For the first time in its 29-year history, two people will jointly hold Lawrence University’s Distinguished Visiting Scarff Professorship.
Award-winning attorneys Bill Baer, a 1972 Lawrence graduate, and his wife, Nancy Hendry, will share the Scarff Professor appointment April 16-26. Each will give a public lecture as well as guest teach several classes in the government and economics departments.
Hendry presents “When the Bribe Isn’t Money: Gender, Corruption and Sextortion” Wednesday, April 18 at 7 p.m. Baer delivers the address “Net Neutrality, Burger King and Regulating the Internet” Tuesday, April 24 at 7 p.m. Both talks in the Wriston Art Center auditorium are free and open to the public.
A member of Lawrence’s Board of Trustees (2001-12; 2017-), Baer spent four years in the U.S. Department of Justice under President Obama. He served as assistant attorney general in charge of the antitrust division from 2013-2016 and one year as acting associate attorney general, the number three position in the department.
During Baer’s tenure as assistant attorney general, the antitrust division brought and won more civil and criminal enforcement cases than at any point in its history. Among the actions were challenges and threatened challenges to proposed mergers in health insurance, airlines, beer and wireless carriers; criminal price-fixing prosecutions against financial institutions, online retailers and auto parts manufacturers; a successful lawsuit against Apple and book publishers for thwarting competition for online book sales.
While at the Justice Department, Baer also was involved in policy work related to merger enforcement guidelines, net neutrality, the relationship between intellectual property rights and antitrust and between U.S. trade policy and antitrust enforcement. He worked closely with colleagues in Europe, China, Japan and elsewhere on antitrust enforcement.
Prior to his time in the Justice Department, Baer worked at the Federal Trade Commission on two separate occasions: in the late 1970’s under President Carter and again from 1995-1999 as director of the Bureau of Competition. He is the only person to lead antitrust enforcement at both the FTC and the Justice Department.
Baer is currently a partner at the Washington, D.C., law firm of Arnold & Porter, where he has spent 34 years in three different stints, leading the antitrust division. He has twice been named the best competition lawyer in the world by Global Competition Review and was honored in 2010 by The National Law Journal as one of “The Decade’s Most Influential Lawyers.”
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in government from Lawrence, Baer earned his J.D. from Stanford Law School.
As the senior advisor for the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ), Hendry works to address gender inequality, improve access to justice and promote global leadership of women within the judiciary. She has specific interest in abuse of power for purposes of sexual exploitation and the relationship between gender inequality and corruption.
The IAWJ coined the term “sextortion” to describe a pervasive form of sexual exploitation and corruption that occurs when people in positions of authority – government officials, judges, educators, law enforcement personnel or employers – seek to extort sexual favors in exchange for something within their power to grant or withhold. Sextortion, in essence, is a form of corruption in which sex, rather than money, is the currency of the bribe.
Hendry has extensive international experience, managing programs on sextortion in the Philippines, Tanzania, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Morocco. On behalf of IAWJ, she has developed a sextortion toolkit; led sextortion training workshops for judges and anti-corruption stakeholders; and spoken about sextortion in forums around the world, including International Anti-corruption Conferences in Malaysia and Panama, the World Bank Law, Justice and Development Week and UN Commission on the Status of Women annual meeting.
A Peace Corp volunteer in the early 1970s in Senegal, Hendry returned to the Peace Corps in 1996, serving as the organization’s general counsel until 2001. She traveled the world meeting with foreign officials to negotiate formal agreements for volunteers to work in those countries.
Hendry spent 14 years (1981-95) as vice president and deputy general counsel of the Public Broadcasting Service, providing legal counsel on matters ranging from business planning for new ventures to first amendment issues and acquisition of the public television satellite replacement system to regulatory proceedings.
During her career Hendry also has done legal work with the U.S. Department of Education, the law firm of Wald, Harkrader and Ross and the Children’s Law Center, for which she was recognized by the Washington, D.C. Bar Association as its Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year.
She earned a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and her law degree at Stanford, where she met Baer.
The Scarff Visiting Professorship was established in 1989 by Edward and Nancy Scarff in memory of their son, Stephen, a 1975 Lawrence graduate who died in an automobile accident in 1984. It brings public servants, professional leaders and scholars to campus to provide broad perspectives on the central issues of the day through classroom courses and public lectures.
About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.