David Wippman was inaugurated as Hamilton’s 20th president on Oct. 8, promising to work with the Hamilton community “to make this wonderful college, this splendid and special place, ever more splendid and special.”
David Wippman began his tenure as Hamilton’s 20th president on July 1, 2016. A recognized authority in international law, he has taught public international law, international criminal law, international human rights and ethnic conflict. He received his bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from Princeton University in 1976, his master’s degree through a fellowship in the Graduate Program in English Literature at Yale University in 1978 and his law degree from Yale Law School in 1982. While at Yale, Wippman was the editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal. He clerked for The Honorable Wilfred Feinberg, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Wippman became dean of the University of Minnesota Law School on July 1, 2008. Previously, he was a professor and associate dean at Cornell Law School and served as vice provost for international relations at Cornell University. He took a year away from Cornell to serve as a director in the National Security Council’s Office of Multilateral and Humanitarian Affairs, where he worked on war crimes issues, the International Criminal Court, economic sanctions and U.N. political issues.
Before joining Cornell, Wippman practiced law for nine years in Washington, D.C., with a focus on international arbitration, political consulting on public and private international law issues, and representation of developing countries in litigation. He has been a visiting scholar at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland. Wippman has co-authored two recently released books in international law: International Law: Norms, Actors, Process: A Problem-Oriented Approach and Can Might Make Rights?: Building the Rule of Law After Military Interventions.