Wippman, 53, comes to the U of M from Cornell University, where he has been a professor since 2000. He has also served as associate dean of the law school and the college's vice provost of international relations.
In private practice before teaching, Wippman specialized in war crimes, the UN and economic sanctions law. He represented developing countries in international law issues before U.S. courts and international tribunals.
"I'm honored to have been asked to lead the University of Minnesota Law School," said Wippman in a statement. "I look forward to meeting and working closely with all faculty, alumni, students and staff to move the Law School to ever higher levels of achievement and impact. I'm excited to begin our work together."
Wippman was one of five finalists who visited the campus in November and December. The finalists included professors and deans from Hofstra Univeristy, Pepperdine, the University of Washington and the University of New South Wales in Australia.
Former Vice President Walter Mondale was on the search committee that chose Wippman.
"David Wippman has a unique blend of leadership that will inspire and engage our alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends," said Mondale. "I'm very excited about the new dean. He's simply remarkable on so many levels. Once you get to know him you will see why he's already generated so much enthusiasm from our community."
If approved by the U of M Board of Regents, Wippman will replace Alex Johnson, who stepped down in May 2006.