Richard Bilder

Professor Emeritus


J.D., Harvard University Law School
B.A., Williams College


Professor Bilder is Foley & Lardner-Bascom Professor of Law at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was educated at Williams College and Harvard University Law School and was a Fulbright Scholar at Cambridge University in England. He served as an attorney in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State before becoming a professor at the University of Wisconsin, where his areas of expertise include international and foreign relations law, international organizations, admiralty law, contracts and torts.

Among other positions, Professor Bilder has served as Vice-President of the American Society of International Law, on the Board of Editors of the American Journal of International Law, on the Executive Council of the Law of the Sea Institute, as Chair of the International Law Association's Committee on Diplomatic Protection of Persons and Property, on U.S. delegations to international conferences and as an arbitrator in international and domestic disputes.

He is the author of Managing the Risks of International Agreement (University of Wisconsin Press: Madison, 1981), and of a number of articles and other scholarly publications. (View a comprehensive list of Professor Bilders's scholarship.) In 2016 he was awarded the American Society of International Law's Manley O. Hudson Medal, conferred "for outstanding contributions to scholarship and achievement in international law."

Professor Bilder served in the U.S. Navy in World War II and the Korean conflict and is a retired officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He is married and has four children.

Scholarship & Publications


Law Repository


  • Richard Bilder's essay, "On the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI)," was published in the American Journal of International Law in January 2020.

  • Richard Bilder’s article “A Legal Regime for the Mining of Helium-3 on the Moon: U.S. Policy Options,” forthcoming February 2010 in the Fordham International Law Journal (Vol. 33, No. 3) is among the new scholarship added to the UW Law School Legal Studies Research Paper series via SSRN.

  • Richard Bilder serves as a Counsellor to the American Society of International Law (ASIL) and Book Review Editor of the American Journal of International Law (AJIL), the leading professional journal in that field. He has been a member of the Board of Editors of the AJIL for more than 35 years.

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