The Washington Foreign Law Society (WFLS) was delighted to award Mr. William H. Neukom the Society’s annual Harry LeRoy Jones Award for his important work in advancing the rule of law. The award was given at the Society’s annual Gala dinner, held at the Willard Hotel in Washington, DC.
Mr. Neukom is the Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of the World Justice Project, a multinational, multidisciplinary initiative to strengthen the rule of law. Mr. Neukom has previously served as General Counsel of Microsoft Corporation, President of the American Bar Association, and Chairman of Preston Gates & Ellis, and is currently the Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer of Major League Baseball’s world champion San Francisco Giants.
The Harry LeRoy Jones Award is given annually by the Washington Foreign Law Society to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the development and application of international law. Recent recipients include U.S. Supreme Court Justices Stephen Breyer and Sandra Day O’Connor, as well as leaders such as U.S. Senator Richard Lugar, former Secretary of State James Baker, and the late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke. The WFLS is a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, that promotes knowledge and understanding of international legal matters. Formed in 1952, its members include attorneys, U.S. government officials, foreign diplomats, academics, representatives from international organizations and others.
The World Justice Project’s mission is “to lead a global, multidisciplinary effort to strengthen the rule of law for the development of communities of opportunity and equity.” Samuel Witten, the president of the Washington Foreign Law Society, said, “The World Justice Project is just five years old and is already having a significant impact. Its international forums, for example, have spurred important transnational cooperation to improve the rule of law at the national, state and community levels.”
Debra Decker, a member of the WFLS Board of Governors and co-chair of the Gala, noted, “Our last honoree was Senator Richard Lugar. Mr. Neukom, like Senator Lugar, strives to make the world a better place through supporting international collaborations. In today’s interconnected world, where other people’s problems inevitably become our own, we have to work together to help improve conditions not only in our own countries but in other countries also – and the World Justice’s Rule of Law Index helps to set a standard for good governance conditions.”
Sponsorships for this special event included Microsoft Corporation, Hewlett Packard, Arnold & Porter, Lock Lorde Bissell and Liddell, Bryan Cave, Chadbourne & Parke, Holland & Knight, and the George Washington University Law School.