Claudio Grossman

Professor of Law & Dean at American University - Washington College of Law

Claudio Grossman

Claudio Grossman

Professor of Law & Dean at American University - Washington College of Law


Dean Claudio M. Grossman
Claudio Grossman is Professor of Law and Dean of American University Washington College of Law (WCL) and the Raymond Geraldson Scholar for International and Humanitarian Law. Since his appointment as dean in 1995, WCL has further developed its intellectual creativity, pursuing numerous and exciting initiatives. More than 50 full-time faculty members have been hired, dramatically improving the law school's student-faculty ratio and expanding and enhancing scholarship, teaching and service. A variety of WCL programs have been developed during Dean Grossman's tenure including: dual JD Programs with universities in Canada, France and Australia, the LL.M. in Law and Government Program, the L.L.M. in Advocacy, the Supervised Externship Program, the S.J.D. Program, a dual LL.M./MBA, LL.M. specializations in Gender and the Law and in Free Trade Agreements and Regional Integration, and specialized summer programs in human rights and humanitarian law, international commercial arbitration, health law, intellectual property, law and government, international organizations, law and diplomacy, environmental law, and legal English. Also during Dean Grossman's leadership WCL has developed and expanded summer abroad programs in Europe, Asia, and Latin America, numerous semester abroad programs, the International Commercial Arbitration Center, the Intellectual Property (IP) Program, clinics in IP, Disability Rights Law, Immigrant Justice and an evening section of the General Practice Clinic, and integrated sections in the first year so as to promote interconnectedness among the different law courses.

Dean Grossman was unanimously reelected in May 2012 to a third term as Chair of the United Nations Committee against Torture, a position he has held since April 2008, and has been a Committee member following his November 2003 election to that body. In May 2009, Dean Grossman was named to the judging panel for the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights, and in May 2010 he was elected to the Center's board of directors. Dean Grossman has served on the governing board for the International Association of Law Schools since 2008 and was reelected in 2010 for a three year term.

Dean Grossman previously served as President of the College of the Americas (COLAM), an organization of approximately 400 colleges and universities in the Western Hemisphere (November 2003-November 2007). He also served as Chair of the Committee on International Cooperation of the Association of American Law Schools (November 2005-November 2009) and as a member of the Commission for the Control of Interpol's Files (February 2005-March 2011). In addition, he was a member of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) from 1993-2001. He was twice elected its President, first in 1996 and again in 2001. He also served twice as the IACHR's First Vice President (2000-2001, 1995-1996) and Second Vice President (1999-2000). He was the IACHR's first Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women (1996-2000), as well as its Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Populations (2000-2001) and its Observer of the AMIA Trial (2001-2005). Representing the IACHR, Dean Grossman participated in missions to Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and Peru, among others. On behalf of international and non-governmental organizations, he has also chaired or participated in missions to observe elections in Nepal, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Romania, Surinam, and the Middle East.

Dean Grossman is the author of numerous publications regarding international law and human rights (see He has also received numerous awards for his work with human rights and international law, including the René Cassin Award from B'nai B'rith International in Chile and the Harry LeRoy Jones Award from the Washington Foreign Law Society. In October 2000, Dean Grossman was named Outstanding Dean of the Year by the National Association of Public Interest Law (now known as Equal Justice Works). In addition, the Inter American Press Association named Dean Grossman as the recipient of the Chapultepec Grand Prize 2002 for his achievements in the field of human rights and his work and commitment to promoting and protecting the freedom of expression and of the press for all people. In 2007, Dean Grossman received the Simón Bolívar Award from the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation in recognition of his lifetime achievements in promoting human rights, and the Charles Norberg International Lawyer of the Year Award from the Washington, D.C. chapter of the Inter-American Bar Association. In 2009, the government of the Netherlands awarded Dean Grossman the decoration of Orange Nassau in the grade of "Commendeur". In 2010, Dean Grossman received the Henry W. Edgerton Civil Liberties Award from the American Civil Liberties Union of the National Capital Area in recognition of exceptional lifetime achievements related to the advancement and defense of human rights and civil liberties. In 2011, he was awarded the decoration of "Orden de la Justicia" from the government of Colombia in recognition of his career. In 2012, Dean Grossman received the Deborah L. Rhode Award from the AALS Section on Pro Bono and Public Service Opportunities for his work on behalf of pro bono and public interest programs throughout the country, a Doctor Honoris Causa honorary degree from the Universidad de San Martin de Porres for his outstanding academic and professional trajectory in defending human rights, the Lifetime Leadership Award from the Hispanic National Bar Foundation, and the Leadership Award from the Maryland Hispanic Bar Association.

Dean Grossman is a member of numerous associations including the American Law Institute and the Inter-American Institute for Human Rights for which he serves on the Board of Directors.

Career Highlights

Inter-American Commission On Human Rights

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Founder at Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

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President at Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

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Senior Adviser/Executive Director at Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights

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Professor of the Practice of Law at American University - Washington College of Law

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Faculty Director, War Crimes Research Office at American University - Washington College of Law

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Faculty Director of Women & the Law Program at American University - Washington College of Law

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Professor of Law at American University - Washington College of Law

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Professor at Shemer Bar Review

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Founder at The Pence Group, Inc.

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Chair, Insurance Regulatory & Transactional Practice at Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck LLP

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Claudio Grossman
Professor of Law & Dean at American University - Washington College of Law

The American Law Institute is the leading independent organization in the United States producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and improve the law. ALI drafts, discusses, revises, and publishes Restatements of the Law, Model Codes, and Principles of Law that are enormously influential in the courts and legislatures, as well as in legal scholarship and education.

Career History
Professor of Law & Dean

American University Washington College of Law (WCL) is the law school of American University. It is located on Massachusetts Avenue in the Spring Valley neighborhood of Northwest Washington, D.C. The school is fully accredited by the American Bar Association, and a member of the AALS.

Boards & Committees
Member, Board of Trustees
2010 - Current

Robert F. SmithJRF's ROBIE Achievement in Industry AwardRobert F. Smith is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, a leading $14 billion private equity firm focused on software and technology-related businesses. Since Vista's founding in 2000, Mr. Smith has overseen more than 170 completed transactions by the firm representing over $45 billion in transaction value. In November 2015, for the second year in a row and based on its performance over the last 11 years, Vista was named as world's #1 performing private equity firm, according to the HEC-Dow Jones annual ranking. An engaged philanthropist, Mr. Smith launched a national effort in 2010 entitled Project Realize, based on his visionary approach of "Free Market Philanthropy." He is the Chairman of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights and the Founding Director and Chairman of the Fund II Foundation, which is dedicated to preserving the African-American experience, safeguarding human rights, providing music education, preserving the environment, and sustaining critical American values.

Member, Governing Board
2008 - Current

The Association is a learned society of law schools and law professors. The mission of the Association is expressed in its charter documents. It is to improve legal education globally by learning from each other. The Association brings together law school leaders and faculty from around the world to fosters dialog on the challenges facing education, and legal education, in particular. Our mission is to develop thoughtful perspectives on how to improve legal education and serve as a learned forum for discourse and scholarship among concerning the law.

Member, Board of Directors
Tenure Unconfirmed
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