Georgetown University Law Center mourns the loss of Professor Barry E. Carter, who died on Wednesday, January 15.
"Barry represented the very best of our faculty, and he will be sorely missed," said Georgetown Law Dean William M. Treanor. "He dedicated his life in the law to public service, both through his government career and his commitment to our students. His legacy will live on at the Law Center, where he played a critical role in helping us grow into an institution known for its expertise in international law."
Carter is survived by his wife, Kathleen; son, Greg; daughter, Meghan; and brother Michael.
Click here to view a full statement from Dean Treanor and an obituary that appeared in the Washington Post.
Click here to share memories and condolences.
Click here to make a donation in Barry's memory.
Click here for Law Center memorial service details.
I met Barry twenty years ago, on a trip to Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Belarus. We were part of the Nunn-Lugar program to help secure the nuclear weapons of the former Soviet Union and convert its WMD infrastructure to peaceful civilian purposes, and as Acting Under Secretary of Commerce, Barry was a key leader of that defense conversion effort. Years later, when I dipped my toe into law teaching, it was Barry who introduced me to Georgetown. In all of my interactions with him, he made it a real pleasure to be engaged in the same enterprise. A man of deep kindness and sincere dedication to service, Barry exemplified what is worthwhile in both government service and teaching, bringing joy and satisfaction to those of us who had the chance to work with him. He will be remembered, and he will be missed.
In the Fall of 1990, I was a student of Professor Carter for International Law 1. His soon-to-be influential treatise on International Law was months (maybe weeks) away from publication and we relied on copies of galleys of the text. He was so delighted to be able to teach us from his own textbook. I also recall that one class his young son came to see his dad teach which was another moment that brought Professor Carter great pride and delight. He loved what he did and was generous in his sharing his considerable knowledge in both the law and the practice of law. I am so appreciative of the legal education I received from Professor Carter. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and the Georgetown Law community
Barry was my first year Property professor, later hired me as his research assistant. To me he was kind and caring in ways both big and small. He cared about students after graduation. Just two years ago (over 25 years after I graduated law school) my wife, an in-house lawyer at a local company, was researching an issue involving international law. I figured Barry would know the answer, but I felt awkward about contacting him after many years of no contact. He interrupted a trip to the airport (where he was going to catch a plan for his high school reunion in California) to talk to me for half an hour and point me in the right direction. He and Steve Goldberg were the professors about whom I have the best memories at Georgetown, and they are both now gone before their time. Barry had a quality which is rare in a man who is Larger Than Life -- he knew how to say, "I'm sorry."
Though we did not know Prof. Carter, we have an interest in the law school since our daughter will be starting there this fall. Having read about the passing of Prof. Carter on the website, we wanted to convey our condolences to the family. We are sure Georgetown is a better place for what Prof. Carter taught. Our daughter is currently earning her master's at the London School of Economics in International Relations and so Prof. Carter's background was even more interesting to us. Our sympathies to the family, faculty and administration of Georgetown. God bless..... Sincerely, The Hines family (daughter Victoria) Lexington, Ma
Even though the high points of my friendship with Barry were in the 1960s and 70s, I feel lucky to have spent three hours at home with Barry (and Kathleen and Meghan) this past August. We were roommates twice – in 1966 on Capitol Hill and in 1974 in Georgetown. We shared several canoe trips and ski adventures. During his single years, he was a frequent visitor to my home in Inverness, California, often accompanied by a soon-to-be-famous woman of the hour. Barry held senior posts at the US Commerce Department and was proud of his public service. We worked together to establish ties between Georgetown Law and the National Law School of India, where I had three stints as a visiting professor. One of my ablest Indian students worked closely with Barry during his LL.M course at Georgetown, and told me how helpful and considerate Barry always was to him. Barry was devoted to his family, and seemed frequently to fly around the country to spend time with one of his children. I believe he never missed a week in August with his family at Stanford Sierra Camp, where for three years my son Noel was one of the Carter family’s waiters. In 2002, I sent Barry a copy of my recently edited book on climate change, and I was startled to find my own article included in the next edition of International Law. So characteristically Barry! He was one of a kind.
