In an email sent 10  minutes ago, Board of Trustees chair Malcolm Sherman announced that Frederick M. Lawrence of the George Washington University School of Law will be the next President of Brandeis University effective Jan 1, 2011. Below is Lawrence’s bio from GW, as well as the text of the email:

Frederick Lawrence came to GW Law as dean in August 2005. One of the nation’s leading civil rights experts, he is the author of, Punishing Hate: Bias Crimes Under American Law, which examines bias-motivated violence and how the United States deals with such crimes. He has written widely in the areas of civil rights crimes and free expression.

Dean Lawrence began his legal career in 1980 as clerk to Judge Amalya L. Kearse of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Later, he was named an assistant U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York, where he became chief of the office’s civil rights unit. In 1988, he joined the faculty of Boston University School of Law where he taught courses on civil procedure, criminal law, civil rights enforcement, and civil rights crimes. He also served as the school’s associate dean for academic affairs from 1996 to 1999. In 1996 he received Boston University’s Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching, the university’s highest teaching honor.

Dean Lawrence has been a senior visiting research fellow with the University College London Faculty of Law and has studied bias crimes law in the United Kingdom through a Ford Foundation grant. He has lectured nationally and internationally about bias crime law and testified before Congress in support of federal hate crimes legislation on several occasions – most recently in 2007 – and concerning Justice Department misconduct in Boston.

In 2004, he was a member of the American delegation to the meeting of the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on Enactment and Enforcement of Legislation to Combat Hate-Motivated Crimes and in 2009 he delivered the keynote address to the OSCE meeting on hate crime law enforcement. From 2003 to 2006, he served as chair of the National Legal Affairs Committee of the Anti-Defamation League. Dean Lawrence also has performed in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts with the New York Choral Society.

July 8, 2010

Members of the Brandeis Community,

It gives me great pleasure to announce that, at its meeting today, the board of trustees unanimously and enthusiastically elected Frederick M. Lawrence, dean and Robert Kramer Research Professor of Law at the George Washington University Law School, to succeed Jehuda Reinharz as the eighth president of Brandeis University starting Jan. 1, 2011.

President-elect Lawrence is widely recognized as one of our nation’s top civil rights experts. He has written eloquently about a broad range of important legal and constitutional issues and is the author of “Punishing Hate: Bias Crimes Under American Law.” Fred also has co-authored a number of Supreme Court amicus curiae briefs, including the brief on behalf of civil rights groups in Virginia v. Black (2003) concerning the constitutionality of Virginia’s cross-burning statutes. He has served as chair of the National Legal Affairs Committee of the Anti-Defamation League and is a trustee of Williams College, his alma mater. From 1988 to 2005, he was a member of the faculty and academic administration at Boston University School of Law, and in 1996 he received Boston University’s Metcalf Award for Excellence in Teaching, the highest of the university’s teaching awards.

Fred impressed the members of the board with his strong record of academic scholarship and administration, as well as personal ideals and professional accomplishments that reflect the values of Justice Louis Brandeis and the university’s commitment to social justice and social action. In his meetings with trustees, faculty, students and senior officers, Fred demonstrated a strong commitment to liberal arts education and a clear understanding of and appreciation for Brandeis’ unique character, its Jewish heritage and its mission, which he aptly characterized as a “research college and a teaching university.” The board also noted his record of effective fundraising, both in this country and abroad.

Fred has a warm and winning personal style and a long record of engaging effectively with faculty, students, alumni and members of the extended communities with which he has worked. He is an outstanding successor to President Jehuda Reinharz, and I know that all members of the Brandeis community join with me in welcoming Fred Lawrence to this very special university.


Malcolm L. Sherman
Chair, Board of Trustees

To read the full announcement and a profile of Fred, watch video interviews, leave a welcome message and more, please visit