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News Posted on August 9, 2019

Professors Bennoune and Dodge appointed to endowed chairs at UC Davis Law

UC Davis School of Law is pleased to announce that Professors Karima Bennoune and William S. Dodge, distinguished scholars in international human rights and business law, respectively, have received endowed chairs.

“We are fortunate to have scholars on our faculty of the caliber of Professors Dodge and Bennoune,” Dean Kevin R. Johnson said. “The two chairs recognize their scholarly, teaching and service excellence. We all are indebted to the donors who made these chairs possible.”

Homer G. Angelo and Ann Berryhill Endowed Chair

Professor Bennoune has been appointed to the Homer G. Angelo and Ann Berryhill Endowed Chair. The chair honors the work of Homer G. Angelo, the late UC Davis Law professor emeritus, and his wife, Ann Berryhill Angelo, who devoted much of their lives to improving understanding and cooperation between people and nations worldwide. Their work has helped strengthen these international ties primarily through legal institutions and processes.

Bennoune has spent her career advocating for universal human rights and advancing the rights of women. In 2015, she was named the United Nations Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights. She has authored a series of key reports for the U.N. Human Rights Council that have covered topics including the destruction of cultural heritage; fundamentalism, extremism, and the cultural rights of women; and universality and cultural diversity.

Bennoune is a renowned scholar, publishing scholarship in leading international law journals, and serving on the board of editors of the American Journal of International Law, and has given numerous keynote addresses and lectures around the world. Her work also has appeared in The New York Times and Reuters, and she has made appearances on CNN, MSNBC and National Public Radio.

In 2007, Bennoune became the first Arab American to win the Derrick Bell Award from the Association of American Law Schools Section on Minority Groups. She went on to win the Rights and Leadership Award from the International Action Network for Gender Equity & Law in 2016. In 2017, she was named one of the Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America.

Bennoune's book, Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here, about people of Muslim heritage working against extremism, was the winner of the 2014 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for nonfiction. The TED talk based on the book, “When people of Muslim heritage challenge fundamentalism,” has received more than 1.4 million views. 

Bennoune graduated from a joint program in law and Middle Eastern and North African studies at the University of Michigan, earning a J.D. cum laude from the law school and an M.A. from the Rackham Graduate School, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies. She was a delegate to the NGO forum at the U.N. Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, and later served as a legal advisor for Amnesty International.

John D. Ayer Chair in Business Law

A leading expert on international law, international transactions, and international dispute resolution, William S. Dodge is the inaugural holder of the John D. Ayer Chair in Business Law. This chair honors Professor Jack Ayer, a longtime teacher of bankruptcy and other commercial law courses at UC Davis School of Law.

Dodge served as Counselor on International Law to the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State from 2011-2012, and as Co-Reporter for the American Law Institute’s Restatement (Fourth) of Foreign Relations Law from 2012 to 2018. He is currently a member of the State Department’s Advisory Committee on International Law and an Adviser to the American Law Institute’s Restatement (Third) of the Conflict of Laws.

Dodge is co-author (with Detlev Vagts, Hannah Buxbaum, and Harold Koh) of the casebook Transnational Business Problems (6th ed. Foundation Press, 2019) and co-editor (with David Sloss and Michael Ramsey) of International Law in the U.S. Supreme Court: Continuity and Change (Cambridge University Press, 2011), which won the American Society of International Law’s 2012 certificate of merit. He has more than 50 other publications in books and law reviews and his articles have been cited more than 30 times in court opinions, including four times by justices of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Dodge has received the Rutter Distinguished Teaching Award both at UC Davis and at UC Hastings, where he was previously Roger J. Traynor Professor of Law. 

Dodge earned his B.A. in history, summa cum laude, from Yale University. After teaching English in Tianjin, China, he attended Yale Law School, where he was a notes editor of the Yale Law Journal, served as director of the Lowenstein International Human Rights Project, and earned his J.D. Dodge clerked for Judge William A. Norris of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and for Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the U.S. Supreme Court. From 1993-95, he was an attorney at Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C.