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Tomiko Brown-Nagin

Dean, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study

Daniel P.S. Paul Professor of Constitutional Law

Professor of History, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University

Tomiko Brown-Nagin
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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 at Harvard University.

An award-winning legal historian and an expert in constitutional law and education law and policy, she is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Law Institute, and the American Philosophical Society; a fellow of the American Bar Foundation; a distinguished lecturer for the Organization of American Historians; and a member of the board of directors of ProPublica. Brown-Nagin 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. She is a contributing editor to POLITICO Magazine as well as a frequent lecturer and media commentator.

Brown-Nagin’s latest 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. It won the Order of Coif book award, among other honors. Her 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, among other honors.

In 2019, Brown-Nagin was appointed chair of the Presidential Committee on Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery, which was anchored at the Radcliffe Institute. The Committee issued a landmark report detailing the University’s direct, financial, and intellectual ties to slavery, which resulted in Harvard’s commitment to redress harms to descendant communities in the United States and in the Caribbean.

For media inquiries, journalists should contact Mac Daniel, associate director of communications and senior editor, 617-495-8116,


  • Ph.D. US Social, Political and Legal History Duke University, 2002
  • J.D. Yale University, 1997
  • M.A. US Political and Social History Duke University, 1993
  • B.A. History Furman University, 1992

Academic Appointment and Employment History

  • Litigation Associate, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP (2001 - 2003)
    New York City, New York

Bar Admissions

  • United States District Court, S.D.N.Y., New York, United States (1999)
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • Robert L. Carter, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • Jane Roth, U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

Board Memberships

  • Member, Board of Directors, Pro Publica (2021 - Present)
    New York, New York, United States

Honors and Awards

  • Bancroft Prize (Book Awards)
    Awarded annually by Columbia University for works demonstrating the powerful impact of re-examination of historical events., 03-March 2012
  • Order of the Coif (Book Awards)
    recognizes outstanding scholarship that evidences "creative talent of the highest order", December 2023

Representative Publications

View all publications by Tomiko Brown-Nagin