Christiana Ochoa earned two B.A. degrees, one in history and one in American culture, from the University of Michigan in 1993. Upon completion, she continued her education at Harvard Law School where she earned her J.D. in 1998. Since joining the Indiana University (IU) faculty as an associate professor of law in 2003, Ochoa has held numerous appointments at IU Bloomington and the IU Maurer School of Law. In 2018, she was named an Indiana University Class of 1950 Herman B Wells Endowed Professor.
Within the IU Maurer School of Law, she has served as Executive Associate Dean, Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Affairs, and as Latin America Program Director for the Stewart Center on the Global Legal Profession. She has held campus-wide leadership positions, including as Associate Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs and as a founding Associate Director of the Center for Documentary Research and Practice. At the university level, she is the founding Academic Director of the IU Mexico Gateway, IU’s only office in Latin America. She has also served on various committees for AALS and ASIL.
Ochoa has focused most of her scholarship on the question of how economic activity intersects with human well-being. Before joining the faculty in 2003, she was employed at the global law firm Clifford Chance, where she dedicated her efforts to cross-border capital markets and asset-finance transactions. She also served at human rights and non-governmental organizations in Colombia, Brazil and Nicaragua. Together with her life-experience in Latin America, this work focused her attention on governance in the field of business and human rights. Since that time, her research on governance mechanisms has expanded into the field of law and development.
Her scholarship in these areas has been widely published, and she completed her first documentary film, Otra cosa no hay (There Is Nothing Else), in 2014. She is pursuing fieldwork toward the production of a second documentary, which will focus on law as a set of tools for the realization of differing views of development. She is the associate director of the IU Center for Documentary Research and Practice, a center within The Media School that brings together scholars and artists from across the university who work on an array of nonfiction media projects.