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Gerhard Casper

Casper's portrait

Gerhard Casper

Senior Fellow
Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR)
Peter and Helen Bing Professor in Undergraduate Education, Emeritus
Freeman Spogli Institute (FSI)
Senior Fellow
Freeman Spogli Institute (FSI)
Professor of Law, Emeritus
Stanford Law School
(650) 723-2482


Gerhard Casper was Stanford University’s ninth president. He is the Peter and Helen Bing Professor in Undergraduate Education at Stanford; a professor of law; a professor of political science, by courtesy; and a senior fellow at FSI. He has written and taught primarily in the fields of constitutional law, constitutional history, comparative law, and jurisprudence. From 1977 to 1991, he was an editor of The Supreme Court Review.

Casper was the president of Stanford University from 1992 to 2000 and served as director of FSI from September 2012 through June 2013. Before coming to Stanford, he was on the faculty of the University of Chicago Law School (starting in 1966), served as dean of the law school from 1979 to 1987, and served as provost of the University of Chicago from 1989 to 1992. From 1964 to 1966, he was an assistant professor of political science at the University of California, Berkeley.

His books include a monograph on legal realism (Berlin, 1967), an empirical study of the workload of the U.S. Supreme Court (Chicago, 1976, with Richard A. Posner), as well asSeparating Power (Cambridge, Mass., 1997) about practices concerning the separation of powers at the end of the 18th century in the United States. From his experiences as the president of Stanford, he wrote Cares of the University (1997). He is also the author of numerous scholarly articles and occasional pieces.

He has been elected to membership in the American Law Institute (1977), the International Academy of Comparative Law, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1980), the Order pour le mérite for the Sciences and Arts (1993), and the American Philosophical Society (1996). He currently serves as a successor trustee of Yale University, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Central European University in Budapest, and a member of the Trilateral Commission. He is also a member of various other boards, including the Council of the American Law Institute and the Board of the American Academy in Berlin.

Born in Germany in 1937, he studied law at the universities of Freiburg and Hamburg; in 1961, he earned his first law degree. He attended Yale Law School, obtaining his Master of Laws degree in 1962, and then returned to Freiburg, where he received his doctorate in 1964. He immigrated to the United States in 1964. He has been awarded honorary doctorates, most recently in law from Yale and in philosophy from Uppsala.

Research Areas: 
International Trade