About Radcliffe / Leadership

Tomiko Brown-Nagin

  • Dean, Harvard Radcliffe Institute
Portrait of Tomiko Brown-Nagin
Tomiko Brown-Nagin 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 in the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences. 

An award-winning legal historian and an expert in constitutional law, Brown-Nagin is the author of groundbreaking scholarship. Her 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 and garnered widespread praise. The Los Angeles Times, the New Yorker, Smithsonian magazine, and Time all cited Civil Rights Queen as one of the best books of 2022, and it won several prizes, including the 2023 Order of the Coif Book Award, the 2023 Darlene Clark Hine Award, and a 2023 Lillian Smith Book Award. Her previous 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, the Liberty Legacy Prize of the Organization of American Historians, and the John Phillip Reid Book Award by the American Society of Legal History, among other honors. 

In addition, Brown-Nagin’s scholarship and commentary on the Supreme Court’s equal protection jurisprudence, civil rights law and history, and education reform have been published in the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Duke Law Journal, Law & History Review, the New York TimesPOLITICO Magazine, the Washington Post, and the Yale Law Journal, among other publications. 

From 2019 to 2022, Brown-Nagin chaired the Presidential Committee on Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery. As chair, she led the highly visible University-wide initiative and coauthored the Committee’s landmark report detailing the University’s direct, financial, and intellectual ties to slavery. Lauded in the New York Review of Books and in the Washington Post for its scholarly breadth and depth, the report was nominated for several academic prizes.

Brown-Nagin has served as dean of Harvard Radcliffe Institute since 2018. During her tenure, she has helped recruit excellent faculty to Harvard, expanded Radcliffe’s renowned fellowship program to academics and artists from a broad array of backgrounds and institutional affiliations, increased student engagement, and built partnerships with community-based organizations.

In April 2024, Brown-Nagin agreed to co-lead, with Eric Beerbohm, Harvard’s Open Inquiry and Constructive Dialogue Working Group, which was established to examine how to foster engagement across differing viewpoints as we teach, learn, and interact with one another more broadly throughout the University.


For media inquiries, journalists should contact Mac Daniel, associate director of communications and senior editor, at 857-303-0205 or mac_daniel@radcliffe.harvard.edu

For all other inquiries, please contact Laura Gerhard, executive assistant to the dean, laura_gerhard@radcliffe.harvard.edu

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