Paul Gewirtz

Paul Gewirtz
Born (1947-05-12) May 12, 1947
Nationality American
Fields Law, U.S. Foreign Policy, China
Institutions Yale Law School
Alma mater Columbia University
Yale Law School

Paul D. Gewirtz (born May 12, 1947[1]) is the Potter Stewart Professor of Constitutional Law at Yale Law School and the Director of the China Center at Yale.


Gewirtz received his A.B. degree summa cum laude from Columbia University in 1967 and his J.D. degree from Yale Law School in 1970. After graduation, he worked as a law clerk for the U.S. District Judge Marvin E. Frankel from 1970 to 1971, and as a law clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall from 1971 to 1972. He was admitted to the bar in Washington, D.C., and was a lawyer at Wilmer Cutler & Pickering and then the Center for Law and Social Policy in Washington, D.C. He joined the faculty at Yale Law School in 1976. In 1994 he was appointed the Potter Stewart Professor of Constitutional Law. He teaches and writes in various legal and policy fields, including constitutional law, federal courts, antidiscrimination law, law and literature, Chinese law, and American foreign policy.

Gewirtz played various roles in the administration of President Bill Clinton. He served as the U.S. representative at the European Commission for Democracy through Law of the Council of Europe from 1996 to 2000, and, on leave of absence from Yale, was the Special Representative for the Presidential Rule of Law Initiative, U.S. Department of State from 1997 to 1998. He also was a consultant to the Solicitor General of the United States in 1997.

In 1996 Gewirtz was the founder of Yale Law School's Global Constitutionalism Seminar, which brings Supreme Court judges from around the world to Yale each year, and he served as its Director until 2006. After returning from the Clinton Administration, Gewirtz founded the China Center at Yale Law School in 1999 (originally named the China Law Center), and has been its Director since then. The China Center focuses on helping to advance China’s legal reforms, improving U.S.–China relations, and increasing understanding of China in the United States. In 2015 Gewirtz was named to Foreign Policy magazine’s Pacific Power Index, a list of “50 people shaping the future of the U.S.-China relationship.”

He was married to Zoë Baird from 1986 to 2008, and he has two sons, Julian and Alec.

Selected publications


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