William Burke-White Appointed Inaugural Perry Professor and Director of Perry World House at Penn

Penn President Amy Gutmann and Provost Vincent Price today announced that William Burke-White has been named the inaugural Richard Perry Professor and director of the Perry World House at the University of Pennsylvania. Burke-White is currently a professor and Deputy Dean for International Programs at Penn Law School. His new position will become effective July 1.

Burke-White, an expert on international law and global governance, joined Penn in 2005 and has been a Deputy Dean of the Law School since 2011. From 2009-2011, he served on the policy planning staff of United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, where he was the principal drafter of the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, Secretary Clinton’s hallmark foreign policy and institutional reform initiative. 

 “Bill Burke-White’s combination of multidisciplinary academic expertise and practical experience in international law and institutions make him the ideal person to lead Penn’s Perry World House, our new state-of-the-art facility currently under development that will be a University-wide hub for bringing the world to Penn,” said Gutmann. “I look forward to working with Bill to advance Penn’s global initiatives.”

Burke-White’s research is situated at the intersection of international law and international relations, focusing on the structure of the international legal system, the implications of global power shifts on international law and institutions, human rights and international investment law. He is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School; the Max Planck Institute for International and Comparative Law in Heidelberg, Germany; and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, among other major institutions around the world. 

He currently serves as a Penn Fellow, the University-wide program that recognizes and provides leadership development to select Penn faculty members in mid-career, and has received the Law School’s Robert A. Gorman Award for Excellence in Teaching and A. Leo Levin Award for Excellence in an Introductory Course. He earned a Ph.D. and M.Phil. in international relations from Cambridge University, where he was a Fulbright Scholar and a Cranston Scholar. He holds a J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School and an A.B. magna cum laude in history and literature from Harvard University. 

“I am delighted to welcome Bill Burke-White to this exciting new role,” said Price. “His wide-ranging experience, skill at leading ambitious new initiatives, and deep knowledge of Penn and the wider global landscape will make him a wonderful partner in advancing the work of the World House, both here on campus and around the world.”

As the inaugural director, Burke-White will lead the strategic visioning and implementation of the Perry World House’s mission, working closely with faculty across the University who are engaged in international and transnational issues, as well as with partners around the world. In collaboration with Vice Provost for Global Initiatives Ezekiel Emanuel and the Penn Global team, he will make the Perry World House a central element of global initiatives at Penn, furthering the five-year “Strategic Framework for Global Initiatives” published in 2012.

When completed in 2016, the Perry World House will provide a hub for Penn’s growing international activities, anchoring Penn’s global resources on an interdisciplinary campus while creating cutting-edge strategic partnerships abroad. Established through a generous gift from University Trustee Richard C. Perry and his wife, Lisa Perry, the Perry World House will bring Penn’s extraordinary intellectual resources to bear on the urgent global challenges of the 21st century, connecting Penn with scholars and policymakers from around the globe. It will catalyze and lead a range of new international activities, from visits by eminent scholars and fellowships for more junior researchers to interdisciplinary, transnational research projects and strategic policy outreach.  The House itself will serve both as a physical gathering place for faculty and students across all of Penn’s 12 schools and an intellectual connecting point to enhance the flow of ideas between Penn and global thought leaders.

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