Barry has been my friend and colleague for decades. His academic and professional achievements have been well documented. Except to note that he was one of the truly respected international lawyers of his time, I am not going to recite those achievements here. Rather, I want to indulge my friendship by remembering times with Barry in different places and circumstances. Barry loved and was so very proud of his family, Kathleen Ambrose, Gregory and Meaghan. Kate and I had an early introduction to that family when we had a birthday dinner organized by Kathleen for Barry before they were married. After that evening at a lovely French restaurant in the Virginia countryside, Art Downey (a close friend and colleague of Barry and me at different times) and I agreed that this was the “one” for Barry. We were right. Because Barry and I shared interests in many aspects of international law and practice, we had many occasions to discuss those interests. Barry was dedicated to the enlargement of the Law Center as a place with a rich environment in which faculty and students could pursue international interests and aspirations. As we worked on many committees dealing with international matters, I could see how Barry constantly enlarged such opportunities, both in Washington and in law schools around the world. [I do not always recall committee work with such enthusiasm.] Barry and I were together at a number of hardship posts. We taught together at the Georgetown Summer Program that operated in and around Firenze for almost 15 years. We were in Lisbon together to participate in a program on international trade that was jointly sponsored by the Law Center and a Portuguese foundation. During that time we shared a day of driving along the coast north of Lisbon, savoring the extraordinary views, delicious fish and maybe a little vinho verde. We spent many hours on tennis courts at St. Albans and the Arlington Y, sometimes on the same side of the net and sometimes as friendly adversaries. Whatever the pairings, those times were also filled with good conversations and many laughs (not at us as players, but with us). Like his other friends and colleagues, I miss Barry already. But the fruits of his work live on at the Law Center and in the international law community; and the memories of good times with a good friend lighten my days.
I met Prof. Carter first when I was on exchange at Georgetown, and then when I returned for a master's degree. Prof. Carter quickly became a friend, mentor and shaping influence. He was extraordinarily kind to me, personally and professionally, and I owe him a tremendous debt for the many, many ways in which he helped and encouraged me. He was unstintingly generous with his time - never failing to make time to meet and speak with me. Prof. Carter will be sorely missed, by Georgetown, and by those who had the privilege of knowing him.
My deepest condolence to Professor Carter, one of the best mentors I have ever had.
My deepest condolences. Barry was a treasured and indefatigable colleague. The international law community will miss him sorely.
Years ago, when I was preparing to teach the public international law course for the first time, the smartest thing I did was to audit Barry Carter teaching the course. I attended each of his class sessions, did all the assigned reading, and took notes like a demon. I wrote down every word he said, every illustration he drew on the blackboard, and every comment he made in response to a student’s question. Then I transcribed all those notes, put them into a binder, and used them – as a Carter clone -- as my own lecture materials when I started teaching the course. In fact, for the first three years, I told all Barry’s jokes as if they were my own, before I felt bold enough to depart from the notes. I still think those three years (including the jokes) were the best job I’ve done in teaching the course. David Koplow
Barry was always generous with his time, especially years ago when I was just finding my feet in legal publishing. Like so many, I was often graced with his bonhomie and uplifted by it. And Barry was always a gentleman.
Kathleen: I missed the notice of Barry's death in the Post and thus missed the memorial service, for which I am very sorry. Barry was a good friend since law school days, and I always appreciated his warmth of spirit and admired his distinguished career. Charlotte and I will always remember him.
Barry was learned and highly respected in our field -- but more important, always came across as a fundamentally decent person, gracious and welcoming to all. My condolences to his family, friends, colleagues, and students. He will be missed by so many of us.
Like so many others I will miss Barry, for many reasons, now teaching from his famous casebook, I can no longer email or call with questions, no longer can I have that wonderful in the hall conversation about some pressing interntional law issue or work on a committee to create and preserve the interntional legal education programs at Georgetown on which we both worked-- CTLS, INCAE, creating Week One and so many others....but mostly I will remember a courageous colleague who dared to raise important ethical questions about the appointments of people, both at our institution and in th government, who in his views, violated some basic premise of humanitarian or international law or just a purpose for a juster humanity. Barry-- you will be missed, not only at Georgetown but by so many who learned from you in the larger international and legal educational community. Rest in peace.
Barry Carter added value to everything he touched. I recall an evening at the ASIL annual meeting in the one-flight-down area of the hotel. The usual suspects congregated for some singing around a piano. Charlie Brower was ready for the usual "Lili Marlene"; Art Rovine and Dinah Shelton were there; and golden-voiced David Caron was a stalwart. Just as I started plunking out some tunes, two hotel security guards came and shut us down--playing the piano was not permitted. We all protested, but to no avail. Barry happened to be walking by on his way to a meeting, and he asked us what was going on. As soon as he found out, he went into action. He explained to the guards that this was an annual event for some of the ASIL folks, that they had a right to sing songs around a piano, and a half-dozen other rapid-fire reasons. He came back from the discussion, told us we could proceed with our songs, and departed. I marveled at what a fine lawyer Barry was.
One of my favorite law profs, 1st year property. He was a genuine and brilliant person. So sad to hear that he's gone.
