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Left to right: Dean Frederick M. Lawrence, Kathy Lawrence, Kathy Manatt, Ambassador Manatt, Michelle Manatt Anders, Dan Manatt, and Nikole Burroughs at a GW Society event.

Leading by Example

Charles T. and Kathleen Manatt Endow Professorship at GW Law

Ambassador Charles T. Manatt, JD ’62, has left an indelible mark on GW Law. An anchor of the GW Board of Trustees since 1980 and its chairman since 2001, Manatt’s far-reaching legacy includes a Law School scholarship fund, a lecture fund, a classroom, and an endowed professorial lectureship.

This fall, Manatt’s philanthropy came full circle when he and his wife, Kathleen, announced their commitment to help fund an endowed professorship in international rule of law. Aimed primarily at helping law students from developing countries learn the “rules of the road” for practicing international human rights and commercial rights law, the professorship will be the first of its kind at GW, Manatt says.

“GW Law is uniquely positioned to become a top leader in advancing human rights and property rights worldwide under the rule of law,” he says. “It’s an opportunity second to none. My hope is that the students take this knowledge back to their home countries to better facilitate trade and commerce, as well as to improve the standard of living in developing countries and everywhere.”

Dean Frederick M. Lawrence says Manatt’s latest gift is a perfect complement to his many philanthropic contributions over the years. “He has consistently stepped forward and put a ‘Manatt touch’ to all key aspects of GW Law—care for students, care for the faculty, and care for the facilities,” Lawrence says. “He is a truly outstanding alumnus who has never forgotten GW Law School throughout his entire distinguished career. He has been generous with his time, resources, and advice, and all have been valued. We are most grateful for his leadership and support.”

Laurel Price Jones, vice president for advancement, appreciates Manatt’s support of the University. “Ambassador Manatt has been a long-time supporter of the University and he’s done the ultimate by making this wonderful gift,” she says. “It shows real leadership and we look forward to officially dedicating the chair at a special tribute dinner in April.”

Manatt is the founding partner and chairman of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, which he formed in 1965 with Law School classmate Thomas J. Phelps, JD ’63, to provide legal services and government advocacy to the financial services industry and corporate America. In 2002, Manatt founded the firm’s international consulting subsidiary, Manatt Jones Global Strategies. He also is the founder of the First Los Angeles Bank.

Strongly committed to public service, Manatt was the U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic from 1999 to 2001, and also is a founder of the National Endowment for Democracy. He serves on the boards of the Wesley Foundation, the National Legal Center for Public Interest, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Meridian House, and FedEx Corp.

Extremely active in the political world, Manatt chaired the Democratic National Committee from 1981 to 1985 and co-chaired the 1992 Clinton/Gore presidential campaign. His involvement in politics goes all the way back to his GW Law days, when he served as national college chairman of the Young Democrats and worked on John F. Kennedy’s 1960 presidential election.

“GW’s central location presented me with the unique opportunity to get involved in politics and public policy, and gave me the fundamental chance to work at the center of student causes I believed in, such as the Civil Rights movement,” he says.

Manatt recently announced he will conclude his tenure as chairman of the GW Board of Trustees when his term expires in June. “Ambassador Manatt has been a full partner in the transformation of GW,” says GW President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg. “He has served with distinction—just as he has in his other leadership roles in business and in the service of his country. With total commitment, unyielding support, and vision for the University’s future success, his contributions will be felt for many years to come.”

—Jamie L. Freedman

The Law School’s Board of Advisors is pleased to announce a $60,000 challenge to increase alumni giving by engaging the classes of 1996 through 2006.

The challenge matches gifts of $50 or more one to one; and gifts of $100 or more two to one. For more information, please contact the Office of Advancement at 202-994-6117.