Robert George

Robert George

Robert P. George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Founder and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. He is also a Professor of Politics and an associated faculty member of the Department of Philosophy at Princeton.

He is a former member of the President’s Council on Bioethics, and previously served as a presidential appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He has also served on UNESCO’s World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology, of which he remains a corresponding member. He was a Judicial Fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States, where he received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award.

Professor George is author of Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality (Oxford University Press, 1993), In Defense of Natural Law (Oxford University Press, 1999), and The Clash of Orthodoxies (ISI Books, 2001). He is editor of several volumes, including Natural Law Theory: Contemporary Essays (Oxford University Press, 1992), The Autonomy of Law: Essays on Legal Positivism (Oxford University Press, 1996), Natural Law, Liberalism, and Morality (Oxford University Press, 1996), and Great Cases in Constitutional Law (Princeton University Press, 2000), and co-editor with Jean Bethke Elshtain of The Meaning of Marriage (Spence, 2005). He is co-author of Embryo: A Defense of Human Life (Doubleday, 2008) and Body-Self Dualism in Contemporary Ethics and Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2008).


Professor George’s articles and review essays have appeared in the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Columbia Law Review, the University of Chicago Law Review, the Review of Politics, the Review of Metaphysics, and the American Journal of Jurisprudence. He is a frequent contributor to First Things, where he is a member of the editorial board, and has also written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, National Review, Touchstone, the Boston Review, City Journal, and the Times Literary Supplement.


A graduate of Swarthmore College and Harvard Law School, Professor George also earned a master’s degree in theology from Harvard and a doctorate in philosophy of law from Oxford University. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa at Swarthmore, and received a Knox Fellowship from Harvard for graduate study in law and philosophy at Oxford. He holds honorary doctorates of law, letters, ethics, science, humane letters, civil law, and juridical science.

In 2008, he received the Presidential Citizens Medal, one of the highest honors that can be conferred by the United States on a civilian, at a ceremony in the Oval Office of the White House. In 2010, he was awarded the Honorific Medal for the Defense of Human Rights of the Republic of Poland. Among his other awards are the Bradley Prize for Intellectual and Civic Achievement, the Philip Merrill Award of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, the Sidney Hook Memorial Award of the National Association of Scholars, the Paul Bator Award of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy, a Silver Gavel Award of the American Bar Association, and the Canterbury Medal of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.


He gave the 2007 John Dewey Lecture in Philosophy of Law at Harvard; the 2008 Judge Guido Calabresi Lecture in Law and Religion at Yale; the 2008 Sir Malcolm Knox Lecture in Philosophy at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland; the 2009 Convocation Address at Providence College; the 2010 Petrazycki Lecture in Law at the University of Warsaw; and the 2010 Frank Irvine Lecture at Cornell University.

In addition to his work at Princeton University, Professor George is the Herbert W. Vaughan Senior Fellow of the Witherspoon Institute and a member of the Task Force on the Virtues of a Free Society of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

He serves as general editor of New Forum Books, a Princeton University Press series of interdisciplinary works in law, culture, and politics. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Cosmos Club, and serves as Of Counsel to the law firm of Robinson & McElwee.