The University of Minnesota's Law School dean has been selected as the 20th president of a 203-year-old private college in upstate New York.

David Wippman, an authority on international law, was elected unanimously by the Hamilton College board of trustees as the school's next president effective July 1. Wippman has been dean of the U Law School since July 2008.

Wippman, 60, graduated from Edina High School and received a bachelor's degree, summa cum laude, from Princeton University in 1976, a master's degree in English literature at Yale University in 1978, and his law degree from Yale in 1982. While at Yale, he was editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal.

He practiced law in Washington and also served in the Clinton administration as director of the National Security Council's Office of Multilateral and Humanitarian Affairs from 1998 to 1999. He had roles in crafting U.S. policy on war crimes, economic sanctions and United Nations political matters.

Before returning to Minnesota more than seven years ago, Wippman was vice provost for international relations and a law professor at Cornell University in upstate New York. Hamilton is in Clinton, about 50 miles east of Syracuse.

"I am honored to be asked to lead one of the oldest and finest liberal arts colleges in the United States," Wippman said.

Hamilton Trustee Robert Delaney said that as Law School dean at Minnesota, Wippman "led the community in developing a shared strategic vision, revamped the curriculum, raised the profile of the school, improved the diversity and academic credentials of the student body, quadrupled financial aid, and secured new revenue to support the work of students and faculty."

Among Hamilton's more notable graduates are behavioral scientist B.F. Skinner (class of 1926) and current U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack (1972).