The Hon. William (Bill) Graham '64The Hon. William (Bill) Graham '64 has had an extraordinary career that has seamlessly woven together his academic and public lives.

After teaching international law at the Faculty for 14 years (from 1980 to 1994), Graham was elected a Liberal MP for Toronto Centre-Rosedale in 1993. He served from 1995 to 2002 as chairman of the standing committee of the House of Commons on foreign affairs and international trade. Graham was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs in January 2002 under former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and Minister of National Defence in July 2004 in the government of Paul Martin. In February 2006, he was appointed Acting Leader of the Official Opposition, a position he held until December 2007. He currently serves as Chancellor of Trinity College at the University of Toronto.

In 2008, Graham received the Distinguished Alumnus Award for his extraordinary public leadership, significant contributions to the legal profession, and lifelong commitment to community service.

"When Bill went to Ottawa, he didn't leave his commitment to international law behind, and this is one of the many things about Bill that inspires so much respect and affection," said Professor Karen Knop, who began teaching at the faculty just as Graham was preparing to leave the academy for the next phase of his career in public service. She noted Graham's particular pride at ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on behalf of Canada, and his decision regarding Canada's non-participation in the Iraq war.

"Bill helped to take the U of T curriculum beyond the basic courses in public international law and private international law," said Dean Mayo Moran. "In 1992, he wrote that Canadian legal education had a long way to go in teaching international trade law if it was going to catch up with the experience and sophistication of the US trade bar and equip Canadian lawyers to make the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement work for Canada. Writing on international commercial arbitration, the Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA, and the comparison with the EU, he was an important part of that effort.

Throughout his illustrious and high profile career, Graham has been an inspirational role model to students interested in international issues.

Adapated from "The Hon. Bill Graham '64 Receives 2008 Distinguished Alumnus Award" in Nexus, 2008.

See also "The reporter, his foreign-minister father and the war that consumed them," The Globe and Mail, March 16, 2013 (may require subscription). Bill Graham was Canada’s foreign minister in 2003 when Canada made the bold decision to stay out of the Iraq War. In this recent interview, he looks back on those months that changed the world and the nation.