President Bush has appointed Harvard Law School (HLS) Professor Mary Ann Glendon as the new U.S. ambassador to the Holy See. The president announced his intention to nominate Glendon on Nov. 5.
A prominent legal scholar of comparative constitutional law and international human rights, Glendon is known as a staunch defender of Catholic doctrine, while also working to expand the inclusion of women in the church. She has held top posts in the Vatican since 1994, when she was appointed to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences by Pope John Paul II to promote the study of the social sciences. In 2004, Glendon was named president of the academy. She also headed the 22-member delegation of the Holy See to the international 1995 Beijing Conference on Women sponsored by the United Nations.
In addition to her work with the Vatican, Glendon was a member of President Bush’s Council on Bioethics, which advises the president on ethical issues related to advances in bioethics. She was a recipient of the 2005 National Humanities Medal, which she received for her contributions to the humanities.
Glendon is the author of several books and articles, including her casebook titled “Comparative Legal Traditions” (co-authored with Gordon and Carozza) and the critically acclaimed book “A World Made New: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she is a past president of the UNESCO-sponsored International Association of Legal Science.
The Learned Hand Professor of Law, Glendon joined the HLS faculty in 1986. Prior to joining the HLS faculty, she taught at Boston College Law School. She holds a B.A., J.D., and M.A. in comparative law from the University of Chicago.