Robert H. Mundheim Professorship Honoring Former Law Dean
A group of Penn Law alumni and friends have established a professorship in the name of Robert H. Mundheim, former dean of the Law School and internationally known expert in corporate law and securities regulation.
Professor Emeritus Mundheim, who joined Penn Law’s faculty in 1965, served as dean from 1982 to 1989. His tenure as dean was marked by the launch of the campaign to build the Nicole E. Tanenbaum Library building and the beginning of the effort to create a significant endowment for the School. He led the School to establish the nation’s first mandatory public service program at a major law school, helped develop the Center on Professionalism at the Law School, and furthered its interdisciplinary initiatives by vastly expanding the activities of the Institute for Law & Economics.
A graduate of Harvard Law, Mr. Mundheim came to Penn Law after serving as Special Counsel to the Securities and Exchange Commission. He was appointed by President Jimmy Carter as General Counsel to the U.S. Treasury Department in 1977. He returned to the Law School in 1980 but was recalled in January 1981 to lead the Treasury team in Algiers in the successful negotiation to release the American hostages in Iran.
After leaving Penn Law in 1989, Mr. Mundheim served as co-chairman of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson and then became EVP and General Counsel of Salomon, Inc. and a Managing Director and member of the Executive Committee of Salomon Brothers. Today, he is of counsel to Shearman & Sterling, a global law firm.
As an academic, Mr. Mundheim was recognized for his ability to anticipate trends in the corporate and financial worlds. His studies on corporate governance and the role of independent directors began in the 1960s, long before the recent corporate scandals and Sarbanes-Oxley reforms made that subject popular. His work on tender offers with Arthur Fleischer, Jr. was the harbinger of a type of corporate acquisition that dominated the corporate scene for a substantial part of the last third of the 20th century.
His recognition of the increasing significance of globalization in financial activity prompted his organizing, with Penn Professor Noyes Leech in 1972, the International Faculty in Corporate and Capital Market Law. Penn recognized his academic achievements by appointing him a University Professor in 1980.
Mr. Mundheim has always sought to make room in his life for service to the community and the legal profession. Today, he is a trustee and president of the American Academy in Berlin; president of the Appleseed Foundation; a trustee of the New School University; and a member of the Council of the American Law Institute. His contributions to continuing legal education have been recognized by the Practicing Law Institute as the recipient of the Harold P. Seligson Award and by the American Law Institute–American Bar Association as the recipient of its Francis Rawle Award.
“Bob Mundheim has had a remarkable career because he has been a success in academia, law practice, government and business,” said Penn Law Dean Michael A. Fitts.
Paul Haaga, Jr., lead contributor to the Robert H. Mundheim Professorship, added, “In a legal career spanning five decades, Bob Mundheim has been a consummate lawyer and strategic thinker. He is not only a great role model but a great friend. It is very fitting that Penn Law is recognizing Bob’s many contributions to the school and the profession by establishing a professorship in his name.”
Mr. Haaga, L ’74, is EVP and director of Capital Research and Management Company, the third largest mutual fund company in the U.S. He is also Chairman of the Board of the fixed-income funds in the American Funds Group and of Capital International Fund, as well as Vice Chairman of Capital World Growth and Income Fund.
Charles “Casey” Cogut, L ’73, is another major contributor to the Professorship. He heads the Mergers & Acquisitions Practice Group at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, where he has been a partner since 1980. Mr. Cogut is an advisor to numerous corporate boards of directors and private equity firms, including Aramark, Wyeth, Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts and Silver Lake Partners.
Mr. Haaga and Mr. Cogut are both members of Penn Law’s Board of Overseers and Mr. Cogut also serves on the Board of Advisors of the School’s Institute for Law & Economics.
Almanac, Vol. 51, No. 17, January 18, 2005