He was a good man. May his memory be for a blessing.
Thank you for all you gave to us as students. Peace and comfort to your family.
One of my favorite professores; he will be missed.
My favorite professor, 1L, Section 3, fall of 1983 (class of '86). Taught us to think, challenged us and made "Property" come alive. I almost became a real estate lawyer because of professor Carter.... Thanks for inspiring and challenging your students. Rest in peace.
My deepest condolences. Prof Carter was my professor of International Law during my LL.M (94) and also the Chair of my doctoral committee SJD (08). He also joined me as professor in the Georgetown Law-INCAE Executive Program that I coordinated for 14 years. He was a solid guide and inspiration at Georgetown University Law Center for many years. I will miss him deeply. The Law Center has lost one of of its best. God receive his soul and give peace to his family.
Barry was a neighbor on Hotung 6 whose presence and camaraderie I will greatly miss. I will miss his gentlemanly presence and sense of humor. I will miss the friendly greeting of "Adam m'lad, how are you?" that would inevitably initiate a wide-ranging and fascinating conversation. I will miss Barry's stories about his adventures while in government. I will miss his signature indoor attire of a tweed cap and down vest. And I will miss having a model colleague whom I knew cared deeply about the well-being of Georgetown Law as an institution. He is deeply mourned.
Barry was an excellent scholar, a fine human being, and a person of great decency and good sense. My wife Nancy & I mourn his passing and appreciate the opportunity to have known him.
I am so deeply saddened to hear about Barry's passing. Up until a few months ago we were plotting on how to build bridges between the two great international trade capitals Geneva and Washington DC, to give our students the best possible experience. Barry's enthusiasm and commitment were inspiring. His kindness and warm heart, legendary. I will really miss him. His example will continue to inspire me in my own academic career.
Professor Carter was a great scholar, but even more importantly, a first rate teacher and mentor. I learned so much from him in the year that I spent as his research assistant. He taught me to love international law. Professor Carter's memory will live on in the countless students who were impacted by his example. My deepest condolences to his family.
Very sad to learn of Barry's passing. My deepest sympathies go out to Barry's immediate family and his extended Law Center family. His was a life extraordinarily well lived. He made enormously important contributions as a teacher, scholar and public servant. I was fortunate to study with Barry early in his teaching career, when he was perhaps more patient than he otherwise might have been with an international trade law student of no great promise. In addition to taking his classes, I benefited from Barry's guidance in his role as the JD/MSFS faculty advisor. And I enjoyed the opportunity to support him during his brief time at USTR while he served on the Clinton Transition Team. If it is any consolation to his family, a gifted and caring teacher like Barry lives on in his students. Certainly that is true in my case. I channel Barry whenever I begin my weekly MSFS class by closing my eyes, tilting my chin slightly upwards, and asking my students "Why don't we begin?”
Barry Carter was a person who spoke his mind and remained true to his convictions. Perhaps especially now, law faculties and the legal profession need people like Barry, a person who invested in Georgetown University Law Center and the legal profession wholeheartedly yet critically. He asked hard questions and stood up for important principles with the passion and commitment of somebody embedded in the cause of excellence in law and legal education. On a more personal note, I had the pleasure of being Barry's office next-door neighbor on the 6th floor of Hotung. Barry spent a lot of time in his office, inspiring his colleagues by the example of his hard work. He was sufficiently immersed in his work that he always seemed slightly startled if I poked my head into his office to ask a question or share a thought. But then his fine manners immediately kicked in and he would offer me a seat on one of his comfortable couches and he would turn his attention to me. We talked variously about job candidates, the future of the law school, the vicissitudes of grading, and the state of U.S. domestic and foreign policy. Barry's combination of professionalism and interest helped make Hotung's 6th floor the uniquely collegial environment it is, a place for serious work tempered by conviviality. The rest of the "neighborhood" will carry on in this spirit, with appreciation for Barry's contributions to it.
I send my deepest condolences to Professor Carter's family and colleagues at the Law Center. I had the pleasure of serving as Professor Carter's Research Assistant during my third year of law school. He was incredibly knowledgeable and eager to share that knowledge. He demanded a high-level of work, but rewarded my efforts with praise that instilled confidence and inspired me to study more about our work in my free time. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to work with him. He will be sorely missed.
Professor Carter embodied all that was good at Georgetown Law. His knowledge, force of personality, humor, dedication, and commitment to students were unparalleled. I took two classes with him, and would have taken more if possible. Through his classes, I gained not only knowledge but insight into an incredible scholar, statesman, and role model who cared deeply about students and the success of Georgetown Law as an institution. And in working with him during law school and post-graduation, I gained a wonderful mentor and a dear friend. We have lost a great man today. But I know that he will continue to live on in all that we aspire and hope to achieve. And for that I am ever grateful.
