Kent D. Syverud, dean of the Washington University in St. Louis School of Law (WUSTL) and the Ethan A.H. Shepley University Professor, has been named a trustee of the $20 billion Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Trust.

Syverud, who also serves as WUSTL's associate vice chancellor of Washington, D.C., programs, is one of two appointees who will oversee the newly established trust.

The other trustee is John S. Martin, Jr., a retired federal judge in New York.

The fund is designed to settle legitimate claims against BP resulting from the Deepwater Horizon explosion April 20 which prompted a massive oil and gas spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Syverud called the appointment "an honor and a great public responsibility."

"This spill has been a traumatic experience for so many," Syverud says.

According to a press release issued by the university, Syverud said he wants the trust "to be responsibly administered for the benefit of those with legitimate claims."

Before joining the WUSTL faculty, he served as dean of the Vanderbilt Law School from 1997 to June 2005, where he was the Garner Anthony Professor of Law. He taught at the University of Michigan Law School from 1987-1997.

Syverud also practiced law at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering in Washington, D.C. and clerked for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.

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