Daniel Abebe Appointed Dean of Columbia Law School

Daniel Abebe will be the 16th Dean of Columbia Law School and Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law, effective August 1, 2024.

June 17, 2024

Dear fellow members of the Columbia community:

I am delighted to share that I have appointed Daniel Abebe as the 16th Dean of Columbia Law School and Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law, effective August 1, 2024. Gillian Lester has graciously agreed to stay on as Dean until that time.

An impressive and experienced academic leader, Professor Abebe currently serves as Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Governance at the University of Chicago and Harold J. and Marion F. Green Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School, where he was Deputy Dean from 2016 to 2018. As Vice Provost for the last six years, he has been responsible for stewarding critical aspects of university-wide academic life, as well as important strategic assignments, such as articulating and affirming the principles that underpin the University of Chicago’s widely emulated institutional commitment to free expression. He earned a BA from Maryville University of St. Louis, a JD from Harvard Law School, and an MA and PhD in political science from the University of Chicago. After clerking for Judge Damon J. Keith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, he worked at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in New York.

Professor Abebe’s scholarship focuses on the relationship between the constitutional law of U.S. foreign affairs and public international law. His research has been published in leading academic journals and edited volumes in the fields of foreign affairs, human rights law, international institutions, and institutional design, and he is an elected member of the American Law Institute.

I am confident that Professor Abebe will be an exceptional Dean for Columbia Law, one of the most highly regarded law schools in the world. His fundamental belief in the academic enterprise is evident and deeply rooted. His skilled, diplomatic, and inclusive approach to leadership will help foster an environment in which faculty, students, and staff can innovate, succeed, and flourish.

Please join me in welcoming Professor Abebe to the Columbia community as he takes up the deanship of Columbia Law and in thanking the search committee, capably chaired by Professors Anu Bradford and Richard Briffault, for its tireless effort and thoughtful engagement throughout the search process. We also owe a deep, collective debt of gratitude to Gillian Lester for her leadership and dedication during the past decade; she has left an indelible imprint of accomplishment that will be visible at the Law School for years to come.


Minouche Shafik
President, Columbia University in the City of New York