Merit Janow

Dean of the School of International and Public Affairs; Professor of Professional Practice, International Economic Law and International Affairs

Office: 420 West 118th Street
909 IAB
New York NY 10027
Tel: 212-854-1724
Merit E. Janow is a leading expert in international trade and investment.  She has extensive experience in academia, government and business, with life-long experience in the Asia-Pacific region.
Academic and Professional Responsibilities

Columbia University For the past 16 years, Merit E. Janow has been a Professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and teaching at Columbia Law School. She teaches advanced courses in international trade/WTO law, comparative antitrust law, China in the global economy, international trade/investment .  She has held a number of leadership positions at the university: currently she is Director of the Program in International Finance and Economic Policy at SIPA, the Co-Director of the APEC Study Center and member of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute. Previously, she was Director of the Masters Program in International Affairs and Chair of Columbia University’s Advisory Committee on Socially Responsible Investing, which is responsible for advising the Trustees on ethical and social issues that arise in the management of the endowment. She has written three books and numerous articles.


In December 2003, Professor Janow 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 153 member nations of the WTO. She was the only North American Member and the first female to serve on the Appellate Body. The Members of the Appellate Body are selected by a vote of the member nations and customs unions of the WTO. Professor Janow’s term ended in December, 2007. In the course of her four years of service, she reviewed approximately 30 appeals covering diverse areas such as agricultural subsidies, trade remedies, services, the GATT, subsidies more generally, among other areas. She was presiding Member in more than ten disputes.

Board Service and Other Activities

Professor Janow is on the Board of Directors of several corporations and not for profit organizations. For the last ten years, Professor Janow has been on the Board of Directors of two global mutual funds of the American Funds.  In 2005, she joined the Board of the NASDAQ Stock Market where she served on the regulatory, audit, policy and finance committees.  In 2008, she became Chairman of the NASDAQ Exchange LLC. In 2009, she became a charter member of the International Advisory Council of China’s sovereign wealth fund, CIC.  Professor Janow also serves on the Board of several not for profit organizations. She is a member of the International Trade Council of the World Economic Forum. Professor Janow also serves as an arbitrator in investor-state dispute settlement proceedings.

Previous Governmental & Private Sector Experience

From 1997 to 2000, Professor Janow served as the Executive Director of the first international antitrust advisory committee to the Attorney General and the Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust, US Department of Justice.  Prior to joining Columbia’s faculty, Professor Janow was Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Japan and China (1990-93).  She was responsible for developing, coordinating and implementing U.S. trade policies and negotiating strategies towards Japan and China. She negotiated more than a dozen sectoral trade agreements with Japan and China.  Early in her career, Professor Janow was a corporate lawyer specializing in cross-border mergers and acquisitions with the global law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in New York. She grew up in Tokyo, Japan, and is fluent in Japanese. She has a JD, Columbia Law School and a BA in Asian Studies, University of Michigan.