The American Law Institute 87th Annual Meeting, May 17-19, 2010. Washington, D.C.

Christopher F. Edley, Jr.

Christopher Edley, Jr., became the first African American to lead a top-ranked U.S. law school in 2004, when he joined the University of California at Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) as dean and professor of law after 23 years as a professor at Harvard Law School. Dean Edley’s 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. He was cofounder of the Harvard Civil Rights Project, a 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 (Hill & Wang 1996) and Administrative Law: Rethinking Judicial Control of Bureaucracy (Yale University Press 1992).

A native of Boston, Dean Edley received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics from Swarthmore College in 1973. In 1978, he received both a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a law degree from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor and officer of the Harvard Law Review. Following graduation, he joined President Carter’s administration as assistant director of the White House domestic policy staff. He served as national issues director for the Dukakis presidential campaign and as a senior adviser on economic policy for President Bill Clinton’s transition team. 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. In 1995, he was special counsel to the President, directing the White House review of affirmative action. He later served as a consultant to the President’s advisory board on the race initiative and more recently was a member of President Barack Obama’s transition team.

From 1999 to 2005, Dean Edley was a congressional appointee on the bipartisan U.S. 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 of The Century Foundation. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He also serves on the executive committee of the advisory board for the Division on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education of the National Research Council, which is the research arm of the National Academies of Sciences. At UC Berkeley, Dean Edley is founder and faculty Co-Director of the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity and Diversity. He served from December 2008 to December 2009 as the special advisor to UC President Mark Yudof and in July 2009 was appointed by President Yudof and Board of Regents Chairman Russell Gould to a 20-person commission on the future of the University.

In March 2006, Dean Edley was named to a national nonpartisan commission created to conduct an independent review of the No Child Left Behind Act. The 12-member commission issued recommendations in February 2007 for reforming and improving the legislation as Congress considered reauthorizing federal education laws.

A member of the ALI since 2004, Dean Edley lives in Berkeley with his wife, Maria Echaveste, and two children.

Return to Events and Speakers