In Memoriam: Gwendolyn Gordon, 1980-2021


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Gwendolyn Gordon, an assistant professor in the department of legal studies and business ethics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a secondary appointment in the School of Arts and Sciences’ department of anthropology, died late last month. She was 41 years old. Dr. Gordon earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Cornell University and a juris doctorate from Harvard Law School, where her research focused on social and economic rights for indigenous groups. At Harvard, she served as a research assistant for the late professor and civil rights theorist Lani Guinier. After law school, Dr. Gordon worked as a corporate attorney in the London and New York offices of Shearman and Sterling. She also interned for the United Nations Tribunal for Rwanda, working on a team responsible for prosecuting military leaders on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. She then earned a Ph.D. in anthropology from Princeton University. Dr. Gordon joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in 2013. “Gwen was a dedicated scholar, but moreover, a tremendous person,” said Erika James, dean of the Wharton School. “She brought passion and purpose to her research and extended that commitment into the classroom to impact...