William Burke-White

Senior Advisor

William Burke-White serves as Senior Advisor to Amsterdam & Partners. Burke-White is Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he teaches courses in public international law, international investment law, human rights, and climate change.  He is widely regarded as a leading expert on issues of public international law and US foreign policy. He has particular expertise on the design and implementation of complex global governance solutions that involve multiple countries, international institutions, and multilateral legal regimes. He has significant regional expertise on Russia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America.

Burke-White is also a Senior Fellow with the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) in Canada. Previously, Burke-White served as Inaugural Director of Perry World House, the University of Pennsylvania’s interdisciplinary international affairs institute, and as a Non-Resident Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC.

From 2009-11, Burke-White served in the Obama administration on the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff, where he was principal drafter of the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review, Secretary Clinton’s hallmark initiative to reform the Department of State and reshape U.S. foreign policy. While at the State Department, Burke-White was also responsible for issues related to U.S. engagement with international institutions, including the G-20, the G-8, and the United Nations, as well as U.S. policy toward the Russian Federation.

Burke-White has advised a range of governments, law firms, and investment funds on international legal issues including investor-state arbitrations, U.S. policy toward foreign policy hotspots (including Russia, China, Venezuela, and Iran), U.S. and international sanctions regimes, sovereign debt enforcement and sovereign bankruptcy processes, and the impact of international legal rules and institutions. Burke-White has served as an expert witness in a number of international arbitrations under the auspices of the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes and before both US and foreign tribunals.

Burke-White holds both a bachelor’s and law degrees from Harvard University, and a doctorate in international relations from Cambridge University, where he was a Fulbright Scholar. He has served as visiting professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Harvard Law, the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, and Mofid University in Iran. He is admitted to practice in New York.