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About Radcliffe / Leadership

Tomiko Brown-Nagin

  • History
Portrait of Tomiko Brown-Nagin
Tomiko Brown-Nagin by Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer

Tomiko Brown-Nagin is an award-winning legal historian, an expert in constitutional law and education law and policy, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the American Law Institute, a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and a distinguished lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. She 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 new book (Pantheon, forthcoming January 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, 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.

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