Howell Jackson has agreed to serve as the acting dean of Harvard Law School (HLS), subject to the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of Dean Elena Kagan’s nomination to serve as U.S. Solicitor General, President Drew Faust announced today. Jackson, the James S. Reid Jr. Professor of Law, served as the School’s vice dean for budget from 2003 to 2006.
“Howell Jackson is a first-rate scholar and teacher who has been a core member of the Law School’s leadership team in recent years,” said Faust. “Especially at this moment in the life of the Law School and the University, we are fortunate to be able to turn to a prospective acting dean who not only is a distinguished academic, but also has deep experience with the School’s administrative and financial matters and a close working knowledge of the ambitious initiatives the School has been pursuing. I’m very grateful to Howell for his readiness to take on this interim role.”
“I am honored that President Faust has asked me to be available to serve the Law School and its extraordinary community of faculty, students, and staff during this transitional time,” said Jackson. “Elena Kagan’s leadership over the past five years has transformed the Law School, energizing its faculty and inspiring its student body. I look forward to working closely with colleagues to sustain the School’s momentum in the months to come.”
A member of the HLS faculty since 1989, Jackson served from 2001 to 2003 as associate dean for research and research programs during the deanship of Robert C. Clark, before taking on the role of vice dean for budget when Kagan became dean in 2003. He has taught courses on the regulation of financial institutions, securities regulation, pension law, international finance, the federal budget process, and analytical methods for lawyers. His research deals with financial regulation, international finance, consumer protection, federal budget policy, and entitlement reform.
The author of numerous scholarly books and articles, Jackson has served as a consultant to the United States Treasury Department, the United Nations Development Program, and the World Bank/International Monetary Fund. He is a member of the National Academy on Social Insurance, a trustee of the College Retirement Equities Fund (CREF) and its affiliated TIAA-CREF investment companies, a member of the panel of outside scholars for the NBER Retirement Research Center, and a senior editor for Cambridge University Press Series on international corporate law and financial regulation. He received his B.A. from Brown University in 1976 and his J.D. and M.B.A. degrees from Harvard in 1982. Before joining the HLS faculty, he practiced law in Washington, D.C., and was a law clerk for Judge Jon O. Newman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and for Justice Thurgood Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court. He joined the HLS faculty as an assistant professor of law in 1989, became professor of law in 1994, was named Finn M.W. Caspersen and Household International Professor of Law in 1999, and has served as Reid Professor of Law since 2004.
Faust said that the prospect and precise timing of Jackson’s anticipated service will depend on the course of the Senate proceedings on Kagan’s nomination to become Solicitor General, and that she would have more to say in due course about the expected dean search. “I envision a full and open search for a long-term dean,” she said, “and I expect to solicit advice from across the HLS community on potential candidates from both within the School and beyond.” She added that she has moved quickly to identify a prospective acting dean because the hearings on Kagan’s nomination may well occur soon and Kagan would likely need to take up her new duties very shortly after confirmation.