Rice University president elected to prestigious academy
Rice University President David Leebron has been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s foremost scholarly honors.
Founded in 1780, the academy is among the oldest and most prestigious honorary societies in the country. The society’s list of current and former members includes Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and Albert Einstein. The 2016 class of 213 new members includes noted autism rights activist Temple Grandin, jazz artist Wayne Shorter, former Time magazine editor Walter Isaacson, as well as winners of the Pulitzer Prize, the Wolf Prize, MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships, the Fields Medal, the Grammy Award and National Book Award.
Leebron became Rice’s seventh president in 2004 and also is a professor of political science. In addition to his duties at Rice, Leebron chairs the board of directors for the Consortium on Financing Higher Education as well as the advanced technology organization Internet2. He also is vice chair of the board of directors of the American Association of Universities, serves on the NCAA Board of Governors and on the boards of the Greater Houston Partnership and the IMAX Corp. Leebron is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a former member of the Commission on Federal Election Reform and the Commission on the War Powers.
Prior to joining Rice, Leebron was dean of Columbia Law School for eight years. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, he is a former president of Harvard Law Review and also served as a law clerk for Judge Shirley Hufstedler on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Los Angeles. He began his teaching career in 1980 at the UCLA School of Law and joined the New York University School of Law in 1983. He has written numerous articles on wide-ranging issues including international trade, legal education, human rights and corporate finance.
Leebron’s many honors include France’s Commandeur de l’Ordre national du Mérite, Spain’s Encomienda de la Orden de Isabel la Católica, an honorary doctorate from Nankai University, an honorary professorship at Tianjin University’s School of Law, the Greater Houston Partnership’s International Executive of the Year award and the Chinese Civic Center of Greater Houston Chinese Community’s Distinguished Friend of China award.
The academy’s new members will be inducted Oct. 8 at a ceremony in Cambridge, Mass.