T. Alexander Aleinikoff, dean of Georgetown University Law Center, is stepping down to take a high-level United Nations appointment at the end of January.
In an e-mail sent to students and faculty, Aleinikoff said he had informed Georgetown President John DeGioia of his decision to accept the position of deputy high commissioner in the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva.
"As many of you know, refugee and asylum law has been a central focus of my scholarship and research," he wrote. "The first course I taught at the Law Center was Refugee Law. In taking up the position at UNHCR, I will be joining a UN organization that provides protection or assistance to 34 million people around the world."
The university released a press release confirming Aleinikoff's move. "During his tenure, Alex has been responsible for significant development at the Law Center. A dedicated teacher, scholar and administrator, he has been committed to fostering an intellectually-engaged community, to supporting our faculty, to ensuring that our Law student body is more competitive every year and to creating new opportunities for alumni outreach, both here and abroad," said DeGioia in the statement.
Aleinikoff became dean of the law school in 2004, having been a professor there since 1997 and an associate dean since 2003.
Read Aleinikoff's entire letter after the jump. See Georgetown's release here.
To members of the Georgetown Law Community:
I have informed President DeGioia that I will be stepping down as Dean of the Law Center and Executive Vice President of the University at the end of January to assume the position of Deputy High Commissioner in the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva.
It has been an extraordinary privilege to serve as Dean for five and a half years. One cannot walk our halls, talk with our students, or meet with our alumni without appreciating the remarkable community that thrives here. Our reach is broad, our bonds are deep.
As many of you know, refugee and asylum law has been a central focus of my scholarship and research. The first course I taught at the Law Center was Refugee Law. In taking up the position at UNHCR, I will be joining a UN organization that provides protection or assistance to 34 million people around the world. UNHCR has twice been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for its work on behalf of the persecuted and the dispossessed.
I am not able to express adequately my gratitude to those with whom I have worked during my tenure as Dean. The faculty, students, staff and alumni of this law school sustain an institution that makes enormous contributions to our community, our nation and the world. I have been proud every day as Dean to be a member of this community, and I look forward to returning to teaching and scholarship at Georgetown upon completion of my term of service at UNHCR.