Rita and Gustave Hauser

Rita E. Hauser

Rita E. Hauser '59 is an international lawyer and was a senior partner for more than 20 years at the New York City law firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan. She served on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board from 2009 to 2013 and on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board from 2001 to 2004.

Elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in April 2012, Dr. Hauser chaired, for two decades (1993-2016), the International Peace Institute (a think tank for United Nations–related matters) and was on the Advisory Board of the International Crisis Group. She chaired the American Ditchley Foundation, supporting Great Britain’s leading conference center from 2006 through 2010, and was elected a governor of the British Ditchley Foundation in July 2010. She was a director of the International Advisory Council of the Lowy Institute for International Policy (Australia), the International Institute for Strategic Studies (UK; 1996-2006), and the RAND Corporation (1999-2009). Dr. Hauser serves on the Dean's Executive Board and Leadership Council of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School. She holds advanced degrees from the University of Strasbourg, in France; Harvard and NYU law schools; and the University of Paris Law Faculty. In April 1997 she and her husband founded the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard University (now the Hauser Institute for Civil Society).

She is a director emeritus of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City and a former member of the Executive Committee. Dr. Hauser was a director of the New York Philharmonic-Symphony Society for more than 20 years.

Dr. Hauser also serves on the Board of Trustees as a life trustee of New York University School of Law. She was awarded the Judge Edward Weinfeld Award in 2008, as well as the Albert Gallatin Medal in 2006, which are the highest honors for public service of New York University, plus the Vanderbilt Medal in 2004, the highest honor of New York University School of Law. She was honored in 2008 with the Award of the Women’s Leadership Summit of Harvard Law School and in 1999 received the Harvard Medal for distinguished service to Harvard University.

Gustave M. Hauser

Gustave M. Hauser LLM ’57, a pioneer of the modern cable television industry, passed away on February 14, 2021, at the age of 91.

Hauser was chairman and CEO of Warner Cable Communications from 1973 to 1983. At Warner, he developed several cable programming innovations, including programming concepts leading to the creation of MTV, Nickelodeon, and pay-per-view programming. His sale of major cable systems to Southwestern Bell Corp. (now AT&T) marked the entry of major telephone companies into the cable television industry. In 1983, he established Hauser Communications Inc., a private company involved in cable television, international satellite, and other electronic communications.

Gustave Hauser earned his LLM from NYU Law in 1957 after receiving a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Case Western Reserve University and a JD from Harvard Law School. He also earned a diplôme en droit (equivalent to a master’s degree) from the University of Paris. After completing his JD, Hauser was drafted into the Korean War, serving for 20 months on the faculty of the Army Military Police School.

Upon returning to the United States, Hauser joined the Office of the General Counsel to the Secretary of Defense as counsel to the International Security Agency. It was in this role that his career first intersected with communication satellites. Hauser was assigned to write the first paper that the US Defense Department originated assessing international legal rights and obligations concerning objects orbiting in space.

“My chance Pentagon involvement with the earliest orbiting satellite somehow became a considerable lifetime involvement in what was to become a worldwide satellite communications industry,” he recalled in a 1999 interview for the Cable Television Center and Museum. Hauser began the civilian phase of his career in the communications industry as a vice president of General Telephone & Electronics International, and then became executive vice president at Western Union International.

Among his many public service activities, he was twice appointed by the president of the United States to serve, from 1970 through 1977, as director-at-large of the US Overseas Private Investment Corp. (the US government insurance company responsible for encouraging private foreign investment), of which he was a founder.