Emory Law News Center

Emory Law appoints Ahdieh K.H. Gyr Professor of Private International Law
By Emory University School of Law | Emory Law | December 1, 2014

Robert B. Ahdieh:
Ahdieh has been named K.H. Gyr Professor of Private International Law

Emory Law School has named Vice Dean Robert B. Ahdieh the K.H. Gyr Professor of Private International Law. The professorship recognizes outstanding achievement in scholarship and teaching, in disciplines including international economic law, trade, commercial arbitration, financial regulation, business transactions, conflict of laws and other fields of international law.

Ahdieh is among the world's leading scholars in international financial regulation and trade. His work revolves around questions of regulatory design, with emphasis on nontraditional modes of regulation. 

"I am deeply honored to be appointed the K.H. Gyr Professor of Private International Law," Ahdieh said. "At a moment when the stability of the global economy, trade relations with both Europe and the Pacific Rim, and questions of international financial regulation are all high on the agenda of U.S. policymakers, the importance of international law and regulation could not be more apparent."

Ahdieh's book, Russia’s Constitutional Revolution—Legal Consciousness and the Transition to Democracy 1985-1996, written while he was a Yale Law School student, examines the constitutional transformation of post-Soviet Russia. Ahdieh worked and studied in Moscow, including at Moscow State Institute of International Relations and the Gorbachev Foundation.

He has also written on the review of national court decisions by international tribunals, the role of cities and states in international relations and the regulatory dynamics surrounding the global financial crisis. Ahdieh's work has appeared in leading law journals, including the Boston University Law Review, Emory Law Journal, Michigan Law Review, Minnesota Law Review, New York University Law Review and Southern California Law Review

This spring, Ahdieh served as the Douglas McK. Brown Visiting Chair in Law at the University of British Columbia. He was a visitor at the Institute for Advanced Study from 2008 to 2009, and the 2007-2008 Microsoft/Law and Public Affairs Fellow at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. 

Ahdieh has been integral to Emory Law's recent partnerships with institutions abroad, including Shanghai Jiao Tong University, City University of Hong Kong and China University of Political Science and Law. He also guided formation of the law school’s juris master degree program in 2012.

Prior to entering academia, Ahdieh's professional experience included two years as a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Division; service as an assistant to U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter's chief of staff, and work as a research associate for Zbigniew Brzezinski, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. As a student, he spent summers working at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering and the Department of Justice, prior to serving as a law clerk for Judge James R. Browning of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Ahdieh lectures internationally, and is an engaged and well-regarded teacher—his courses at Emory Law have included comparative law, contracts, emerging markets law, international trade law, and legislation and regulation. He has also served as a visiting professor at U.S. institutions and abroad, including posts at Columbia University School of Law and Georgetown University Law Center. He is co-director of Emory’s Law's Center on Federalism and Intersystemic Governance, along with Emory Law Dean Robert A. Schapiro. Ahdieh has been faculty advisor for the Emory International Law Review since 2002, and is member of the Yale Journal of International Law advisory board.

The K.H. Gyr Professorship was established in 1987 by Emory Law alumnus Roland U. Straub 87L to honor his grandfather, the Swiss industrialist and co-founder of Landis & Gyr. The two previous holders of the chair were Professor Richard L. Doernberg and Professor David J. Bederman.

"To be successor to my late colleague, David Bederman, only adds to this special honor," Ahdieh said. "David set a high bar for anyone to follow, but I hope to do my best to live up to that standard."