Gwendolyn Gordon, an assistant professor in the department of legal studies and business ethics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a secondary appointment in the School of Arts and Sciences’ department of anthropology, died late last month. She was 41 years old.
Dr. Gordon earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Cornell University and a juris doctorate from Harvard Law School, where her research focused on social and economic rights for indigenous groups. At Harvard, she served as a research assistant for the late professor and civil rights theorist Lani Guinier.
After law school, Dr. Gordon worked as a corporate attorney in the London and New York offices of Shearman and Sterling. She also interned for the United Nations Tribunal for Rwanda, working on a team responsible for prosecuting military leaders on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. She then earned a Ph.D. in anthropology from Princeton University. Dr. Gordon joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in 2013.
“Gwen was a dedicated scholar, but moreover, a tremendous person,” said Erika James, dean of the Wharton School. “She brought passion and purpose to her research and extended that commitment into the classroom to impact students. Our community was enhanced by her presence, and she will be deeply missed.”