When William Burke-White attended Harvard Law school, he worked very closely with Ann Murray Slaughter, who was then a professor at the university.
As Burke-White completed his PHD in political science, Slaughter became Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs at Princeton University. She gave Burke-White his first academic job as a lecturer.
Burke-White started teaching international law and foreign policy at the prestigious university and after three years of service, he was offered a position at the University of Pennsylvania’s Law school as a professor and deputy dean of international programs. The university announced that on July 1, Burke-White will begin a new role as the inaugural Richard Perry Professor and Director of the Perry World House.
Could you tell me about the Perry World House?
About a year and a half ago, Richard Perry and his wife Lisa, who are alumni of Penn, made a major gift to establish a center for all things international across the university. Over the last year the university has been searching for someone to come in as the inaugural director and I was asked to do so.
The world house will be a kind of connecting point, a hub for everything international that happens across the university that brings in the different schools and provides a place for students and faculty doing international work all over the world to really come together.
It will also be a kind of think tank within the university that brings Penn’s academic work to solve global challenges. Thinking from an interdisciplinary perspective, if you’re trying to address climate change for instance, you can bring together scientists, political scientists, economist and engineers in a single place to really apply academic knowledge to advancing a solution.