Law Center Dean Aleinikoff appointed UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees

Aleinikoff-01T. Alexander Aleinikoff

Dean of the Georgetown University Law Center T. Alexander Aleinikoff has been appointed to serve as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights starting on February 1, according to a University broadcast e-mail. According to the UN, the office of the Comissioner for Human Rights “leads global human rights efforts [and] speaks out objectively in the face of human rights violations worldwide.”

Aleinikoff will remain as Dean of the Law Center until late January when he will move to Geneva, Switzerland where the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is located.

Aleinikoff first joined the Georgetown Law faculty in 1997. According to his faculty page, he has published in the areas of “immigration refugee and citizenship law and policy, constitutional law, statutory interpretation and race discrimination.”

Later, he served as associate dean for research from 2003 to 2004 until becoming dean of the Law Center and executive vice president of Georgetown University in 2004.  He is also one of the highest paid staff members at Georgetown, with an annual salary of $390,130, according to the 990 report from the 2007-2008 school year.

The full email sent to the campus community by President DeGioia after the jump.

Dear Members of the Georgetown University Community:

It is with deep admiration and gratitude for his leadership and service to Georgetown that I write to inform you that T. Alexander Aleinikoff, Dean and Executive Vice President for Law Center Affairs, has been appointed United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees, effective February 1.  The UNHCR, located in Geneva, Switzerland, is responsible for leading and coordinating international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide.  Alex will serve as Dean until late January, 2010.

Alex has served as Dean of the Law Center since 2004, and he has served on our Law faculty since 1997.  During his tenure, Alex has been responsible for significant development at the Law Center.  A dedicated teacher, scholar and administrator, he has been committed to fostering an intellectually-engaged community, to supporting our faculty, to ensuring that our Law student body is more competitive every year and to creating new opportunities for alumni outreach, both here and abroad.

Alex was instrumental in the establishment of the Linda and Timothy O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law in 2007 and the Center for Transnational Legal Studies in London in 2008.  Both the O’Neill Institute and the Center for Transnational Legal Studies have strengthened the Law Center’s position as a leading transnational law school in the United States and placed Georgetown at the forefront of the most pressing issues of our time on a global scale.

Alex has recruited talented faculty members to the Law Center, implemented successful fundraising efforts and worked to enhance the Law Center’s transnational and international curriculum.   He has also been a strong supporter of the Law Center’s public service traditions, including our clinical programs, consistently ranked as the top in the nation, and the Loan Repayment Assistance Program.

This appointment to the United Nations follows Alex’s long history of commitment to global justice.  Alex has worked with the U.S. Department of Justice in various capacities since 1978, including the Immigration and Naturalization Service.  Last year, he was appointed by President Barack Obama to co-lead his immigration transition working group.  I know Alex will be an asset to the United Nations, and that he will have much to contribute to the UN’s mission to foster a more peaceful world.

I will work in the coming weeks to appoint interim leadership of the Law Center and organize a formal search process to recruit Alex’s successor.  I will keep you informed of those developments.

Alex has become a close friend and colleague to many of us.  I look forward to being together with many of you in the months ahead as we find ways to celebrate and thank him for his contributions to Georgetown.  In the meantime, please join me in congratulating Alex on his many accomplishments.


John J. DeGioia

One Comment on “Law Center Dean Aleinikoff appointed UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees

  1. Pingback: Vox Populi » Judith Areen named Georgetown Law interim dean

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