Over the past two decades I have had the very special opportunity to speak before audiences around the world about some of the issues that animate life in the twenty-first century.  Below you may find the texts of more than 80 of my speeches.  To watch or listen to streaming video or audio, click here.

The Opportunity Given to College Graduates

  ** "On Dirt: Engaging Evil To Improve the World," Cornell U Spring Commencement, May 30, 2004

  * "Worldly Public Service," The Frank M. Coffin Lecture on Law and Public Service, November 15, 2012

  "E.B. White, WIlliam Strunk, and Charlotte," Cornell U Winter Commencement, December 20, 2003

  "An Open and Inquiring Mind, and Stuart Little," Cornell U Winter Commencement, December 18, 2004

  "An Optimistic Heart," Cornell U Spring Commencement, May 29, 2005

The Opportunity Given to College Students

  ** “Liberal Education 2.0:  Developing Students’ Capacities for Multicultural Effectiveness, Creativity, and Innovation,” Trustbridge Limited Partners Annual General Meeting, September 25, 2015


   * "The Goals of Transnational Education:  Reflections of a True Believer," University of California Education Abroad Program 50th Anniversary Lecture, October 19, 2012

   "Welcome to NYU Shanghai," New Student Convocation, August 22, 2015   [Chinese Translation]

   “Liberal Arts Education in the Twenty-First Century,” Fudan University, November 28, 2014

   "The Elements of an Outstanding Undergraduate Education,” Global Initiatives Taiwan, July 16, 2014

   "Making the Most of a Magical Opportunity," New Student Convocation, August 25, 2011

   "Zoolander and Kafka," New Student Convocation, August 21, 2004

   "The Big Lebowski and Sophocles," New Student Convocation, August 23, 2003

Americans in China

  ** "A Transnational Soul," TEDx Shanghai 2012 Talk, May 20, 2012

  * "On Friendship," (Acceptance of Friendship Award), September 29, 2011

  "Building Human Bridges Between China and the Rest of the World," Meeting with Premier Wen JiaBao, January 12, 2012

   "Crafting the Right Work Environment for a Multicultural Talent Pool," December 20, 2011

   "Developing a Transnational Perspective," (Acceptance of Honorary Doctorate at Peking University), November 7, 2005

   "How Americans Think," Peking University School of International Studies, April 10, 2007

The Transnational University

    ** “Transnational Higher Education in the Age of Convergence,” National Fulbright Conference, October 16, 2014

   * "The Transnational University," Wilson Center Director's Forum, December 16, 2004

     “Opportunities and Challenges of a ‘Double Identity’ Model,” High-Level Dialogue on Sustainability and Excellence of China-Foreign Cooperative Universities, October 23, 2015

      “The Importance of Clarity in an International Partnership,” Wisdom Lake Internationalization Summit Keynote, April 17, 2015

     “Educating Students for the Twenty-First Century,” New Zealand International Education Keynote, August 22, 2014

    “The Development of Cross-Cultural Talent,” Meritorious Foreign Teacher Award Ceremony Keynote, April 27, 2014

    “Opportunities for Higher Education in the Age of Globalization,” Higher Education Planning in Asia Forum, March 25, 2014

    “Teaching Global Effectiveness in the Twenty-First Century,” American Institute of Architects New York Chapter Global Dialogues Series, February 3, 2014

Leading a Great University

   ** "Revolutionary and Beloved," October 16, 2003

   * "Understanding, Adaptation, Innovation, and Contribution," April 5, 2012 


   "Building Cornell:  The State of the University," October 29, 2004

   "University Leadership and Healthy Globalization," University Presidents Assembly, Beijing Forum, November 17, 2005

   "A Plane With Two Pilots:  The State of the University," June 11, 2005

   "On Collaboration," New York City Inaugural Address, October 15, 2003

   "The Shoulders of Giants," December 12, 2002

    "Leadership in Higher Education," ICOS Seminar, January 11, 2002

Why Universities Are Different

    ** "The Place of a Research University Within an Innovation Ecosystem," Pujiang Innovation Forum Keynote, November 3, 2012

    * "Great Universities as Talent Snowballs," July 25, 2012

    “World Class Universities: Durable or Fragile?” December 2, 2015

    "On Tenure," May 28, 2005

    The Aftermath of September 11, 2001

    "Strategic Planning in a Time of Change," ABA Midwinter Meeting, February 1999

    "The Problems With Public Presidential Searches," Testimony Before Michigan House Higher Education Committee, December 3, 1996

