Longshot for Justice: A Conversation with Jaykumar Menon ’90 (2016 winner of Brown’s William Rogers Award)
Since its founding, Brown University has long instilled in its graduates a strong commitment to public service and the importance of living a life of “usefulness and reputation.” However, with respect to persistent problems dogging the world, where does one start when trying to change the way things have always been done? How can entrepreneurship and the law be used to challenge convention and solve some of the world’s most pressing problems? What are some ways Brown graduates can use their degrees to benefit society?
Please join the Brown Club in New York for a special evening with Jaykumar Menon ’90, 2016 recipient of Brown’s William Rogers Award, the highest honor bestowed upon a Brown graduate for outstanding professional achievement and extraordinary service to humanity. Past recipients include career diplomat Richard Holbrooke ’62; astronaut Byron K. Lichtenberg ’69; Pulitzer Prize and Academy Award-winning screenwriter Kurt M. Luedtke ’61; opera maverick David Gockley ’65; Samuel Nabrit ’32, scientist, educator and the first Black student to receive a Brown. Ph.D.; social entrepreneur, Diana Wells ’88 among others.
Described as a “longshot for justice”, Jaykumar has selflessly dedicated his life to fighting for those who have been marginalized. His work and accomplishments in the areas of human rights law and social entrepreneurship continue to garner praise and serve as a source of inspiration to all. Early in his career as an attorney, he won victories in several high-profile cases, including a $4 billion judgment on behalf of victims of the Bosnian genocide, the exoneration of David Wong who served more than a decade of a life sentence for murder, a landmark corporations and human rights suit against Royal Dutch Shell, and more. More recently, his initiative, The Open Source Pharma Foundation, is a planetary scale social innovation that aims to provide affordable medicine for all in a global open-source pharmaceutical ecosystem. Previously, he was head of international development at the X Prize Foundation, a group dedicated to bringing about “radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity” through incentivized competition.Menon is currently professor of practice at the McGill University Institute for the Study of International Development. He constructed an independent concentration at Brown and earned both an M.A. and J.D. from Columbia University. In addition to his legal and humanitarian work, Menon has had his creative writing featured in an award-winning anthology of short stories, authored scholarship published in top the journals for International Human Rights Law, and co-founded a venture-backed internet company with current revenues in the seven figures.
Learn how this award-winning international human rights lawyer, social entrepreneur, and teacher helps creatively effect large-scale and just social change affecting millions of the world’s underserved and most vulnerable populations.
For more information, please contact [email protected]
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