Heather Gerken

Dean at Yale University - Yale Law School

Heather Gerken

Heather Gerken

Dean at Yale University - Yale Law School

Biography

Heather Gerken is the Dean and Sol & Lillian Goldman Professor of Law at Yale Law School. Dean Gerken is one of the country’s leading experts on constitutional law and election law. A founder of the “nationalist school” of federalism, her work focuses on federalism, diversity, and dissent.

Hailed as an “intellectual guru” in the New York Times, Gerken’s scholarship has been featured in The Atlantic, the Boston Globe, NPR, the New York Times, and Time. In 2017, Politico Magazine named Gerken one of The Politico 50, a list of idea makers in American politics. Her work on election reform has affected policy at a national level.

At Yale, she founded and runs the country’s most innovative clinic in local government law, the San Francisco Affirmative Litigation Project (SFALP). Professor Gerken is also a renowned teacher who has won awards at both Yale and Harvard. She was named one of the nation’s “twenty-six best law teachers” in a book published by the Harvard University Press.

A native of Massachusetts, Gerken graduated from Princeton University, where she received her A.B. degree, summa cum laude in 1991. A Darrow Scholar, she graduated from the University of Michigan Law School summa cum laude in 1994. Gerken currently serves as a trustee for Princeton University.

After law school, Dean Gerken clerked for Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the 9th Circuit and Justice David Souter of the United States Supreme Court. She then served as an appellate lawyer in Washington, D.C., before joining the Harvard Law School faculty in 2000. Gerken came to Yale in 2006 and became the inaugural J. Skelly Wright Professor of Law in 2008. She became dean of Yale Law School on July 1, 2017.

Gerken has published extensively. Her work has been featured in the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Stanford Law Review as well as numerous popular publications. Her work has been the subject of four symposia, and she has served as a commentator for a number of major media outlets, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, NPR, CNN, MSNBC, and NBC News. Dean Gerken served as a senior advisor to the Obama campaign in 2008 and 2012. In 2013, her proposal for creating a “Democracy Index” – a national ranking of election systems — was adopted by the Pew Charitable Trusts, which created the nation’s first Election Performance Index. She has been featured in the National Law Journal for balancing teaching and research, won a Green Bag award for legal writing, and has testified before the Senate three times. Gerken is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The Tobin Project

The Democracy Index

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717

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Director, Chief Technology Officer, Administration at Yale University - Yale Law School

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Policy Director at Public Rights Project

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Executive Director of the Solomon Center at Yale University - Yale Law School

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Deputy Dean & Joseph M. Field '55 Professor of Law at Yale University - Yale Law School

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Clinical Lecturer in Law, Research Scholar in Law & Information Society Project Executive Director at Yale University - Yale Law School

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Deputy Dean for Experiential Learning at Yale University - Yale Law School

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Co-Director of the John M. Olin Center for Law, Economics & Public Policy at Yale University - Yale Law School

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Director-Corporate Law Study Center at Yale University - Yale Law School

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Professor of Law & Faculty Director of the Solomon Center for Health Law & Policy at Yale University - Yale Law School

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Potter Stewart Professor of Constitutional Law & Director, Paul Tsai China Center at Yale University - Yale Law School

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Heather Gerken
Dean at Yale University - Yale Law School
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Located in New Haven, Connecticut, Yale Law School is one of the world’s premier law schools. It offers an unmatched environment of excellence and educational intimacy in the form of world renowned faculty, small classes, limitless opportunities for clinical training, and strong encouragement of public service. The Law School is small by design; its impact on the world is measured by its accomplished graduates and its ongoing scholarship and outreach through numerous centers and projects. For students, the experience is unparalleled. The faculty-student ratio supports a vast array of courses and opportunities for independent research and student-organized seminars. Students get practical training by representing real clients in clinics starting in their first year. Throughout, a spirit of collaboration reigns. All first-term courses are ungraded, and subsequent classes are graded honors/pass/low pass. Yale Law School is unique among law schools in that it produces leaders in all walks of life: distinguished deans and faculty members at law schools across the country and the world; industry CEOs and corporate counsels; founders of nongovernmental organizations and other nonprofit entities; entrepreneurs; government servants in federal, state, and local offices and the judiciary--just a few areas in which our alumni's talent and passion and dedication have made a difference. Among the School’s graduates are U.S. Presidents and Supreme Court Justices; and among its far-reaching projects, the Information Society Project and the China Center.

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Heather Gerken is affiliated with Yale University - Yale Law School

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