About HPU

About John Gotanda

HPU President John Gotanda

John Y. Gotanda became the President of Hawai‘i Pacific University, the largest private university in the State of Hawai’i, on July 1, 2016.  Born and raised in Hawai‘i, President Gotanda is a graduate of Roosevelt High School, the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa (BBA, 1984) and the William S. Richardson School of Law (J.D., 1987), where he was Editor-in-Chief of the University of Hawai‘i Law Review. 

Following law school, he was a staff attorney with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He then worked as an associate attorney with Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., and later with Goodwin, Procter & Hoar in Boston.  In 1994 he joined the faculty at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law in Philadelphia, PA, where he served as Professor of Law, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Associate Dean for Faculty Research, and Director of the J.D./M.B.A. Program; from 2011-2016 he served as Dean of the Law School. 

Under his leadership, the Villanova Law School developed and implemented a strategic plan that radically reformed the school’s curriculum, reducing the time and cost of the program, eliminating barriers to entry, and establishing increased international opportunities for its students.

President Gotanda is recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on damages in international law, and has been cited by courts, tribunals and commentators, including by the U.S. Supreme Court.  He has spoken widely on the subjects of damages, international arbitration, and international sales law, including at The Hague Academy of International Law. He has also served as an expert on damages and an arbitrator in international investment disputes.