Our interview with Mr. Gerald Aksen is part of the Institute’s “Perspectives on International Arbitration Project” in which the ITA, under the leadership of the Academic Council, is attempting to capture the stories and histories of the most eminent arbitrators in the world. I am especially grateful to Jerry for having agreed to be a part of the project, and I very much look forward to our conversation with him.
As I hardly need to tell you, Gerald “Jerry” Aksen is one of the founders of international arbitration in the US. He was general counsel at the American Arbitration Association (AAA) for more than 15 years. He has been counsel and arbitrator in hundreds of international commercial arbitrations. He was instrumental in achieving the enactment of the New York Convention in the US. He taught arbitration for 30 years at the New York University (“NYU”) School of Law, which also happens to be his alma mater; and he told me that one of his famous and memorable students is Albert Jan van den Berg, whom he encouraged to write about the New York Convention. As you might say, the rest is history. So, he had a double effect with respect to the New York Convention. In fact, Albert Jan is going to be our interviewee in Dallas in June, so we have a nice bookend there.