The William P. and Hazel B. White Director of the Center for Ethics and Culture
Professor Carter Snead joined the faculty of the law school in 2005. In 2012, he was named the William P. and Hazel B. White Director of the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture. His principal area of research is Public Bioethics – the governance of science, medicine, and biotechnology in the name of ethical goods. His scholarly works have explored issues relating to neuroethics, enhancement, stem cell research, abortion, and end-of-life decisionmaking. His articles appear in such publications as the New York University Law Review, the Harvard Law Review Forum, the Vanderbilt Law Review, Constitutional Commentary, Quaderni Costituzionali, the Yale Journal of Health Policy, Law and Ethics, the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, and Political Science Quarterly. Professor Snead teaches Law & Bioethics, Health Law, Torts, and Constitutional Criminal Procedure.
In addition to his scholarship and teaching, Professor Snead has provided advice on the legal and public policy dimensions of bioethical questions to officials in all three branches of the U.S. government, and in several intergovernmental fora. Prior to joining the law faculty at Notre Dame, Professor Snead served as General Counsel to The President’s Council on Bioethics (Chaired by Dr. Leon R. Kass), where he was the primary drafter of the 2004 report, “Reproduction and Responsibility: The Regulation of New Biotechnologies.” In 2006, he testified in the U.S. House of Representatives on regulatory questions concerning RU-486 (the abortion pill). From 2004 to 2005, Professor Snead led the U.S. government delegation and served as its chief negotiator at the United Nations Science, Culture, and Education Organization (UNESCO) for the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights (adopted in October 2005). He served (with Dr. Edmund Pellegrino) as U.S. government’s Permanent Observer to the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee on Bioethics (CDBI), where he assisted in its efforts to elaborate international instruments and standards for the ethical governance of science and medicine. In conjunction with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), he regularly lectures to state and federal judges on the uses of neuroimaging in the courtroom. He was appointed in 2008 by the Director-General of UNESCO to a four-year term on the International Bioethics Committee (IBC), a 36-member body of independent experts that advises member states on bioethics, law, and public policy. The IBC is the only bioethics commission in the world with a global mandate.
Professor Snead received his J.D., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University (where he was elected to the Order of the Coif), and his B.A. from St. John’s College (Annapolis, MD). He clerked for the Hon. Paul J. Kelly, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
The White Professorships were established with gifts from the W.P. & H.B. White Foundation. William and Hazel’s children, William P. White Jr. (’39) and Roger B. White (’50), were graduated from Notre Dame’s College of Engineering.