Peter J. Spiro

William & Patricia Kleh Visiting Professor of Law


Peter J. Spiro joins BU Law as the William & Patricia Kleh Visiting Professor in International Law from Temple University, Beasley School of Law, where he holds the Charles Weiner Chair in international law. He is teaching Globalization & the Constitution and will deliver the annual Kleh Lecture on September 13.

Before joining Temple’s faculty in 2006, Professor Spiro was Rusk Professor of Law at the University of Georgia Law School. A former law clerk to Justice David H. Souter of the US Supreme Court, Spiro specializes in international, immigration, and constitutional law. Spiro is the author of Beyond Citizenship: American Identity After Globalization (Oxford University Press 2008) and At Home in Two Countries: The Past and Future of Dual Citizenship (NYU Press 2016). He has contributed commentary to such publications as the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, the Wall Street Journal, and the New Republic, and is frequently quoted in the media on international and immigration law issues.

Spiro has held fellowships at the European University Institute, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Open Society Institute. He has also held visiting appointments at the University of Texas, the Australian National University, and Sungkyunkwan University. Spiro is a member of the International Mobility Treaty Commission and the Investment Migration Council, and a former member of the US Department of State’s Historical Advisory Committee. He is cochair of the Migration Law Interest Group of the American Society of International Law. Spiro serves as US country expert for the European University Institute’s Citizenship Observatory. In July 2011, he testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the application of the War Powers Act to US participation in NATO operations in Libya. In 2007 and 2016 surveys, Professor Spiro ranked in the top 25 nationally among international law scholars on the basis of academic citation frequency.

In addition to his 1990–91 Supreme Court clerkship, Spiro served as a law clerk to Judge Stephen F. Williams of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. He has also served as director for democracy on the staff of the National Security Council, as an attorney-adviser in the US Department of State’s Office of the Legal Adviser and as a resident associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Spiro holds a BA from Harvard College and a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law.

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