Tomiko Brown-Nagin

Tomiko Brown-Nagin

Dean, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
Daniel P.S. Paul Professor of Constitutional Law
Professor of History
Dean Tomiko Brown-Nagin. Photo by Kris Snibbe Harvard Staff Photographer

Tomiko Brown-Nagin is dean of Harvard Radcliffe Institute, one of the world’s leading centers for interdisciplinary research across the humanities, sciences, social sciences, arts, and professions. She is also the Daniel P.S. Paul Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School and a professor of history at Harvard University.

An award-winning legal historian and an expert in constitutional law and education law and policy, she is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Law Institute, and the American Philosophical Society; a fellow of the American Bar Foundation; a distinguished lecturer for the Organization of American Historians; and a member of the board of directors of ProPublica. Brown-Nagin has published articles and book chapters on a wide range of topics, including the Supreme Court’s equal protection jurisprudence, civil rights law and history, the Affordable Care Act, and education reform. She is a contributing editor to POLITICO Magazine as well as a frequent lecturer and media commentator.

Brown-Nagin’s latest book, Civil Rights Queen: Constance Baker Motley and the Struggle for Equality (Pantheon, 2022), explores the life and times of the pathbreaking lawyer, politician, and judge. Her book Courage to Dissent: Atlanta and the Long History of the Civil Rights Movement (Oxford University Press, 2011) won a 2012 Bancroft Prize in American History, among other honors.

In 2019, Brown-Nagin was appointed chair of the Presidential Committee on Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery, which is anchored at the Radcliffe Institute. The Committee issued a landmark report detailing the University’s direct, financial, and intellectual ties to slavery, which resulted in Harvard’s commitment of $100 million to redress harms to descendant communities in the United States and in the Caribbean.


For media inquiries, journalists should contact Mac Daniel, associate director of communications and senior editor, 617-495-8116,


Opinion: Ketanji Brown Jackson Is the Beginning, Not the End, of This Story (CNN, 4/6/22)

Constance Baker Motley, Civil Rights Queen, Paved the Way for Ketanji Brown Jackson (Oprah Daily, 4/1/22)

Examining 2 Days of Senate Confirmation Hearings for Biden's Supreme Court Nominee (NPR, 3/23/22)

The Right to Counsel Shouldn’t Be Controversial (Slate, 3/21/22)

This Black Woman Could Have Served on the Supreme Court Decades Ago. She Has Some Lessons for Ketanji Brown Jackson. (Politico, 2/25/22)

Biden Picks Ketanji Brown Jackson as Supreme Court Nominee (NPR, 2/25/22)

A Black Lawyer Who Dismantled Barriers, for Herself and Many Others (Washington Post, 2/25/22)

Often Overlooked, Civil Rights Advocate Constance Baker Motley Gets Her Due (NPR, 2/16/22)

A Black Woman on the High Court Is a Good Start. But Representation Has Limits. (NPR, 2/9/22)

The "Double-edged Sword" of Being a Black First (Code Switch on NPR, 2/2/22)

Charting the Path of a "Civil Rights Queen" (Harvard Gazette, 1/31/22)

Radcliffe Dean Discusses Book Celebrating Life of Civil Rights Lawyer Constance Baker Motley (Harvard Crimson, 1/31/22)

This Black Woman Judge Laid the Groundwork for Those Who Would Follow (CNN, 1/28/22)

"Civil Rights Queen," The Story of a Brave and Brilliant Trailblazer (New York Times, 1/26/22)

Rescuing MLK and His Children’s Crusade (Harvard Gazette, 1/13/22)

"A Towering Figure" in American Law, Harvard Professor Lani Guinier Dies at 71 (Boston Globe, 1/8/22)

Both Sides Now (Harvard Magazine, 1/1/22)

What 2021 Taught Us about the Fight for Racial Justice (CNN, 12/16/21)

Floyd's Death Leads to Disinformation about Black Lives Matter Movement (NPR, 5/25/21)

"It Would Be Glorious": Hopes High for Biden to Nominate First Black Woman to Supreme Court (The Guardian, 4/20/21)

Diversity Expanding within the Growing Black American Population, New Data Show (Boston Globe, 3/25/21)

"The Rule of Law Is at Stake": Harvard Law School Faculty Weigh In On Impeachment (Harvard Crimson, 1/13/21)

After a Hard Election, the Real Work Begins, Say Analysts and Scholars (Harvard Gazette, 11/8/20)

Hard Lessons from a Tough Election (Harvard Gazette, 11/5/20)

In a Close Election, Some Black Americans See a Clear Winner: Racism (Boston Globe, 11/4/20)

Trump’s Nomination of Coney Barrett to SCOTUS Draws Mixed Reviews from Law School Faculty (Harvard Crimson, 9/30/20)

How Amy Coney Barrett Would Reshape the Court — And the Country (Politico, 9/26/20)

Legal Experts Say Supreme Court Ruling on Trump Financial Records Will Have Far-reaching Effect (Boston Globe, 7/9/20)

A Renewed Focus on Slavery (Harvard Gazette, 11/22/19)

Brown-Nagin on Her Own Path and Radcliffe’s (Harvard Gazette, 11/13/19)

Brown-Nagin Named Radcliffe Dean (Harvard Gazette, 4/26/18)


Contact Information

Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
10 Garden Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
p: 617-495-8602

Time Period

Geographic Region

People Categories

Last Initial (Faculty)