Daniel P.S. Paul Professor of Constitutional Law
Professor of History
Tomiko Brown-Nagin is dean of Harvard Radcliffe Institute, Daniel P.S. Paul Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School, and member of the history department at the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences. 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, and a distinguished lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. A frequent lecturer and media commentator about issues in law, history and higher education, 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. Her 2011 book, Courage to Dissent: Atlanta and the Long History of the Civil Rights Movement (Oxford), won six awards, including the Bancroft Prize in U.S. History. In her latest book, Civil Rights Queen: Constance Baker Motley and the Struggle for Equality (Pantheon, 2022), Brown-Nagin explores the life and times of Constance Baker Motley, the pathbreaking lawyer, politician, and judge.
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. Brown-Nagin has previously served as faculty director of Harvard Law School’s Charles Hamilton Houston Institute and as codirector of Harvard Law School’s law and history program, among other leadership roles.
She earned a law degree from Yale University, where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal; a doctorate in history from Duke University; and a BA in history, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Furman University.
Brown-Nagin held the 2016–2017 Joy Foundation Fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and became dean of the Institute on July 1, 2018.
For an overview of Dean Brown-Nagin’s work, see “Both Sides Now,” a recent profile by Harvard Magazine.
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