    "Teaching from a Core of Passion," December 5, 1992

The Transformation of Chinese Universities

   ** “The Process of Innovation in Chinese Higher Education,” Address to the SEIED, December 4, 2014

   * "A Bilingual Optimistic Heart," July 20, 2013

   Reforming University Administration to Enable Excellence,” Beijing Normal University Symposium Keynote, January 26, 2015

   "The Changing Face of Legal Education in 2012," Sir George Turner Public Lecture, March 5, 2012

   "Imagination, Courage and Trust," PKUSZGS Tenth Anniversary, December 21, 2011

   "Breaking New Ground in Legal Education," Groundbreaking Ceremony, September 21, 2011

   "American and Chinese Universities," Address at University Town Library, May 14, 2011

   "More Drops, More Buckets," Law School Admissions Council Keynote, May 30, 2009

   "China's First US-Style Law School: Five Narratives in Search of an Author," Wilson Center, May 21, 2008

Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

“Developing a Corporate Culture that Stimulates Employee Innovation,” Address to Special Clients of China Merchants Bank, July 14, 2015

Life, Wisdom, and Sustainability

   ** "Bringing Humanism and Science to Bear on the Challenges of Life, Wisdom, and Sustainability," State of the University Address, October 29, 2004

   * "Managing Fear: Finding the Energy to Move Forward," International Low-Carbon Development Forum, April 16, 2010

   * "The Z3 Goal:  Unattainable and Indispensable," International Low-Carbon Development Forum April 22, 2011

   * "Fractal Variety and Contrast:  A Low-Carbon Fuel for Inspiration and Innovation," International Low-Carbon Development Forum, April 23, 2012

   "Wisdom in the Age of Digital Information: A Virtual Speech," 2005

   "Sustainability in the Age of Development," Cornell Silicon Valley Conference, May 14, 2005

   "Life in the Age of the Genome," Inaugural Address, New York City, October 15, 2003

Globalization and the Rule of Law

   ** “Transnational Legal Education in the 21st Century: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back,” Suenobu Foundation Distinguished Lecture, March 16, 2014

   * “The Role of Law and Governance in Economic Development,” International Conference on Development, Governance, and Law in China and India, November 13, 2014

  A Decisive Role in Creating a Happier World,” China Entrepreneurs Forum, February 13, 2014

  "The Geography of Legal Thought," Shenzhen Bar Association, May 6, 2009

  "Building Trust for Shared Prosperity and Sustainable Development," Fourth Asia Economic Summit, December 8, 2008

  "Law and Politics Through the Lens of the Western Tradition," Hong Kong Development Forum, April 16, 2007

  "New Hard Questions About Globalization," CSES, November 10, 2006

  "From Welfare State to Welfare Planet," CIPA, November 9, 2006

  "Global Food Security," World University Presidents Keynote, September 16, 2005

  "The Rule of Law in the Developing World:  What's Possible?  What's Realistic?" Wilson Center, June 13, 2007

Affirmative Action and Diversity

     ** "The Law and Politics of Affirmative Action," Uppsala, Sweden, August 28, 2006

     * Keynote Address to Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, April 2, 2003

     “From Bakke to Grutter and Beyond,” Address to Cornell Institute for Public Affairs, March 5, 2004

     Acceptance of National Equal Justice Award, November 6, 2003

     American Jewish Congress Panel Discussion, May 7, 2003

The Great Lawyer

   ** “Searching for Answers,” PKU STL Spring Commencement, July 3, 2015

   * “Respectful and Honest Professionals," PKU STL Spring Commencement, June 27, 2014

   * "Pragmatism," PKU STL Spring Commencement, July 5, 2013

   * "A Transnational Soul," PKU STL Spring Commencement, June 23, 2012

   "Compassion," Michigan Law Spring Commencement, May 3, 2003

   "Optimism," Michigan Law Spring Commencement, May 5, 2001

   "Patience," Michigan Law Spring Commencement, May 13, 2000

   "Voice," Michigan Law Spring Commencement, May 4, 2002

   "Our Profession's Image," Michigan Law Spring Commencement, May 15, 1999

   "Civic Engagement and Friendship," Michigan Law Spring Commencement, May 16, 1998

   "Teaching," Michigan Law Spring Commencement, May 10, 1997

   "Professional Integrity," Michigan Law Spring Commencement, May 11, 1996

   "Commitment to the Public Good," Michigan Law Spring Commencement, May 13, 1995