Rita EleanorHauser

Rita E. Hauser’s dual background in politics and international law led to her key role in persuading Yasser Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization to recognize Israel and renounce terrorism. Hauser graduated from Hunter in 1954, attended both the University of Strasbourg and Harvard Law School, and earned law degrees from the University of Paris in 1958 and NYU in 1959. She served as a speechwriter and campaign strategist for Richard Nixon’s first presidential campaign in 1960. From 1969–1972 she was the US representative to the UN Commission on Human Rights and a member of the US delegation to the UN General Assembly. In that capacity, she helped Jews flee Russia and visited Palestinian refugee camps. In 1972 she joined the law firm Stroock, Stroock and Lavan, where she mentored other women and increased the number of women partners in the firm. From 1984–1991 she headed the American branch of the International Center for Peace in the Middle East. She created the Hauser Foundation in 1988 and donated funds to Harvard’s and NYU’s law schools and to Columbia University to create foreign studies and international law programs. She served on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board from 2001–2004 and was reappointed in 2009.

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One of the first women to graduate from Harvard Law School during the 1950s, Rita Eleanor Hauser's career has taken her from presidential campaigns to the United Nations and back to law once again. Along the way, she worked towards achieving peace in the Middle East, established the Hauser Foundation, and donated $13 million to her alma mater, the largest contribution ever to a law school.

Institution: Private collection

Date of Birth

New York, NY
United States

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Rita Eleanor Hauser." (Viewed on August 7, 2020) <https://jwa.org/people/hauser-rita>.


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