My condolences to Professor Carter's family and friends. Georgetown will not be the same without his passion, intellect, service to others and dedication to his students and mentees. I am immensely grateful to have been among those he has mentored; my experiences working with and learning from Professor Carter have been some of the most enriching of my life, both personally and professionally. Professor Carter, you will be deeply missed.
Barry was deeply committed to Georgetown LAw, and is the person who led me to teach there. I could never thank him enough. He had a vision of the role that Georgetown could play in the international law field, and worked tirelessly and successfully to make that happen. I met Barry working with him on the Mondale and Dukakis campaigns, and things only got better from there. At all times he was a wonderful and caring person, a brilliant scholar and patient teacher, and part of loving family with his wonderful wife Kathleen and children Meghan and Gregory. I join the rest of the Law Center community in recognizing how much I will miss him.
I had the honor of working as Professor Carter's research assistant last year. Preparing for my briefings with him was some of the hardest work I've ever had to do. His questions were incisive, and his attention was complete. He expected a high standard of thought but was simultaneously supportive, compassionate, and fair--especially when I had to withdraw suddenly from our relationship. Professor Carter made a profound impression on me in a short time. I can only imagine how those who benefited from his care and attention more than I was able to must miss him now. My heart goes out to everyone whose words can better express and memories better describe how much we each have lost.
Barry, my long-time friend, colleague, and occasional collaborator. We celebrate his life and give thanks for his distinguished legacy. Barry believed in the importance of international law and in the need to educate Georgetown Law students to be effective lawyers in a transnational environment. He pushed this vision relentlessly, and we are all better because of his efforts. When Barry was on the debate squad at Stanford University, he excelled at marshaling facts, and presenting arguments persuasively – a skill he honed and used over many years in many different settings. Barry had integrity, which he brought to all that he undertook. He cared deeply about his family, his students, his friends and his colleagues. We thank him for his many important contributions, and for giving all that he could to his family, to Georgetown Law, and to the broader community. Edith Brown Weiss
I would like to offer my sincerest condolences to Barry’s family. I knew Barry briefly, but knew him to be measured, thoughtful and clear in everything we worked on together. He became a real friend and mentor and I am deeply appreciative to have had the pleasure of knowing him.
I'm very sad to hear that Prof. Barry Carter has passed away, I was his research assistant during the summer of my first year of law school, and when he sent me his reference for the character and fitness test for my bar application, I remember that he unnecessarily but very sweetly wrote in by hand "Definitely" above the ticked "YES" which answered the question "Applicant's duties were satisfactorily performed." He was a very kind man.
Barry was, for me, the very model of a colleague. He cared for the institution of Georgetown Law in a deep, devoted, and always other-regarding way. He wanted the best for the institution, and more importantly, he was willing to invest enormous resources and time in ensuring the best for the institution. To serve with Barry on any committee or law school project was to see what it means at its best to be a committed community member and team player. As Kathleen said, he loved Georgetown. And we all benefited from that love. We will miss you terribly, Barry, but your spirit lives on in what you helped build.
I am shocked and deeply saddened to learn of Professor Barry Carter's passing. As his former Faculty Assistant at Georgetown Law Center, I worked on a daily basis with Prof. Carter on many important projects, gained invaluable knowledge and experience under his guidance, and respected his unwavering dedication to academia, selfless government service, and everlasting contribution to international law and justice. My heartfelt prayers and condolences go out to his loving family, dear friends, faculty and colleagues. May Professor Carter rest in peace forever. Rada
I worked with Barry for a short time and was impressed with his knowledge and patience, and his self-effacing manner. When I began to address him as Dr. Carter or Professor Carter, he corrected me, saying I should just call him Barry. He was so open to new ideas and embraced his work with such enthusiasm despite the constantly shifting sands we were working on. I welcomed his advice and insight and missed it after he left our project at the end of his assignment. Not only his family and institution, but the entire country has experienced a significant loss with his passing. Maybe he can put in a good word for all of us with the man upstairs.
I was fortunate enough to serve as one of Professor Carter's research assistants this summer. I was humbled by his brilliance, and thrilled with the opportunity to learn from him. He loved the law, and Georgetown in particular. He will be sorely missed.
