Former Judge, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia; Former Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Visitor - Class of Fall 2005
Patricia Wald served as the chief judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and served as a judge on the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. She currently serves as a member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) and on the Council of the American Law Institute.
Wald was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 1979. She was the first woman to be appointed to the Appeals Court and subsequently served as its Chief Judge from 1986 to 1991. She retired from the federal bench in 1999 and then served two years as a judge on the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Hague. She has served as chairwoman for the Open Society Criminal Justice Initiative, a program sponsored by financier and philanthropist George Soros. In February of 2004, she accepted an appointment to the Iraq Intelligence Commission.
Wald graduated from Connecticut College for Women in 1948 and Yale Law School in 1951. She has been honored with many distinctions and awards from various groups including the International Human Rights Law Group, the Environmental Law Institute and the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs. On November 20, 2013, Wald was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.