Prominent scholars & federal director present lectures

George and West present Johnson Lecture

The 2022 Judge Horace J. Johnson, Jr. Lecture on Race, Law and Policy was co-presented by Professor Robert P. George and Dr. Cornel West.

robert georgeGeorge is the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and the director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. He has served as chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and the President’s Council on Bioethics. He was also a U.S. member of UNESCO’s World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology and a Judicial Fellow at the U.S. Supreme Court. His essays and reviews have appeared in numerous journals, and he is the author of four books.

cornell westWest is the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Chair at Union Theological Seminary. He teaches on the works of Bonhoeffer as well as courses in philosophy of religion, African American critical thought and a wide range of subjects – including but not limited to the classics, philosophy, politics, cultural theory, literature and music. West is the former Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. He has written 20 books and has edited 13.

The two scholars often speak together, focusing on civil discourse in light of their own differing points of view on various political, cultural and social topics.

This lecture series was created with support from UGA’s Presidential Task Force on Race, Ethnicity and Community by the School of Law and School of Public and International Affairs in honor of Johnson, who was a trailblazer for the Black community in Georgia. Johnson was a pioneer throughout his life. He was one of five students who helped desegregate Newton County, Georgia, schools in the 1960s. He graduated from the UGA School of Law in 1982. After briefly working in Atlanta, Johnson became the first Black attorney to practice in his home county. In 2002, he became the first Black Superior Court judge to serve in the Alcovy Judicial Circuit when then-Gov. Roy Barnes (J.D.’72) appointed him to the post. He remained in this role until his death in 2020.


Harvard scholar serves as Sibley Lecturer

tomiko brown-naginTomiko Brown-Nagin delivered the 120th Sibley Lecture, which focused on her novel Civil Rights Queen: Constance Baker Motley and the Struggle for Equality.

During the virtual event, which was moderated by Regents’ Professor of International Law and Woodruff Chair in International Law Diane Marie Amann, Brown-Nagin discussed the life and times of Motley, who was a pathbreaking lawyer, politician and judge.

Brown-Nagin serves as the dean of the Harvard Radcliffe Institute and is the Daniel P.S. Paul Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School. She is also a member of the history department at the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

In 2019, she was appointed chair of the Presidential Committee on Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery. 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 and a distinguished lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. Brown-Nagin frequently appears as a commentator in the media. Her book Courage to Dissent won the Bancroft Prize in 2011.

The Sibley Lecture Series, established in 1964 by the Charles Loridans Foundation of Atlanta in tribute to the late John A. Sibley, is designed to attract outstanding legal scholars of national prominence to the School of Law. Sibley was a 1911 graduate of the law school.

Federal director and alumna delivers House Lecture

kiran ahujaKiran Ahuja, the director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, served as the School of Law’s 39th Edith House lecturer.

Ahuja, a 1998 graduate of the School of Law, was nominated to her current role by President Joe Biden after a 20+ year career in public service and executive nonprofit work. Ahuja is the first South Asian American and first Asian American woman to lead the Office of Personnel Management.

Prior to heading the OPM, Ahuja served as the organization’s chief of staff. She previously spent six years as President Barack Obama’s executive director of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and began her career as an attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice. She also was the founding executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum and chief executive officer of Philanthropy Northwest.

The Edith House Lecture is sponsored by the UGA Chapter of the Georgia Association for Women Lawyers in honor of one of the first female graduates of the School of Law. House, a native of Winder, Georgia, was co-valedictorian of the Class of 1925, the first to graduate women.