David E. Van Zandt

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David Van Zandt
Dean Van Zandt.jpg
President of The New School
Assumed office
January 1, 2011
Preceded by Bob Kerrey
Personal details
Born David Edgar Van Zandt
February 17, 1953
Montgomery Township, New Jersey, U.S.
Nationality American
Spouse(s) Lisa Huestis
Children Caroline Van Zandt (b. 1991)
Nicholas Van Zandt (b. 1993)
Alma mater LSE (PhD)
Yale Law School (JD)
Princeton University (BA)
Occupation Professor
Website David E. Van Zandt

David Van Zandt (born February 17, 1953) is President of The New School.[1] He is the former Dean of Northwestern University School of Law.[2] He has taught courses in international financial markets, business associations, property, practical issues in business law, and legal realism. He is an expert in business associations, international business transactions, property law, jurisprudence, law and social science, and legal education.[3]


President Van Zandt graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University with a BA in Sociology. In 1981, he completed his JD at Yale Law School, where he served as managing editor for the Yale Law Journal, and earned his PhD in Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

He clerked for Judge Pierre N. Leval in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and Justice Harry Blackmun of the United States Supreme Court from 1982-83. He also was an associate with Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York.

Van Zandt joined Northwestern University faculty in 1985 and became dean in 1995. He is the second longest serving law dean in Northwestern history.

In 2011, Van Zandt was named the 8th president of the New School in New York City.[4]

Van Zandt also serves as treasurer of the American Bar Foundation,[5] director of AMR Research,[6] and is a board member of both the American Law Deans Association[7] and AMC Networks.[8]

He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.[9]

Personal life[edit]

David was born and raised in New Jersey by his parents Edgar and Edna Van Zandt along with his three siblings Mary, Shirley, and Tom. A 10th generation American, he was born on the farm that his family had operated for generations.[10] His father and grandfather, Edgar and Percy Van Zandt, were the first to break the farming mold and sold tractors for International Harvester. Having obtained some of the strict, hard-working attitude from his father, David excelled in his youth and was the valedictorian of his high school. In the late 1980s, he married Lisa Huestis, a friend and lawyer. The couple have two children. They moved to Chicago when David was offered a job as a professor at Northwestern Law. After being named the 8th president of the New School, David and his family moved to New York at the beginning of 2011.

Selected works[edit]

  • "The Breadth of Life in the Law" (Cardozo Law Review 1992)
  • "An Alternative Theory of Practical Reason in Judicial Decisions" (Tulane Law Review 1991)
  • "Commonsense Reasoning, Social Change, and the Law" (Northwestern Law Review 1987, M. Perry & R. Levin eds. Cambridge University Press 1990)
  • "Neutralizing the Regulatory Burden: The Use of Equity Securities by Foreign Corporate Acquirers" (Yale Law Journal 1980)


  1. ^ http://www.newschool.edu/president/index.aspx/
  2. ^ http://www.law.northwestern.edu/faculty/profiles/DavidVanZandt/
  3. ^ http://www.law.northwestern.edu/faculty/fulltime/vanzanda/vanzanDaCV.pdf
  4. ^ https://www.newschool.edu/university-president/about-david-van-zandt/
  5. ^ http://www.americanbarfoundation.org/about/Officersdirectors/Treasurer.html
  6. ^ http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/person.asp?personId=1160903&privcapId=598560&previousCapId=598560&previousTitle=AMR%20Research,%20Inc.
  7. ^ http://www.americanlawdeans.org/aboutalda/board.html
  8. ^ http://investors.amcnetworks.com/directors.cfm
  9. ^ http://www.cfr.org/about/membership/roster.html?letter=V
  10. ^ http://thevillager.com/villager_385/newschool.html

External links[edit]