Thomas J. Stipanowich was recently named the William H. Webster Chair in Dispute Resolution, a new endowed chair at Pepperdine University School of Law. Stipanowich is the academic director of Pepperdine's Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, which has been ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the number one dispute resolution program in the nation for the last five years.
The chair is named for the Honorable William H. Webster, the only person to have been the director of both the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
At a ceremony honoring Judge Webster, Pepperdine President Andrew Benton called Webster a patriot and peacemaker. "Bill Webster has served as U.S. Attorney, U.S. District Court Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge, director of the FBI, director of the CIA, and is the recipient of our nation's highest civilian award--the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Bill Webster is indeed a great patriot. He is also a peacemaker, and thus how appropriate that Pepperdine's nationally renowned Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution is the home of the William H. Webster Chair in Dispute Resolution," said President Benton.
Stipanowich joined Pepperdine in 2006 with a distinguished career as a leader in conflict resolution. He is an award-winning author and much-cited authority on arbitration, mediation, and other subjects; the former chief executive the New York-based International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR Institute); a respected and widely experienced arbitrator and mediator; and the winner of several of the dispute resolution field's highest honors, including the American Bar Association's prestigious D'Alemberte/Raven Award.
"This chair adds new luster to the Straus Institute and to Pepperdine University," said Stipanowich. "It is also especially gratifying on a personal level-not only because William Webster is a personal friend, mentor, and hero-but because Ms. Webster, the former Lynda Clugston, and I were childhood friends who grew up in the same neighborhood in the Western Illinois town of Macomb. Judge Webster and I have known each other for the better part of several decades. It is an extraordinary honor to hold the William H. Webster Chair in Dispute Resolution."
Stipanowich has advised or participated in national efforts at statutory reform, including revisions to the Uniform Arbitration Act. He was also academic reporter and chief drafter of a protocol for the Consumer Due Process Protocol governing consumer arbitration and ADR programs. He has served on the board of directors of the American Arbitration Association (AAA), and was the first AAA Hoellering International Visiting Scholar. His many writings include co-authorship of a leading treatise, Federal Arbitration Law: Agreements, Awards and Remedies, cited by the U.S. Supreme Court and many other federal and state courts, and which was named Best New Legal Book by the Association of American Publishers.