Gerhard Casper is a co-vice chairman of the American Academy in Berlin. He was also the Academy’s interim president during 2015 and 2016.
A longtime member of the Academy’s board of trustees, Casper is president emeritus of Stanford University and a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. He is also the Peter and Helen Bing Professor Emeritus. He has taught extensively in law and political science at Stanford, the University of Chicago Law School, and the University of California, Berkeley.
Casper was born in Hamburg, Germany, and studied law at the universities of Freiburg and Hamburg. He received his LLM from Yale University in 1962 and then returned to Freiburg, where he earned his PhD in 1964. After fully emigrating to the United States in 1964, he taught at the University of California at Berkeley. Two years later, he was recruited by the University of Chicago, where he spent 26 years, serving as dean of the law school, and, in 1989, as provost, a post he held until he accepted the presidency of Stanford University in 1992. He served as president of Stanford until 2000.
Casper has written and taught primarily in the fields of constitutional law, constitutional history, comparative law, and jurisprudence. In addition to books on legal realism and the US Supreme Court, Casper is the author of Separating Power (Harvard University Press, 1997), which examines the actual separation of powers as envisioned by the founding fathers in the US Constitution. His book The Winds of Freedom—Addressing Challenges to the University was published by Yale University Press in 2014.
Casper was a member of the Council of the American Law Institute from 1980-2010. From 2000-2008, he served as a successor trustee of Yale University and, from 2008-2016, as a trustee of the Terra Foundation for American Art (chairman: 2010-2016). He currently serves as a trustee of the Central European University in Budapest and he is a member of international advisory councils at the Israel Democracy Institute (chairman since 2014), the European University at St. Petersburg, and Koç University, Istanbul. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Fellow of the American Philosophical Society, a member of the Orden Pour le mérite für Wissenschaften und Künste, and, from 2014-2016, he was a member of the Internationale Expertenkommission zur Evaluation der Exzellenzinitiative.