Christopher Edley, Jr. joined Boalt Hall as Dean and Professor of Law in 2004 after 23 years as a Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He is the first African American dean to lead a top-ranked US law school. Dean Edley earned a law degree and a M.P.P. in public policy from Harvard University, where he served as an editor and officer of the Harvard Law Review. His academic work is primarily in the areas of civil rights and administrative law. He has also taught federalism, budget policy, Defense Department procurement law, national security law, and environmental law. Edley was co-founder of the Harvard Civil Rights Project, a renowned multidisciplinary research and policy think tank focused on issues of racial justice. His publications include Not All Black and White: Affirmative Action, Race and American Values and Administrative Law: Rethinking Judicial Control of Bureaucracy.
Edley joined President Carter’s administration as Assistant Director of the White House domestic policy staff, where his responsibilities included welfare reform and social security. He served as national issues director throughout the 1987-88 Dukakis presidential campaign, and as a senior adviser on economic policy for President Clinton’s transition team in 1992. In the Clinton administration, he worked as associate director for economics and government at the White House Office of Management and Budget from 1993 to 1995. There, he oversaw a staff of 70 civil servants responsible for White House oversight of budget, legislative and management issues in five cabinet departments: Justice, Treasury, Transportation, Housing & Urban Development, Commerce and a diverse group of over 40 autonomous agencies, including: FEMA, FCC, General Services Administration, SBA, SEC, CFTC, EEOC, and the bank regulatory agencies. In 1995 he was also special counsel to the President, directing the White House review of affirmative action. He returned to the Clinton White House in 1997 as a consultant to the president’s advisory board on the race initiative.
From 1999-2005, Edley served on the US Commission on Civil Rights. In 2001, he was a member of the Carter-Ford National Commission on Federal Election Reform. He is currently a trustee of the Russell Sage Foundation and The Century Foundation, and a member of the National Academy of Public Administration, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the executive committee of the advisory board for the Division on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education of the National Academies of Sciences.
In the spring of 2005, Edley launched the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity and Diversity - a multidisciplinary, collaborative venture created to produce research, research-based policy prescriptions, and curricular innovation on issues of racial and ethnic justice in California and the nation. The Warren Institute’s mission is to engage the most difficult topics related to civil rights, race and ethnicity in a wide range of legal and public policy subject areas, providing valuable intellectual capital to public and private sector leaders, the media and the general public, while advancing scholarly understanding.
In 2006, Edley was named to a national nonpartisan commission created to conduct an independent review of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. The 12-member Commission on No Child Left Behind has issued recommendations to Congress for reforming and improving the legislation. Co-chaired by former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson and former Georgia Governor Roy E. Barnes, the new commission is funded by several leading educational foundations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundatio
Affirmative Action and American Values
The Future of the Civil Rights Movement
Race, Policy and the Political Process
K-16 Education and Justice in America
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