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Villanova University Appoints John Yukio Gotanda as Dean of School of Law

A Distinguished International Law Scholar, Gotanda Also Brings Two Decades of Leadership as a Law Practitioner and Academic Administrator

Gotanda’s Vision Includes Expansion of Global Experiences, Service Learning and Interdisciplinary Curricula

VILLANOVA, Pa., Oct. 28, 2010 – Villanova University President, the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A., Ph.D., today announced the appointment of John Yukio Gotanda, J.D. as the Dean of the Villanova School of Law, effective January 1, 2011. Gotanda, a member of the Villanova community for 16 years, will serve as the sixth Dean of the Villanova Law School. This appointment is the conclusion of a national search, spearheaded by a committee of Villanova trustees, faculty, administrators, and alumni.

Gotanda, a native of Honolulu, earned his B.S. in Business Administration and Juris Doctor from the University of Hawaii. A distinguished scholar, Gotanda is recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on damages in international law. He is the author of the book Supplemental Damages in Private International Law (Kluwer Law International) and has published in leading journals, including the American Journal of International Law, the Harvard International Law Journal, and the Oxford University Comparative Law Forum. Gotanda’s writings have been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Seventh, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits, as well as by numerous international tribunals. He has also served as an expert on damages for the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. State Department and has been a featured lecturer at such institutions as the Hague Academy of International Law, the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris, and Tokyo University.

“We’re incredibly fortunate to have a legal scholar and academic leader of John Gotanda’s caliber,” said Father Donohue.  “John’s exceptional qualifications, impressive vision, and strong leadership abilities—combined with his proven commitment to Villanova’s Catholic and Augustinian mission—make him uniquely qualified to lead the School of Law as it achieves new levels of excellence in the coming years.”

As Dean of the Villanova School of Law, Gotanda will serve as the chief administrator and chairperson of the School of Law—which has approximately 750 students, 48 faculty members, 60 staff members, and an alumni body of 10,000. He will oversee an annual budget of more than $25 million and lead the School’s long-range strategic and academic planning, curricular and professional development initiatives, faculty research support, student services, fundraising, external relations, and alumni services. 

Gotanda’s vision for the School of Law, which supports the overall University Strategic Plan, emphasizes the importance of an inspired, united academic community—with a shared sense of mission and purpose—at the heart of the School. Within the context of the worldwide practice of law, Gotanda’s vision prioritizes interdisciplinary curricula, synergies among faculty courses and scholarship University-wide; global learning experiences; and a reinvigorated commitment to the School’s Catholic and Augustinian roots.

“This is a very exciting time in the Law School’s history,” said Gotanda. “We have a strong and talented group of faculty, students, and alumni, and we have a beautiful new state-of-the-art learning facility. These community assets provide the foundation upon which we will together build our School’s future. I am honored to be entrusted with leading and collaborating with such an impressive group of scholars and students at the Villanova School of Law as we move into the next century.”

Gotanda has served at Villanova Law School as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Associate Dean for Research, Director of the J.D./M.B.A. Program, and Professor within the Villanova School of Law.  In these roles, he has directed major academic programs and projects, such as the J.D./M.B.A. Program, the Judicial Externship Program, and the Global Democracy Project; led curricular improvement and faculty recruitment efforts; and spearheaded initiatives to promote faculty scholarship.

Villanova University was founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842. A premier institution of higher education, Villanova provides a comprehensive education rooted in the liberal arts; a shared commitment to the Augustinian ideals of truth, unity and love; and a community dedicated to service to others. The Villanova School of Law, located on Villanova’s picturesque suburban campus, provides broad-based legal education. Its award-winning clinics and Lawyering Together Program provide free legal aid to those in need. The School is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the American Association of Law Schools. Notable alumni include:  Hon. Edward Rendell (Governor, Pa.), Hon. Marjorie Rendell (Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit), Richard Trumpka (President, AFL-CIO), Joseph T. Sebastianelli (President and CEO, Thomas Jefferson Health Systems), Jeffrey S. Moorad (CEO, San Diego Padres) and Michael Holston (Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Hewlett-Packard Company).

*Complete Biography and Photos Available upon request.