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  • Print publication year: 2016
  • Online publication date: October 2018

Laudatio for Professor Carrie Menkel-Meadow


Honourable Rector,

Your Excellencies,

Dear Colleagues,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Students,

Our impressive list of honorary doctors may very well be the jewel in the crown of KU Leuven. Today, it is our privilege to add a multifaceted diamond of absolutely top quality. Presenting to the academic community a scholar, teacher, and friend such as Carrie Menkel-Meadow is a rare pleasure. Together with my co-promotors Professor Euwema and Professor Matthijs, I am delighted to include Professor Menkel-Meadow in the KU Leuven community. Her honorary doctorate is in keeping with a centuries-old KU Leuven tradition of research that aims for excellence and is committed to society with compassion for all fellow human beings.

Carrie Menkel-Meadow grew up in an environment with a strong desire for peace. Her grandfather was a peace activist in World War I, and her German parents –her father Catholic, her mother Jewish – fled to the United States during World War II. An artwork by Käthe Kollwitz, Nie wieder Krieg, in her family home may have served as a constant reminder of the horror of war. With her father's cousin serving in the Nazi army, she would have been no stranger to the ambiguity and multiple dimensions of conflicts. It entrenched in her an unflagging desire to heal the world.

For more than forty years, and together with her wonderful and supportive husband Bob, Professor Menkel-Meadow has been coordinating her quest for peace and understanding from Los Angeles and Washington. She was a Professor of Law at UCLA for twenty years. At Georgetown Law Faculty, she was the A.B. Chettle Professor of Law, Dispute Resolution and Civil Procedure for fift een years. Since 2008, she has been the Chancellor's Professor of Law and Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Irvine, where she is also a founding faculty member. She was the Faculty Director of the Center for Transnational Legal Studies in London, founded by a worldwide consortium of over twenty universities. She has spread her message of problem solving and collaborative conflict management all over the planet, as a Visiting Professor or Distinguished Chair within and outside the US, in more than 25 countries, and at universities including Harvard, Stanford, Queen Mary University London, and the Universities of Pennsylvania, Toronto, Fribourg, Turin, Haifa, Singapore, Melbourne, Buenos Aires, and Alberto Hurtado in Santiago, Chile.