Alexandru-Cristian Stănescu ’17 LL.M.
Alexandru Stănescu ’17 LL.M. was only 5 years old when the Romanian Revolution overthrew Communist rule in his country in 1989, and he remembers his mother sitting him in front of the television to watch history unfold. “That was the first moment when I thought, ‘there should be justice,’” he says.
Since then, Stănescu has built a long and impressive resume dedicated to preparing himself to help his homeland become a thriving economy: a J.D. and an LL.M. from the University of Bucharest Law School, a joint master’s in European and international business management from the University of Deusto in Spain, Audencia Business School in France, and Bradford University in the U.K., plus internships at the European Court of Justice and European Investment Bank, followed by years working at the World Bank helping to reform the financial sector in Romania.
But Stănescu felt one major piece was still missing: “In order to further understand the world and how law and policy shape business, trade, and economic decisions,” he says, “I needed to go to the U.S. and study international business transactions from an American angle.”
Stănescu embarked on his second LL.M. degree at Columbia as a Fulbright Scholar and Lawrence A. Wien Fellow in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The latter is awarded to law and business students whose scholarly and professional activities demonstrate involvement in CSR practices.
At the World Bank, he helped strengthen the enforcement of contract policies and reshape the practices of Romania’s Competition Council, the body that ensures the market operates efficiently and protects consumers’ interests. At the Law School, Stănescu delved into international investment law and arbitration, serving as a research assistant to George A. Bermann, the Jean Monnet Professor of EU Law and Walter Gellhorn Professor of Law who is director of the Law School’s Center for International Commercial & Investment Arbitration.
As a member of the board of the Columbia International Arbitration Association (CIAA), Stănescu helped organize CIAA’s annual Columbia Arbitration Day, which brings together scholars, students, and practitioners in the field. In the midst of all this, he was also involved in the New York chapter of the Romanian-American Chamber of Commerce. Being at Columbia opened many doors, Stănescu says, noting the opportunities to meet leading practitioners and scholars, as well as the chance to understand different global perspectives, be a part of the New York City community, and share ideas with his colleagues from all over the world.
Although he has many options, for Stănescu, all roads lead to a continued effort to “give back to my country, Europe, and society in general,” he says, “for all of the fortunate things that I’ve received and that have shaped who I am today.”