties
Paper: Mahnaz Malik, Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder (March 14, 2013)
Chinese Outward Investment: An emerging policy framework
Book: Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, Lise Johnson, Jianping Zhang (November 27, 2012)
Investment Treaty News Quarterly, Volume 2, Issue 4, July 2012
Newsletter: Damon Vis-Dunbar, Andreas von Staden, Rahim Moloo, Makane Moise Mbengue, Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, Vyoma Jha, Markus Krajewski, Larisa Babiy, (July 18, 2012)
Investment Treaty News Quarterly, Volume 2, Issue 3, April 2012
Brochure: Damon Vis-Dunbar (Editor), Gus Van Harten, Omar Garcia-Bolivar, Prabhash Ranjan, Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, Lise Johnson, Sergey Ripinsky, Madhubashini Fernando, Larisa Babiy (April 12, 2012)
Commentary to the Austrian Model Investment Treaty
Paper: Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, Lise Johnson (March 6, 2012)
Investment Treaties and Why They Matter to Sustainable Development: Questions and answers
Book: Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, Aaron Cosbey, Lise Johnson, Damon Vis-Dunbar (December 22, 2011)
Transparency in the Dispute Settlement Process: Country best practices
Paper: Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, Lise Johnson (December 19, 2011)
Comments on Draft Rules on Transparency in Investor-State Arbitration
Paper: Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, Lise Johnson (September 27, 2011)
International Investment Law and Sustainable Development: Key cases from 2000-2010
Book: Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, Lise Johnson (July 4, 2011)
Arbitrator Independence and Impartiality: Examining the dual role of arbitrator and counsel
Paper: Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, Lise Johnson, Fiona Marshall (April 14, 2011)
Investment Treaty News Quarterly, Volume 1, Issue 3, April 2011
Newsletter: Damon Vis-Dunbar (Editor), Robert Howse, Jonathan Bonnitcha, Kevin Gallagher, Freya Baetens, Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, Lise Johnson, Jennifer Donofrio (Contributors) (April 6, 2011)
Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication - Enabling Conditions Supporting the Transition to a Global Green Economy
Book: Peter Wooders, Mark Halle, Christopher Beaton, Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, Aaron Cosbey, Tara Laan, Kerryn Lang, Oshani Perera, David Sawyer, Yasser Sherif (Environics Consulting Firm) (April 5, 2011)
Belgium's Model Bilateral Investment Treaty: A Review
Paper: Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, Lise Johnson (February 28, 2011)
European Parliament hearing on Foreign Direct Investment
Paper: Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder (November 18, 2010)
Background paper on Vattenfall v. Germany arbitration
Paper: Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder (July 13, 2009)
Trade and Environment: A Resource Book
Book: Adil Najam, Mark Halle, Ricardo Meléndez-Ortiz, Sabrina Shaw, Malena Sell, Heike Baumüller, Nathalie Bernasconi-Osterwalder, Luke Eric Peterson, Konrad von Moltke, Aaron Cosbey, (May 31, 2007)