Focus areas: International trade and investment, Asia, competition law, and economic globalization

Merit E. Janow is an internationally recognized expert in international trade and investment. She has extensive experience in academia, government and business, and has been deeply involved with the Asia-Pacific region for her entire life.

Janow became Dean of the faculty of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) in July 2013.  SIPA is a leading school of international and public affairs in the United States, with more than 1,300 graduate students and 75 full time faculty. As Dean, she has strengthened the school by launching new programs and initiatives in the areas of technology and public policy – with a focus on cyber security and the digital economy – entrepreneurship and policy, and central banking and financial policy.” She also has grown SIPA’s faculty; supported the creation of new research centers; and completed a capital campaign and inaugurated SIPA’s second and most ambitious capital campaign.

For the past 25 years, Dean Janow has been a professor at both SIPA and Columbia Law School. She teaches graduate courses in the digital economy, international trade and investment law and policy, comparative antitrust law, and China in the global economy.  She has held a number of leadership positions at the University.  She is co-director of the APEC Study Center at Columbia Business School and previously served as Chair of the Committee for Socially Responsible Investing which oversees the proxy voting of shares owned by the Columbia University endowment.  Janow has written three books and numerous articles and frequently speaks before business, policy, and academic audiences around the world.

Professor Janow has had three periods of government service. In December 2003, while at Columbia University, she was elected as one of the seven Members of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Appellate Body, which is the court of final appeal for adjudicating trade disputes between the 154 member nations of the WTO. She was the only North American member and the first female to serve on the Appellate Body. In the course of her four years of service, she reviewed more than 30 appeals covering a diverse range of trade disputes, including technology, subsidies, agriculture, investment and trade remedies. From 1997-2000, Janow served as the Executive Director of the first international antitrust advisory committee to the Attorney General and Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust of the US Justice Department. The key recommendations were implemented on an international basis and led to the establishment of the International Competition Network (ICN).  From 1989 to 1993, prior to joining Columbia, Janow served as Deputy Assistant USTR for Japan and China in the Executive Office of the President. In this capacity she was responsible for developing, coordinating, and implementing U.S. trade policies; devising the U.S. negotiating strategies towards Japan and China; and leading the negotiations for a dozen trade agreements.

Janow has had extensive corporate and nonprofit board experience. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission.   She is an inaugural member of the international advisory council of China’s sovereign fund, the China Investment Corporation (CIC) for the past 12 years.  Early in her career, Janow was a corporate lawyer specializing in cross-border mergers and acquisitions with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in New York. She grew up in Tokyo, Japan, and is fluent in Japanese. She has a JD from Columbia Law School where she was a Stone Scholar and a BA in Asian Studies from the University of Michigan.

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The Future of Globalization: Consequences of the Pandemic on Supply Chains
June 22, 2020

U.S. and China Relations in the Era of COVID-19
May 8, 2020

US Economic Fallout and Policy Responses to COVID-19
May 1, 2020

Echoes of 1918: COVID-19 and the Spanish Influenza Pandemic
April 14, 2020

American Trade Policy: An Historical Perspective
The Honorable Robert Zoellick
October 11, 2019

The Global Impact Revolution
Sir Ronald Cohen
May 1, 2019

The Back Channel
A Book Discussion with Ambassador William Burns
April 8, 2019

The Rise of the Rest
Entrepreneurship Across America with Steve Case, CEO, Revolution
September 12, 2018

China: Trade, Tech and Tolerance
May 14, 2018

SIPA Forum
Addressing Global Challenges in the 21st Century
April 18, 2017

The Future of US Trade and the Trans-Pacific Partnership
A Conversation with Michael Froman
June 20, 2016

Discussion with Associate Justice Stephen Breyer
Supreme Court of the United States
April 14, 2016

Conference on Internet Governance & Cyber-security
Initiative Overview
Jul 29, 2015

Fireside Chat
With Brad Smith, President, Microsoft
May 14, 2015

Financial Times: Meet the Dean
April 10, 2015

2015 Gabriel Silver Memorial Lecture
With WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo
February 5, 2015

Davos 2015
Rebooting Global Trade
February 2015

How Google Works
Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google
November 6, 2014


Research & Publications

September 2019|Columbia Journal of International Arbitration|Merit E. Janow, Damien Neven, Petros C. Mavroidis
April 2019|World Trade Review|Merit E. Janow, Petros C. Mavroidis
October 2017|World Trade Review|Merit E. Janow, Petros C. Mavroidis
May 2013|Competition Law Journal|Merit E. Janow, E. Fox

China, the WTO, and State Sponsored Export Cartels: Where Trade and Competition Ought to Meet