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Dayna Bowen Matthew  

Dean and Harold H. Greene Professor of Law at the George Washington University Law School

Dr. Dayna Bowen Matthew is the Harold H. Greene Professor of Law and Dean of The George Washington University Law School. Dean Matthew joined GW Law in August 2020, to become the first woman to lead the law school as dean in the school’s 158-year history.

Since joining our law school three years ago, Dean Matthew has overseen transformative regrowth in the law faculty, hiring 10 new tenure track faculty members, 13 new permanent Legal Writing faculty, and over 100 new part time adjunct faculty. She has overseen the establishment and launch of 5 new clinics in which students represent live clients unable to afford legal representation in civil and criminal matters; a new Health Law Program which includes a Health Equity Clinic dedicated to representing indigent patients experiencing legal barriers to good health; and a new Center for Law and Technology to expand the influence of GW Law’s Top 5 ranked Intellectual Property Law program to include Data Privacy, Cybersecurity, and Law in the Digital Age.

All of this growth and expansion of GW Law’s outstanding reputation has been carefully guided by the Law School’s new 5-year Strategic Plan that the GW Law Faculty adopted under Dean Matthew’s leadership in April 2022.

Leading this growth and expansion at the George Washington University Law School has not been at the expense of Dean Matthew’s leadership in her fields of scholarly expertise. A leader in public health and civil rights law who focuses on disparities in health, health care, and the social determinants of health, Dean Matthew is the author of the bestselling book, “Just Medicine: A Cure for Racial Inequality in American Health Care,” and the recently released “Just Health: Treating Structural Racism to Heal America,” She is also the co- author of a case book on public health law, ethics, and policy. If you wish to see her most recent scholarship, just find the forthcoming issue of the Yale Journal of Health Law & Policy, due out next spring!

Dean Matthew is an innovative and entrepreneurial leader. Before her arrival at George Washington University, she served on the faculty of the University of Virginia School of Law, as the William L. Matheson and Robert M. Morgenthau Distinguished Professor of Law and the F. Palmer Weber Research Professor of Civil Liberties and Human Rights. There, she co-founded and directed the UVA Equity Center, an interdisciplinary research institute dedicated to building relationships between the university and its surrounding community to redress racial and socioeconomic inequality.

Prior to her tenure at UVA, she served as professor of law, vice dean and associate dean of academic affairs at the University of Colorado Law School, where she co-founded and directed The Colorado Health Equity Project, an incubator for medical-legal partnerships that removed legal barriers to good health for underrepresented patients.

Dean Matthew has once again founded her third research organization – a new research institute at GW. She is the founder and inaugural faculty director of GW’s newly chartered Equity Institute, an interdisciplinary research hub dedicated to addressing racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic injustice in the United States and globally.

Dean Matthew’s interests and influence are not limited to the academy. She also has held a number of important positions in the policy world. She served as the Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow for U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, as senior advisor in the Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and as a visiting fellow for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. She currently serves as a non-resident senior scholar in the Center for Health Policy at the Brookings Institution and is a member of the American Law Institute.

Dean Matthew received a BA in economics from Harvard- Radcliffe College, a JD from the UVA School of Law, and a PhD in health and behavioral sciences from the University of Colorado Denver.

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