Merit E. Janow Appointed Dean of Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs

May 17, 2013Bookmark and Share

Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger has appointed Merit E. Janow as the next dean of the University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), effective July 1.

Merit E. Janow
Merit E. Janow

Janow is a leading expert in international trade and investment with extensive experience in academia, government and business, with life-long experience in the Asia-Pacific region. A professor in the Practice of International Economic Law and International Affairs at SIPA, she serves as director of the school’s international finance and economic policy concentration, co-director of Columbia’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Study Center and a member of its Weatherhead East Asian Institute.

“Merit’s strength as a scholar and her deep experience with international public policy make her ideally suited to lead Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs,” said Bollinger.  “Our renowned faculty, innovative curriculum, longstanding international perspective, and location in New York City have earned SIPA a place of prominence among global public policy schools. Merit’s appointment as Dean will preserve and enhance this momentum.”

Janow teaches graduate courses in international economic and trade policy at SIPA, and teaches international trade law and comparative/international antitrust law at Columbia Law School. Previously, she was director of the master’s program in international affairs. She chaired Columbia’s Advisory Committee on Socially Responsible Investing, which is responsible for advising the University Trustees on ethical and social issues that arise in the management of the endowment.

“It will be a great privilege to lead this renowned School and its exceptional faculty and students,” said Janow. “SIPA focuses on critical public policy issues and is deeply engaged with international leaders and the global community.”

From 2003 to 2007, Janow was a member of the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization in Geneva. She was the only North American member and the first woman to serve on that body, which hears final appeals in international trade disputes. During her tenure there, she reviewed more than 25 appeals on agricultural subsidies, trade remedies, goods and services and environmental measures, among other areas. She is a board member of several corporations and nonprofit institutions and has served as an arbitrator in investor-state disputes.

Janow served as executive director of an international antitrust advisory committee to the U.S. Attorney General and Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust at the Department of Justice from 1997 to 2000. From 1989 to 1993 she was a deputy assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Japan and China, where she was responsible for all bilateral trade issues between the U.S. and those two nations. Early in her career she practiced law at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom in New York.

She is a graduate of Columbia Law School and holds a bachelor’s degree in Asian studies from the University of Michigan. She is fluent in Japanese and is the author of several books and numerous articles.

Miguel Urquiola, associate professor of economics and vice dean of SIPA, will serve as interim dean through the end of June. Departing interim dean Robert Lieberman recently accepted a position as provost of Johns Hopkins University. Former dean of SIPA, John H. Coatsworth, became Columbia’s provost in 2012.

“Merit Janow is the perfect dean for a great global public policy school,” said Coatsworth. “In addition to her outstanding scholarly books and articles, she has traveled the globe, mediated trade disputes between great powers, served in government, worked with top non-profits, managed private sector relationships, and excelled as a great teacher and mentor.”

—by Columbia News Staff

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