Claudio Grossman

Professor of Law and Dean Emeritus, Washington College of Law, American University

Claudio Grossman served as Washington University College of Law’s dean from 1995 to 2016, at which time he decided to return to the faculty. He was appointed Dean Emeritus by American University’s Board of Trustees in recognition of over two decades of commitment, dedication and distinction.

During Grossman’s 21-year tenure as dean, the school further developed its intellectual creativity, pursuing numerous exciting initiatives. More than 50 full-time faculty members were hired, dramatically improving the law school’s student-faculty ratio and expanding and enhancing scholarship, teaching and service. A variety of programs were also developed, including dual J.D. Programs with universities in countries, LL.M. programs in Law and Government, Advocacy, Intellectual Property, along with specialized summer programs focused on international and humanitarian issues.

During this time, the College of Law achieved recognition as among the top 10 nationally in clinical legal education, intellectual property, international law, and trial advocacy, in addition to being one of the most diverse law schools in the country. With his leadership, WCL also designed and completed its magnificent new Tenley Campus.

Throughout his academic career, Grossman has contributed to promoting the rule of law, human rights and legal education in both international and domestic organizations. He was elected to the United Nations’ International Law Commission in November 2016 for a five-year term, and previously served as member and chairperson of the United Nations Committee against Torture. On May 20, 2013, Professor Grossman was elected chair of the UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies for a one-year term. In May 2009, he was named to the judging panel for the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award awarded by Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, and in May 2010 he was appointed to the organization’s board of directors. Professor Grossman served on the governing board for the International Association of Law Schools since 2008 and was reelected in 2010 for a three-year term. On January 1, 2014, Professor Grossman began serving as President of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, following three years on its Board of Directors. He is also on the Board of the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative and a member of numerous associations including the American Law Institute.

Grossman has been consistently recognized as one of the top 25 most influential people in legal education. He has also received numerous awards for his work with human rights and international law, including the Harry LeRoy Jones Award from the Washington Foreign Law Society and the René Cassin Award from B’nai B’rith International in Chile.

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