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President Emeritus of Stanford University

Gerhard Casper is President Emeritus of Stanford University and a Senior Fellow at both the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI Stanford) and the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR)He is also the Peter and Helen Bing Professor, Emeritus, Professor of Law, Emeritus, and Professor of Political Science (by courtesy), Emeritus. From July 2015 to July 2016, he served as President (ad interim) of the American Academy in Berlin and from August 2019 to January 2020, he was Trustee-in-Residence at the Academy.

Born in 1937, Gerhard Casper grew up in Hamburg, Germany. Mr. Casper studied law at the universities of Freiburg and Hamburg, where, in 1961, he earned his first law degree. He attended Yale Law School, obtaining his Master of Laws degree in 1962. He then returned to Freiburg, where he received his doctorate in 1964.

In the fall of 1964, Mr. Casper emigrated to the United States, spending two years as Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley. In 1966, he joined the faculty of the University of Chicago Law School, and between 1979 and 1987 served as Dean of the Law School. In 1989, Mr. Casper was appointed Provost of the University of Chicago. He served as President of Stanford University from 1992-2000.

Mr. Casper has written and taught primarily in the fields of constitutional law, constitutional history, comparative law, and jurisprudence. From 1977 to 1990, he was an editor of The Supreme Court Review.

His books include a monograph on legal realism (Berlin, 1967), an empirical study of the Supreme Court’s workload (Chicago, 1976, with Richard A. Posner), an empirical study of lay judges in criminal trials (Heidelberg, 1979, with Hans Zeisel), as well as Separating Power  (Cambridge, MA, 1997) concerning the separation of powers practices at the end of the 18th century in the United States. About the Stanford presidency, he wrote Cares of the University (Stanford, CA, 1997). His book The Winds of Freedom: Addressing Challenges to the University  was published by Yale University Press in February 2014. He is also the author of numerous scholarly articles and occasional papers.

He has been elected to membership in the American Law Institute (1977) and its Council (1980-2010)—in May 2014, he received the Institute's Distinguished Service Award—, the International Academy of Comparative Law, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1980), the Order Pour le mérite for the Sciences and Arts (1993), and the American Philosophical Society (1996). During the fall of 2006, he held the Kluge Chair in American Law and Governance at the Library of Congress. He has been awarded various honorary doctorates as well as the German Great Cross of the Order of Merit with Star.

From 2000-2008, he served as a successor trustee of Yale University and, from 2000-2016, as a trustee of the Terra Foundation for American Art (chairman: 2010-2016).  From 2000-2010 and from 2015-2020, he was a trustee of the American Academy in Berlin; from 2000-2012 and from 2017-2021, he was a trustee of the Central European University in Budapest. He is a member of international advisory councils at the Israel Democracy Institute (Chairman 2014-2021), the European University at St. Petersburg, and Koç University, Istanbul.

Mr. Casper is married to Regina Casper, M.D. Dr. Casper was a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Chicago before taking an appointment as Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science in the School of Medicine at Stanford, from which she recently retired. She is an authority in the area of depression and eating disorders.

The Caspers’ daughter, Hanna George, is an employment lawyer in the San Francisco Bay Area. They have two grandchildren.

Casper photo
Photo by Annette Hornischer/American Academy in Berlin

Contact Information

Gerhard Casper
President Emeritus
Freeman Spogli Institute
616 Jane Stanford Way
Stanford, CA 94305-6060
tel: 650.723.2482

Curriculum Vitae


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