Daniel Abebe appointed Dean of Columbia Law School

He is the vice provost for academic affairs and governance at the University of Chicago

Daniel Abebe appointed Dean of Columbia Law School

Columbia University has named Daniel Abebe the 16th Dean of Columbia Law School and Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law, beginning his tenure on August 1.

The announcement was made by Minouche Shafik, president of Columbia University. Abebe will succeed Gillian Lester, who will continue in her role as dean until the transition.

Daniel Abebe is the vice provost for academic affairs and governance at the University of Chicago and the Harold J. and Marion F. Green Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School. According to Shafik, Abebe’s tenure as deputy dean at the law school from 2016 to 2018, coupled with his current role as vice provost, showcases his extensive experience in academic leadership. Abebe has overseen critical aspects of university-wide academic life and strategic initiatives, including upholding the University of Chicago’s commitment to free expression.

Abebe's academic journey includes a BA from Maryville University of St. Louis, a JD from Harvard Law School, and an MA and PhD in political science from the University of Chicago. His professional career began with a clerkship for Judge Damon J. Keith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, followed by a stint at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in New York.

Abebe’s scholarly work delves into the intersection of constitutional law, U.S. foreign affairs, and public international law. His research, published in prominent academic journals and edited volumes, addresses issues in foreign affairs, human rights law, international institutions, and institutional design. He is also an elected member of the American Law Institute.

“I am confident that Professor Abebe will be an exceptional Dean for Columbia Law, one of the most highly regarded law schools in the world,” Shafik said. “His fundamental belief in the academic enterprise is evident and deeply rooted. His skilled, diplomatic, and inclusive approach to leadership will help foster an environment in which faculty, students, and staff can innovate, succeed, and flourish.”

The search committee, chaired by Professors Anu Bradford and Richard Briffault, played a pivotal role in the selection process.

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