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William Burke-White is the Richard Perry Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Burke-White, an international lawyer and political scientist, researches and writes on the relationships between law, politics, and economics in international affairs. Burke-White is a leading expert on U.S. foreign policy and international law. He has particular expertise on the design and implementation of complex global governance solutions that involve multiple countries, international institutions, and legal regimes. He has significant regional expertise on Russia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America.

While on sabbatical leave from Penn as a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, Burke-White is working on a book project entitled “The New Geography of Global Governance and How International Law Got Lost.” Burke-White’s research examines how and why nation states have failed to respond to the most complex and pressing governance challenges of the day — from climate change to migration — and how other actors including cities, states, and corporations are filling the governance void. The project considers why the international legal regime has not kept pace with these emerging governance trends and how the reincorporation of international law could advance solutions to complex governance challenges.

Burke-White’s broader academic work sits at the intersection of international law and international relations. He has written widely on topics including multilateralism, changing global power structures, human rights, international institutions, and international economic law. Burke-White's academic writings  have appeared in leading international legal journals and he regularly offers commentary in the media, including opinion pieces in The Hill, CNN.com, The International Herald Tribune, and The Atlantic.

Since 2014, Burke-White has been the inaugural director of Perry World House, the University of Pennsylvania’s new interdisciplinary international affairs institute. Building Perry World House from the ground up, Burke-White established a cutting-edge policy think tank embedded within Penn’s academic community and recruited staff, faculty and visiting policy fellows from across the globe. Through Perry World House’s two inaugural research themes, Burke-White helped drive research and policy engagement on the future of the global order and global shifts: urbanization, migration, and demography.

From 2009-11, Burke-White served in the Obama administration on the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff, where he was principal drafter of the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, Secretary Clinton’s hallmark initiative to reform the Department of State and reshape U.S. foreign policy. While at the State Department, Burke-White was also responsible for issues related to U.S. engagement with international institutions, including the G-20, the G-8, and the United Nations, as well as U.S. policy toward the Russian Federation.

Burke-White has advised a range of governments, law firms, and investment funds on issues including U.S. policy toward foreign policy hotspots (including Russia, Venezuela, and Iran), U.S. and international sanctions regimes, sovereign debt enforcement and sovereign bankruptcy processes, and the impact of international legal rules and institutions on client's political and business objectives. Burke-White has served as an expert witness in a number of international arbitrations under the auspices of the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes.

He holds both a bachelor’s and law degrees from Harvard University, and a doctorate in international relations from Cambridge University, where he was a Fulbright Scholar. He has served as visiting professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Harvard Law School, the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, and Mofid University in Iran. While on sabbatical from Penn for the 2019-20 academic year he is a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution. In 2008, he received the A. Leo Levin Award, and in 2007 he received the Robert A. Gorman Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Affiliations:
American Society of International Law, member
International Law Students Association, chairperson of the board
University of Pennsylvania, Richard Perry Professor and professor of law

William Burke-White is the Richard Perry Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Burke-White, an international lawyer and political scientist, researches and writes on the relationships between law, politics, and economics in international affairs. Burke-White is a leading expert on U.S. foreign policy and international law. He has particular expertise on the design and implementation of complex global governance solutions that involve multiple countries, international institutions, and legal regimes. He has significant regional expertise on Russia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America.

While on sabbatical leave from Penn as a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, Burke-White is working on a book project entitled “The New Geography of Global Governance and How International Law Got Lost.” Burke-White’s research examines how and why nation states have failed to respond to the most complex and pressing governance challenges of the day — from climate change to migration — and how other actors including cities, states, and corporations are filling the governance void. The project considers why the international legal regime has not kept pace with these emerging governance trends and how the reincorporation of international law could advance solutions to complex governance challenges.

Burke-White’s broader academic work sits at the intersection of international law and international relations. He has written widely on topics including multilateralism, changing global power structures, human rights, international institutions, and international economic law. Burke-White’s academic writings  have appeared in leading international legal journals and he regularly offers commentary in the media, including opinion pieces in The Hill, CNN.com, The International Herald Tribune, and The Atlantic.

Since 2014, Burke-White has been the inaugural director of Perry World House, the University of Pennsylvania’s new interdisciplinary international affairs institute. Building Perry World House from the ground up, Burke-White established a cutting-edge policy think tank embedded within Penn’s academic community and recruited staff, faculty and visiting policy fellows from across the globe. Through Perry World House’s two inaugural research themes, Burke-White helped drive research and policy engagement on the future of the global order and global shifts: urbanization, migration, and demography.

From 2009-11, Burke-White served in the Obama administration on the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff, where he was principal drafter of the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, Secretary Clinton’s hallmark initiative to reform the Department of State and reshape U.S. foreign policy. While at the State Department, Burke-White was also responsible for issues related to U.S. engagement with international institutions, including the G-20, the G-8, and the United Nations, as well as U.S. policy toward the Russian Federation.

Burke-White has advised a range of governments, law firms, and investment funds on issues including U.S. policy toward foreign policy hotspots (including Russia, Venezuela, and Iran), U.S. and international sanctions regimes, sovereign debt enforcement and sovereign bankruptcy processes, and the impact of international legal rules and institutions on client’s political and business objectives. Burke-White has served as an expert witness in a number of international arbitrations under the auspices of the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes.

He holds both a bachelor’s and law degrees from Harvard University, and a doctorate in international relations from Cambridge University, where he was a Fulbright Scholar. He has served as visiting professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Harvard Law School, the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, and Mofid University in Iran. While on sabbatical from Penn for the 2019-20 academic year he is a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution. In 2008, he received the A. Leo Levin Award, and in 2007 he received the Robert A. Gorman Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Affiliations:
American Society of International Law, member
International Law Students Association, chairperson of the board
University of Pennsylvania, Richard Perry Professor and professor of law

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