The Center

Through education, inquiry, and engagement, the Klau Center seeks to be at the vanguard of innovative and principled ways to promote justice.

An Ambitious Mission

Founded in 1973 by Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., then president of the University of Notre Dame, the Klau Center’s mission is at once both ambitious and fundamental: we seek to advance the God-given dignity of all human persons. We anchor this work in an integrative approach to civil and human rights. We aspire to provide transformative education, innovative research, and meaningful engagement with students and with the broader community.

We do this work within the Keough School of Global Affairs as part of an interdisciplinary team devoted to holistic human flourishing. Most importantly, we do this work at Notre Dame, which encourages us to explore these critical issues in the context of our rich Catholic social tradition and, ultimately, to cultivate in our students “a sense of human solidarity and concern for the common good.”

From the Director

Photo of Profile Photo Mcaward

Building on the legacy of our founder, Fr. Ted Hesburgh, C.S.C., and the vision and generosity of our benefactors, Rick and Molly Klau, the Klau Center is poised to be a leader in advancing education, inquiry, and engagement on critical civil and human rights issues.  The Klau Center’s mission is to advance the God-given dignity of all people.

This is an exciting moment in the life of the Klau Center.  We are building up our support for students and faculty.  We are developing a national and international profile as a center dedicated to thoughtful research and innovative policy engagement.  And we have welcomed a leading human rights scholar into our community:  Diane Desierto.  The Klau Center’s support for Professor Desierto’s innovative work on international trade and the right to development will have a profound impact on both the theory and practice of human rights across the globe. 

My goal is that the Klau Center will become a leader and indispensable partner at Notre Dame and beyond in promoting human dignity.  We are privileged to be an integral part of Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs, where our focus on justice contributes to the Keough School’s mission of promoting integral human development.

Thank you for your support of the mission and work of the Klau Center for Civil and Human Rights. 

In Notre Dame,

Jennifer Mason McAward
Director and Associate Professor of Law