Professor Carter had a wonderfully methodical mind that was awe-inspiring in its ability to approach complex problems and unpack them into manageable pieces. He also had a certain charismatic quality that made everyone around him feel inspired about the projects he was working on. Professor Carter cared deeply about his students, always very generously giving of his time in order to make sure students understood the class or research material, and doing myriad other small things which demonstrated how deeply he cared about his students' welfare. It was an incredibly rewarding experience to be able to work with Professor Carter on his research projects last summer. Georgetown has lost one of its best professors and brightest minds. We are all going to miss him very much.
Professor Carter will be sorely missed. He instilled a sense of purpose and calling in me, an older student, and surely countless others. His classroom anecdotes and insight into the inner workings of international law and trade were a welcome respite from the drudgery of theory and case law. His service to the country, to Georgetown, and to his students will surely live on, as it should. I am saddened by this loss and forever thankful for giving me, in my darkest hour of self-doubt, a reason to continue with the pursuit of a law degree. Thanks, Professor.
I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to Professor Carter's family and friends. As they know, Barry Carter was a spectacular person. I knew Barry Carter not only as my professor but also as my mentor. Professor Carter took the time to meet with me and advise me on my career in the field of International Business & Trade. I am where I am today, in part, because of Professor Carter. I will remember Professor Carter as the engaging trade expert who challenged me in class. Prior to becoming my mentor, Professor Carter would call on me by name. Professor Carter will not be forgotten. Professor Carter will be remembered as someone who made a difference in my life.
I extend my deepest condolences to Barry Carter's colleagues, family, friends. I was always struck by the persistence in his conversation of an irreducible questioning. The usual and conventional formulations were never taken for granted, Barry challenged one to ask if the obvious was anything but that. He combined that with an exceedingly realistic view of the human capacity for selflessness, not unmixed with a certain humorous detachment. Beneath the appearance of academic dryness, he cultivated a great deal of liveliness. That gave him a pleasantly old fashioned air. He was a gentleman and a scholar in a very classical sense.
In working with Barry Carter as a legal information professional specializing in international law, I have learned so much and enjoyed meeting challenges in research with him. It has been a privilege to work with this noted scholar and international lawyer who always treated me as a valued partner in teaching and research. In about half an hour I will be giving a virtual distance talk on international legal research to the Center for Transnational Legal Research in London, and I plan to dedicate this talk to Barry Carter, even as I discuss scholarly research sources to which he contributed so much and that will be of continuing value to today's students. My condolences to Barry's family; you have my deepest sympathy.
While I am across the pond in London, my heart is with Kathleen and Barry's immediate family and Georgetown Law and Barry's extended family of friends, colleagues, and students. In a very real sense, we have all been students of Barry Carter. He has been our mentor in so many ways. We, and generations to come, have missed him since his illness began and will continue to miss him.
Barry was such a wonderful and accomplished person, and such an integral part of this institution, that is hard to imagine things around here without him. He accomplished being at one and the same time, a world figure, a superb family man, and a friendly and compassionate colleague--a sterling example for all of us. We at the law center are not the only ones who will sorely miss him.
Barry was my friend, my colleague for almost three decades and a valued mentor at Georgetown Law Center. From the time he sent me an invitation to come for a one-year visit in 1985 until our last encounter in the Hotung 6 coffee/Xerox room, he was always a presence and a force for International Law at Georgetown. I followed in his wake, first as the Co-Director for the JD/MSFS Program but later in many other roles as Georgetown grew in eminence as a faculty renowned for its prowess in international and comparative law. Barbara and I hope that Kathleen, Meghan and Gregory know what he meant for both academic excellence and as an exceptional personal example of a life well lived in the "international realm." This is a great, incalculable loss for all of us at Georgetown, as it is for your family. We have been fortunate to share him with you as long as we did, and we know that all that he was able to accomplish in a long, distinguished career will continue to provide many benefits to generations of Georgetown students and colleagues for years to come. His wisdom and achievements will provide us much upon which we shall reflect in the days and months ahead. Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you mourn the loss we share.
What a wonderful man. Teacher, friend, scholar, mentor, adviser, public servant, colleague, counselor, innovator, advocate, role model. An international lawyer's international lawyer. You always had the interests of the students, your colleagues, and the Law Center clearly in mind. We celebrate your life even as we mourn your passing, and I will always treasure the memories, the opportunity to have worked with you, and learned from you, and laughed with you. Your accomplishments will live long after the grief passes, and we will cherish your memory. Farewell, good friend.
i adored this man, who was so honest and caring. Barry i will miss you deeply. Barry cared for all his people: his students, his family, friends, colleagues. He loved widely and well. He made hotung a home for me, and for others, i know. A fine, fine man. Original. Thoughtful. Kind. Caring. Forever young. Oh barry. I am so sad to lose you. We are all just so sad to lose you.