About the President

Eduardo Peñalver standing inside the Sinegal building

Eduardo M. Peñalver

Eduardo Peñalver is Seattle University’s 22nd president.

Prior to being named Seattle University's President, Peñalver served as the dean of Cornell University’s Law School from 2014 until 2021. Peñalver is a Rhodes Scholar and a professor of law who clerked for former U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. Peñalver received his bachelor’s from Cornell’s College of Arts and Sciences in 1994 and his law degree from Yale Law School in 1999. As a Rhodes Scholar, he received his Master of Arts in Philosophy and Theology at Oriel College, Oxford.

In addition to Cornell Law School, Peñalver has held faculty appointments at Fordham Law School and the University of Chicago, where he was the John P. Wilson Professor of Law. He has also been a visiting professor at Harvard and Yale law schools. Peñalver’s work on property law has been published in scholarly law journals at Yale University, the University of Michigan, Cornell and the University of Pennsylvania. He is considered a leading voice in the “progressive property” movement, deriving many of his insights from Catholic social teaching.

His research explores how property law creates or reinforces communal bonds and how property rights mediate the relationship between individuals and communities. His book, Property Outlaws (co-authored with Sonia Katyal), published by Yale University Press in February 2010, explores the vital role of disobedience within the evolution of property law. His book, An Introduction to Property Theory (co-authored with Gregory Alexander), was published by Cambridge University Press in 2011.

Peñalver was raised in Puyallup and is married to Sital Kalantry, a tenured professor, associate dean, and founder of the India Center at Seattle University School of Law. The two met as undergraduates at Cornell and have two sons.

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