Li receives inaugural Wrighton Award for McDonnell Alumni

Dirks, Wrighton, Li, McDonnell
(l-r) Kurt Dirks, Mark Wrighton, Chen Li, John McDonnell (Photo by Mary Butkus)

Chen Li, McDonnell International Scholars Academy alumnus, has received the Mark S. Wrighton Award for McDonnell Academy Alumni. He received six separate nominations, and is the first recipient of this award which recognizes an alumnus having a significant impact on their communities or professional career, based directly on their experience in the program.

Chen Li receives first Mark S. Wrighton Award. (Photo by Mary Butkus)

Dr. Chen is currently a professor at Fudan University Law School in Shanghai, one of the Academy’s university partners, affirming his goal to “take the gift of my unique legal education home and to help shape a new era of law teaching and research in China.” Chen Li graduated from Washington University School of Law with both his Doctor of Juridical Science and his Juris Doctor in that unconventional order.

The award was presented at the McDonnell Academy welcome dinner, hosted by Professor Kurt Dirks, Vice Chancellor for International Affairs, and director of the McDonnell Academy. This award is generously sponsored by Richard J. Mahoney, retired chairman and CEO of Monsanto Company, distinguished executive-in residence at Olin Business School, and an emeritus trustee of Washington University. The award includes a $10,000 cash prize and engraved crystal plaque. John F. McDonnell, Washington University Trustee, and founding benefactor of the McDonnell Academy, was a featured speaker at the event, and presented Dr. Chen with the award.

Chancellor Wrighton’s vision was to educate future global leaders and foster collaborative research across borders. This award recognizes an alumnus who has exemplified that vision in their career – an individual who is having success in their professional career, has demonstrated leadership through the impact they are having in their community or profession, and has advanced the mission of the Academy…

John F. McDonnell

Chen Li received his legal education in China, Singapore, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Belgium. His legal research interests include Legal History, Economic Law, Public International Law, Comparative Law, and Human Rights Law. Since 2016, he has published over 10 articles in highly impacted journals, such as Asian Journal of International Law, The Journal of Comparative Law, Oregon Historical Quarterly Review, Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice, UCLA Pacific Basin Law Journal, and The Asian Pacific American Law Journal. Dr. Chen has made great contributions to helping the McDonnell Academy recruit new Scholars, build our ties with partner universities, and influence the enhancement of Washington University’s reputation as a global research institution. During his visit to Washington University, Chen Li talked to current McDonnell Scholars about his experience as a Scholar and how the program enhances leadership and career opportunities.

The Mark S. Wrighton Award for McDonnell Academy Alumni was established this year in honor of Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton, founder of the McDonnell International Scholars Academy and the 14th Chancellor of Washington University.

View pictures from the McDonnell Academy Welcome Dinner

More pictures available on the McDonnell Academy Flickr page.