Merit Janow

  • Dean and Professor of Professional Practice, SIPA

Merit E. Janow is an internationally recognized expert in international trade and investment, with extensive experience in academia, government, international organizations, and business. In addition, she has had a life-long involvement with Asia and is an expert in that region.

Janow has been a Professor of Practice at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and an affiliated faculty member at Columbia Law School since 1995. She teaches graduate courses in international trade/WTO law, comparative antitrust law, and China in the global economy, among others.

In addition to serving as dean of SIPA, Janow is also co-director of the APEC Study Center. She has served as chair of the Faculty Oversight Committee of Columbia’s Global Center East Asia. Previously, Janow was director of the Masters Program in International Affairs and chair of Columbia University’s Advisory Committee on Socially Responsible Investing. Janow has written several books and numerous articles, and she frequently speaks before business, policy, and academic audiences around the world.

Janow is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission. In 2003, she became the first woman to serve as one of the seven members of the World Trade Organization’s Appellate Body. From 1997 to 2000, Janow served as executive director of the first international antitrust advisory committee of the U.S. Department of Justice that reported to the attorney general and the assistant attorney general for antitrust. Prior to joining Columbia’s faculty, she was deputy assistant U.S. trade representative for Japan and China (1989–1993). Early in her career, Janow practiced law at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Before becoming a lawyer, she worked at a think tank focused on U.S.-Japan trade and economic relations. She grew up in Tokyo and is fluent in Japanese.

Janow serves on the board of directors of several corporations and nonprofit organizations. In 2009, she became a charter member of the International Advisory Council of China’s sovereign wealth fund, China Investment Corporation.

Janow has a J.D. from Columbia Law School, where she was a Stone Scholar, and a B.A. in Asian Studies (with honors) from the University of Michigan.