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Anita L. Allen and Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein among Penn faculty elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

April 17, 2019

Anita L. Allen, Penn Law’s Henry R. Silverman Professor of Law, Professor of Philosophy, and the Vice Provost of Penn, and Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the Perry World House Spring 2019 Distinguished Global Leader-in-Residence who also co-teaches a Penn Law course on human rights, are among the three Penn faculty newly elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Allen is a major figure in the fields of bioethics, philosophy, feminism, race relations, and jurisprudence. She has contributed to what is widely considered the clearest and most authoritative justification for women’s privacy rights in existence, leading the way in outlining how women’s rights have been denigrated in the public and private spheres. She understands privacy as a broad concept involving personal inaccessibility and covering areas such as anonymity, confidentiality, and secrecy. Her conceptualization has been highly influential in broader debates about women’s rights, both in the public and family context.

Among numerous other honors, Allen is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and the American Law Institute, and recipient of the Electronic Privacy Information Center Lifetime Achievement Award.

Al Hussein, a former Jordanian diplomat, served as ambassador to the United States and then the United Nations in New York before being selected as the sixth High Commissioner for Human Rights, a position he served in from 2014 to 2018. During a tenure that saw human rights abuses in Syria, Myanmar, and elsewhere, he earned a reputation for being courageous and outspoken. 

Founded in 1780, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences honors exceptional scholars, leaders, artists, and innovators and engages them in sharing knowledge and addressing challenges facing the world.

The new members of the Academy will be inducted at a ceremony in October 2019 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The full listing of the 239th class can be found at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

“One of the reasons to honor extraordinary achievement is because the pursuit of excellence is so often accompanied by disappointment and self-doubt,” said David W. Oxtoby, the president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. “We are pleased to recognize the excellence of our new members, celebrate their compelling accomplishments, and invite them to join the Academy and contribute to its work.”

Portions of this announcement were written by the Penn Office of Communications.