Dean of the Law School
Christopher Edley, Jr. assumed the deanship of the U.C. Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) in 2004 after 23 years as a Harvard Law professor. His academic work is primarily in the areas of administrative law, civil rights, education policy, and domestic public policy generally. Dean Edley has moved between academia and public service, each enriching the other and together giving him broad familiarity with many areas of public policy.
Edley served in White House policy and budget positions in the late 1970s under President Jimmy Carter and in the 1990s under President Bill Clinton. His Clinton service included time at the Office of Management and Budget, where he oversaw the budgets and legislative policy initiatives for five cabinet departments and over 40 independent agencies, with budget authority totaling in the hundreds of billions of dollars. He has held senior positions in five presidential campaigns, including his part time service during 2007-08 as a senior policy adviser for candidate Barack Obama, whom he taught at Harvard Law.
Edley’s past civic activities include: six years on the bipartisan U.S. Commission on Civil Rights; board vice chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation; the Carter-Ford National Commission on Federal Election Reform following the Florida debacle in 2000; the Aspen Institute Blue Ribbon Commission on Reform of the No Child Left Behind Act; California’s Commission on Tax Reform and the 21st Century Economy; the Commission on the Future of the University of California; and board member for the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition in 2008, with responsibility for education, immigration and health care reform.
He devotes considerable time to service on committees of the National Research Council, the operating arm of the National Academies of Science; for seven years he was on the board of the NRC’s Division on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. He is a fellow of the American Law Institute, the National Academy of Public Administration, the Council of Foreign Relations, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Since spring, 2009, Dean Edley has served concurrently as Senior Policy Adviser to the President of the University of California System. Among his systemwide areas of focus have been online education, campus climate and culture, the policing of demonstrations, long term budget strategy, and external relations for the UC system.
Since February 2011, Dean Edley has been co-chair of the congressionally chartered National Commission on Equity and Excellence in Education, appointed by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. The Commission is charged broadly with revisiting the 1983 report, A Nation at Risk, and recommending future directions for K-12 school reform.