University of Rochester

EVENT: Christopher Edley, Jr., Civil Rights Legal Scholar, to Talk at University
New UC Berkeley Law School Dean will present Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Address

December 29, 2003

The first African-American dean to lead a top-ranked U.S. law school will deliver the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Address at the University of Rochester next month.

Christopher Edley, Jr. will speak on "The New Civil Rights Agenda" at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23, in Strong Auditorium on the River Campus. His talk is free and open to the public.

A Harvard University law professor and nationally recognized leader in civil rights law and public policy, Edley was named dean of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall) earlier this month and will assume the post by July 1, 2004.

At Harvard, where he has taught since 1981, Edley is the founding co-director of The Civil Rights Project, a think tank that has conducted research and policy briefings on such issues as high stakes standardized testing at the K-12 level and the impact of the elimination of affirmative action in higher education. He will be establishing a West Coast counterpart to The Civil Rights Project at Boalt Hall.

A member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Edley has a wide range of high-level policy experience. During the Carter administration, he was assistant director of the White House domestic policy staff, with responsibilities for welfare reform, Social Security, and anti-poverty measures. Edley served as special counsel to President Bill Clinton and is credited as the architect of the administration's "Mend it, don't end it" position on affirmative action. He was also associate director for economics and government in the Office of Management and Budget. During the 2000 presidential campaign, he was a senior policy advisor to Al Gore.

Edley is the author of Administrative Law: Rethinking Judicial Control of Bureaucracy and Not All Black & White: Affirmative Action, Race and American Values. A member of the National Commission on Federal Election Reform and of the Council on Foreign Relations, he is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and serves on several panels of the National Research Council, the research arm of the National Academy of Sciences.

Edley received his bachelor's degree in mathematics and economics from Swarthmore College, a master's degree in public policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and a law degree from Harvard Law School.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Address is sponsored by the Office of the President and the College Diversity Roundtable at the University of Rochester. For more information, contact (585) 275-0651.

Note to Editors: A picture of Christopher Edley, Jr. can be e-mailed to you; contact Helene Snihur at or (585) 275-7800.