Jenik Radon is Adjunct Professor at the School of Public and International Affairs, Columbia University, where he teaches in the areas of sustainable natural resource development, small state development and corporate responsibility. In particular he focuses on risk and strategic management, sovereignty and human rights, especially environment, minority rights (including social license), transparency and anticorruption.
Radon is the founder and director of the Eesti and Eurasian Public Service Fellowship (and associated programs), which has provided students from Columbia, Stanford Law School and other institutions the opportunity to intern with government authorities and civil society in emerging nations across the global, including Cambodia, Ecuador, Estonia, Georgia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Philippines and Tanzania. Radon is a past recipient of SIPA's "Top Five" teaching award; and his 2012 Capstone class won the Dr. Susan Aurelia Gitelson Award for Human Values in International Affairs for the report “Oil: Uganda’s Opportunity for Prosperity.” He has also supervised Capstones examining the resource curse, and its impact, in Colombia, Mozambique, Namibia, Peru and Tanzania and analyzing the potential of small states, specifically Estonia, a pioneer in digitalization, and Namibia, noted for freedom of the press, to “punch above their weight” and be global leaders. Radon was awarded a Fulbright to Makerere University Law School in Uganda. He serves as a member of the board of advisors/directors of academic institutions and medical relief, wildlife preservation and other civil society groups, including American University in Bulgaria, Stevens Business School, Direct Relief, Domus Dorpatensis (Foundation for Science and Liberal Arts) in Estonia, the Harriman Institute and Soldiers for Wildlife.
Radon was a lecturer at Stanford University’s law and business schools, where he taught access to medicine, international human rights, privatization and international investment management. He was a visiting professor at the Indira Gandhi Institute for Development Research in Mumbai, India, where he taught "Dynamics of Corruption," which explored the sociological, psychological and legal roots of corruption. Radon was the Ashton J. and Virginia Graham O’Donnell Visiting Educator at Whitman College. Radon has also taught at Tartu University Law School in Estonia, Monterrey Tech, Queretaro in Mexico, and Externado University in Bogota, Colombia.
Radon participated in the constitutional peace process of Nepal and served as the key drafter of the interim (2006) peace constitution, which, among other things, granted citizenship to millions of stateless people in the Terai region. In that regard, he published several articles to educate the public about the constitutional process and a citizen’s rights: “The Constituent Assembly, a place of and for all voices,” and the “Constitution – A Living Instrument,” (Kantipur Online). He has served on the UN Global Compact Academic Initiative taskforce which seeks to have business schools incorporate the Compact's 10 human rights principles into their curriculum.
In the early 1980s, Radon founded Radon Law Offices, a boutique international law firm representing international companies in corporate matters, and with respect to the extractive industry (energy and mining), exclusively advising foreign governments and public sector entities. He also advises, on a pro bono basis, civil society organizations around the world. From 1999 to 2007, Radon was one of the executors/trustees of Vetter Pharma, a major privately-held pharmaceutical company in Germany and one of its hidden champions, being the world leader in the development and production of aseptic pre-filled syringes and other injectables. He also serves on the boards and committees of Indian focused biotech and hi-tech venture capital funds. In the fall of 2020, Radon will be teaching a new timely class at SIPA titled “Scalable Production of an Anti-Coronavirus (Covid-19) Injectable Vaccine: What Does It Take?”
In 1980, Radon co-founded the Afghanistan Relief Committee that sought freedom for Afghanistan and supported refugees displaced during the Afghan-Soviet war. Serving as an advisor during Estonia's independence struggle, Radon co-authored the country's foreign investment, mortgage/pledge, privatization and company laws and was an architect of Estonia's privatization. Radon is proud that he was the first to officially raise the U.S. flag in Soviet-occupied Estonia since the 1940 Soviet invasion when he, with the support of Estonians, reclaimed the former US Embassy. He was awarded the Medal of Distinction of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce, the Order of the Cross Terra Mariana, which was personally awarded by the President of Estonia, and the Cross of Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia.
Radon served as Georgia's key foreign advisor and negotiator of the multi-billion dollar and multi-nation oil and gas pipelines from Azerbaijan to Georgia to Turkey (the BTC), featured in the James Bond movie, The World is Not Enough. For his engaged representation of Georgia, Radon was awarded the country's highest civilian award, the Order of Honor by President Eduard Shevardnadze. Radon presently advises public authorities and civil society in a number of developing and emerging nations. His expertise is the negotiation of extractive industry agreements, especially oil and gas and sustainable natural resource development contracts, as well as the drafting of the necessary supporting legislation. In that regard, Radon has counseled Afghanistan in respect of the prospective multi-billion dollar TAPI gas pipeline from Turkmenistan in Central Asia to Afghanistan to Pakistan to India. Radon gave an address at the conference hosted by the Energy Charter Secretariat, the Ministry of Energy and Industry of Albania and the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean where he challenged accepted wisdom on the rights and obligations of transit nations such as Albania.
Radon has lectured and worked in over 70 (and visited over 100) countries, including Afghanistan, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, China, Germany, India, Kazakhstan, Laos, Mexico, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nigeria, Peru, PNG, South Sudan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, UK and Viet Nam. Radon was honored by being invited as a non-African expert to give an address on Asset Recovery and Natural Resources, with a focus on the lack of transparency and disclosure in the beneficial ownership of companies engaged in the extractive industry, to the annual meeting of the Southern African Forum Against Corruption (SAFAC) of the Southern African Development Community.
Radon has authored numerous articles and reports, including “Walk Tall!, A Beautiful Tomorrow For Emerging Nations, An Anthology of Inclusive Principles For National Growth and Prosperity: Equity, Rule of Law and Sustainable Natural Resource Development,” which was published in conjunction with the 2018 APEC conference in Papua New Guinea; “Climate Action: What Does it Take? Legal Teeth, Not Just Corporate Words”, “Civil Society: the Pulsating Heart of a Country, its Safety Valve,” and “Beneficial Ownership Disclosures: The Cure for the Panama Paper Ills,” Journal of International Affairs (Columbia University); Resolving conflicts of interest in state-owned enterprises, International Social Science Journal (UNESCO); Staatsfonds vor den Toren (Sovereign Wealth Funds Before the [Trojan] Gates), Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ); Getting Human Rights Right, Stanford Social Innovation Journal; How To Negotiate Your Oil Agreement, in Escaping the Resource Curse, ed. Macartan Humphreys, Jeffrey Sachs and Joseph Stiglitz (Columbia University Press); Ethics in Business (MBA) Education - A New Must, International Management Development Research Yearbook; Sleepless, Clueless, Dangerous, in Ergo-Med; Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil, See No Evil Spells Complicity, (UN) Compact Quarterly, published by the (United Nations) Global Compact; Negotiating and Financing Joint Venture Abroad" in Joint Venturing Abroad, ed. N. Lacasse and L. Perret (Wilson & Lafleur Itee).
Radon obtained his B.A. from Columbia University, M.C.P. from the University of California, Berkeley, and J.D. from Stanford Law School.